Cut & Paste: Documentary follows St. Louis teen haunted by death, inspired by new life
By the time Daje Shelton of St. Louis was 17, she’d already lost lots of friends to gun violence. One was shot while waiting at a bus stop, another while walking to the store. Shelton had few outlets for expressing her grief and coping with emotions about that trauma. In her world, fighting, not talking, was a typical way to address conflict. After one fight, she was expelled from high school. A documentary film captures her struggle. “For Ahkeem” opens with Shelton in a courtroom, where St. Louis Circuit Judge Jimmie Edwards gives her a last chance to graduate, from St. Louis' Innovative Concept Academy. The St. Louis court system oversees the unique school, dedicated to the education and rehabilitation of delinquent teens. In our latest Cut & Paste podcast , we talk with Shelton and filmmaker Jeff Truesdell about the teenager’s efforts to negotiate school, friends’ deaths and an unexpected pregnancy. "For Ahkeem" runs through Oct. 19 at 24:1 Cinema . Look for new Cut & Paste
Cut & Paste: Prison Performing Arts alums credit the late Agnes Wilcox for success on and off stage
St. Louis’ Prison Performing Arts serves 1,000 inmates every year, some as actors, others as audience members. But leaving prison doesn’t have to mean saying goodbye to the program. Through its Second Acts Ensemble alumni troupe, PPA provides a theatrical outlet on the outside for those who honed their acting skills behind bars. In our latest Cut & Paste podcast, we talk with Robert Morgan and Lyn O’Brien, two Second Acts members, about how PPA and recently deceased founder Agnes Wilcox changed their lives.
Cut & Paste: Storyteller Bobby Norfolk wants black explorer to share glory with Lewis and Clark
Who were the leaders of the Lewis and Clark Expedition across the Western United States? The obvious answer is Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. But many likely don't know that an enslaved African played a crucial third role. Lewis and Clark are famous for undertaking the “Corps of Discovery” in the early 1800s. But another man, York, typically only receives a footnote in history books. St. Louis storyteller Bobby Norfolk wants the change that. In our latest Cut & Paste arts and culture podcast, we talk with Norfolk, whose Sept. 15 storytelling event at The Link Auditorium in the Central West End focuses on York’s experience, which included adventure, hardship and terrible mistreatment.
Cut & Paste: Theater couple professes more delight than drama in managing marriage and kids
This has been a super-crazy week for St. Louis theater professional and mom Christina Rios. One of her three younger children started kindergarten. Her teenager entered her junior year of high school. And her theater company R-S Theatrics geared up to open its largest-ever production: “In the Heights.” In our latest Cut & Paste podcast , we talk with Rios and her husband, Mark Kelley — who’s an actor with a day job at Washington University — about how they make it all work. They come from very different backgrounds. She was a child with Mexican roots who grew in a poor St. Louis family. He came from a middle-class west county home. But it was the very different paths they took as young adults that almost derailed their early relationship. Look for new Cut & Paste (#cutpastestl) podcasts every few weeks on our website. You can also find all previous podcasts focusing on a diverse collection of visual and performing artists, and subscribe to Cut & Paste through this link. The
Cut & Paste: A former drama kid pays tribute to his hunter-father with theater and taxidermy
Who among us hasn’t grappled with building a relationship with our parents? Matthew Kerns, director of the St. Lou Fringe festival of performing arts, struggled to bond with a father who was very different from him. Kerns was a gay theater kid; his dad was a stereotypically “manly” man who drove a truck and hunted deer.