Entry into nearly any store at this time guarantees the public will be bombarded by seasonal merchandise from the upcoming holidays -- skeleton masks, pilgrim hats, and reindeer, oh my! It really seems as though there's nationalistic festivities for nearly everyone -- excluding the original Americans, the Native Americans. One of Tulsa's best kept secrets at Tulsa Community College's West Campus seeks to change that.
For nearly a decade and going strong, all things indigenous have been celebrated during the Red Fork Native American Film Festival.
"You get to think about and experience the culture of Native Americans when you watch these films. We're telling the stories of our ancestors. It's a part of what our people went through," said Belinda McGee, Red Fork's co-director and art coordinator.
This particular community has long been revered for their cultural creativity. The event encourages the public to embrace the full-blown native experience in the arts produced by various tribes. Red Fork's visual arts and craftsmanship features ten short and full-length film screenings, art demos and vendors, and a traditional Native American meal. As far as the meal goes, I'm sure it's delish. But, McGee told me to keep it under wraps. I can spill the beans about everything else, though.
The two-day event, known as "Oklahoma's longest-running and only free film fest," on Friday and Saturday begins with an art market, then showcases a mix of cinematic works, including recent releases and retrospective favorites. If you're in the Halloween spirit for a scare or two, Friday is your best bet. Beginning at 7pm, a vengeful spirit on a rampage, zombie epidemics, and real-life, allegedly haunted sites await you.
Saturday screens even more movies, with a bittersweet sentiment. "They are humorous films, but there are sad parts in there," McGee said. Bring yourself some Kleenex, because you might find yourself tearing up a bit. Remember this, "Some of the films will make you cry, but you're going to last through most of them," she said.
Moving Images. Red Fork Native American Film Festival will feature films including Every Emotion Counts.
After all, with the celebration and absorption of a culture, you must see both sides of the coin.
If anything, it's an educational method ensuring that individuals will not repeat past horrors. "You're definitely getting some history lessons," McGee said. Inarguably, the Red Fork Film Festival enables the humanitarian side of all of us to shine through while being entertained.
On a lighter note, do not miss the make and take art demos, highlighted by Michel Laudermilk and Dana Sanders Talbert. The crafty instruction sessions will focus on loom bead work and basket weaving, respectively. "When (the participants) leave the demo, they will take the finished product with them," McGee said. Who doesn't love learning fun skills while making free swag for themselves at the same time? These tutorials will both take place mid-day Saturday.
See it all for yourself, with the festival's art market opening at 5pm on Friday at the TCC West campus at 7505 W. 41 St. The first screening is at 7pm. Saturday screenings start at 1pm.
The Marriage of Figaro
Tulsa Opera's 2013-2014 season rightly includes one of the most popular operas in the standard repertoire, The Marriage of Figaro. French playwright, Pierre Beaumarchais originally envisioned and wrote his masterpiece as a play. The work was the second part of a trilogy, begun by Barber of Seville and ending with The Guilty Mother. Tulsa Opera's artistic director, Kotis Protopapas, filled in the blanks. "Barber of Seville stars Figaro, and marriage is what happens (to him) next," he said. Both productions take place in 18th century Seville, Spain.
Beaumarchais completed this rebellious sequel several years before King Louis XVI ever green-lighted the production. In fact, The Marriage of Figaro's colorful history includes satirizing the established social order and foreshadowing the upcoming French Revolution's class conflicts. "His comedies had a lot of social commentary, and poked fun at the aristocracy,"Protopapas said.
Once Mozart jumped on the bandwagon, the composer transformed the play into the operatic format as we know it. You gotta love that rascal, Mozart! In the end, Mozart's tinkering with The Marriage of Figaro actually worked to his advantage. The show really kicked off his career, later evolving into a smash hit.
The comic opera's multitudinous points of its love triangle could possibly form a square, or hell, even a hexagon. Love cuts across social hierarchies, with noblemen enamored by maids, pages flirting with gardener's daughters, and the like. The former describes the relationship that Figaro's master wants to have with Figaro's (Seth Carico) soon-to-be wife (Ava Pine).
"Figaro's boss is kind of a ladies' man," Protopapas said. But don't take Figaro for a fool. "The Marriage of Figaro is a servant outwits master sort of play," he said.
Although the plot twists, turns, and thickens throughout, "some of (the opera) is quite romantic," he said. Generally, no one wants to see how Olive Oyls and Shreks falling in love plays out.
So it's a good thing that The Marriage of Figaro's roles happen to be filled by appealing individuals. "The cast is very good looking, we have very pretty people," Protopapas laughs.
But this aspect should not overshadow the power of acting and song. "The cast have great voices. And of course, we have the Tulsa opera chorus."
Suffice it to say, Tulsa Opera has a trick or two up their sleeve when it comes to delivering seasoned opera singers. Internationally acclaimed Peter Strummer (Dr. Bartolo) and Linda Roark Strummer (Marcellina) are real-life husband and wife.
"They're both going to be in the show together, which is kind of a rare thing," Protopapas said.
Music virtuoso or not, you're bound to recognize some of the musical aspects in a Looney Tunes type of way. "The audience will recognize some of the music, it has some of the very famous arias," he said. Tulsa Opera presents The Marriage of Figaro in the Chapman Music Hall at the Tulsa PAC on Oct. 18 at 7:30pm and Oct. 20 at 2:30pm. General admission tickets are $25, and are available at the Second Street box office, by phone at 918-596-7111, or through mytickets.com.
Share this article: