“Lovestruck” Promises a Uniquely Enchanting Midsummer’s Night
Sep07

“Lovestruck” Promises a Uniquely Enchanting Midsummer’s Night

We’ve all been there. It’s the classic teenage tryst: You’re in love with one guy, but your dad says you have to marry another. Your best friend is secretly crushing on the guy your dad likes. So you try to elope with your true love. But before you know it, the two guys are poised to fight, a group of woodland fairies puts magic love potion on everyone, the love triangle gets really messy, and the fairies bewitch everyone into a deep sleep. Okay, so most high school dramas never get as complicated as Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” But it does make for a time-honored story. It also makes the ideal inspiration for a dreamy “immersive theater” performance – which is exactly what the Fort Wayne Dance Collective has planned with the Lovestruck event on Friday, September 11, 2015. Lovestruck is the Dance Collective’s annual interactive, “choose-your-own-adventure” fundraising event. The engaging event takes the audience room-by-room through the entire Foellinger-Freimann Botantical Conservatory building and outdoor gardens. In each space, audience members encounter a new scene, a unique dance sequence, or another act of the Lovestruck plot. Like most dance performances, Lovestruck‘s main scenes are expressed through dance, in a loose, modern-day interpretation of Shakespeare’s magical romance. But unlike most performances, the Lovestruck dancers and actors interact with the audience throughout the entire evening – inviting them to join in every step the story. While the dancing is choreographed, the “immersive” nature of the event ensures surprises at every turn. Lovestruck is the third event of its kind, following Starcrossed (2013) and Wonderland (2014), the FWDC’s previous immersive performance fundraising events. Starcrossed told the “Romeo and Juliet” story by placing each guest into one of the two feuding families – Montague or Capulet – and leading them through the rooms, backstage passageways and hidden hallways of the Embassy Theatre. Wonderland, performed last year, explored several floors of the mysterious and time-untouched Masonic Temple, which was transformed through performance into Alice’s wonderland. Both events were mesmerizing and unlike anything I’ve ever attended in Fort Wayne. While most live performances ask you to simply sit and watch, these events make you an active part of the show. Performers talk to you, ask questions, invite you to join them – transporting you fully into fourteenth century Verona, madcap Wonderland, or a woodland fairyland in ancient Greece. The engaging experience is made even better by exploring every part of a unique local building – taking you into spaces you might never see otherwise. Because the whole experience is casual and self-directed, socialization is encouraged. Guests are free to interact with each other and with all of the performers. A...

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Cinema Center, Let’s Give Allen County
Apr30

Cinema Center, Let’s Give Allen County

Presenting a Q&A with Cinema Center’s Executive Director, Jonah Crismore. Cinema Center is one of the five nonprofits selected for the Let’s Give Allen County campaign on May 6th. Give us a brief history of your organization and its role in our community. Cinema Center began in 1976 when the Spectator Theater, an independent movie house located on the Landing in downtown Ft. Wayne, closed. The dedicated film lovers wanted there to be a place in Ft. Wayne where films could be showcased as an art form and started Cinema Center. Its first screening was the classic film noir “The Big Sleep” shown in the Ft. Wayne Art School auditorium in West Central. The organization was nomadic, finding places to screen films at the Allen County Public Library, the Ft. Wayne Museum of Art, board rooms at One Summit Square, and a few other places, before Cinema Center moved into its current location at the Hall Community Arts Center in 1991. What are some ways that the public can get involved with your organization? It is always great when members of the public who have never seen a film at Cinema Center come out to a screening. The films shown at Cinema Center generally would never be shown in northeastern Indiana if the organization did not exist. Cinema Center offers a great membership program that allows for discounted admission prices, free popcorn, special members-only screenings, and other perks. Also, it is great when someone just jumps on www.cinemacenter.org and shoots us a film request or suggestion. As a community-based organization, it is our responsibility to bring films that the community of northeast Indiana wants to see at our theater. Do you have any upcoming events? Our next big event is Dudefest, which is actually being held at the Embassy Theatre on May 30th. It is a celebration of all things Big Lebowski, the cult classic film from 1998, written and directed by the Coen Brothers. There will be a bowling alley actually inside the Embassy, as well as Lebowski-themed giveaways. The fun starts at 5pm, and the screening of the Big Lebowski happens at 7:30. Also, Bravas will be on site selling Lebowski-themed hot dogs. Tickets for the event are being sold through Ticketmaster.com. What are some of the biggest goals for your organization over the next couple of years? One of the biggest projects for Cinema Center is to find a way to make our Spectator Lounge space (formerly where Artlink was located) a cool, film-themed, spot that welcomes the community even when there isn’t a film screening. The space is such a blank slate and it is very exciting to think...

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