Cut & Paste: Set designer weaves remants of culture, nomadic childhood into dystopian Christmas
You can often find St. Louis artist and set designer Kristin Cassidy on the banks of the Mississippi River, picking up stones, metal and even animal bones. Cassidy has long used such items to create installation art. Now, as a set designer, she’s created a fantastical, 71-by-37-foot world, punctuated by colored lights. It’s the backdrop for Mustard Seed Theatre’s revival of its very first play, “Remnant” about a handful of survivors marking Christmas in a dystopian world. In our latest Cut & Paste podcast, we talk with Cassidy about designing the backdrop for the chaotic holiday and how being a child of divorce forged her fascination with objects. 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 podcast is sponsored by SPACE Architecture + Design. Follow Willis and Nancy on Twitter:
Cut & Paste: Children's book authors want kids to know Rosa Parks 'wasn't the end of the story'
How do you condense more than 150 years of civil rights history in to a single book — and make it understandable and meaningful to a fifth grader? St. Louisan Amanda Doyle and co-author Melanie Adams recently attempted to do just that, for their children's book, “Standing Up for Civil Rights in St. Louis.” It starts in the 1800s with the stories of people who were enslaved, and ends with the 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown and the subsequent protests in Ferguson. But its message looks to the future, asking kids what they can do to change enduring problems facing African-Americans.
Cut & Paste: St. Louis composer’s venture takes him to the convent and the big screen
Contemporary classical music fans all over the country have enjoyed original compositions by St. Louis' own Chris Stark. But he may have found his biggest audience, ever, in a new group: moviegoers. Stark, a composer and a professor of composition at Washington University, recently finished scoring his first film, a Sony Pictures release, “Novitiate.” It’s the story of a woman who joins a convent. Margaret Qualley plays the aspiring nun and Melissa Leo, the mother superior, in the film directed by Maggie Betts. In our latest Cut & Paste podcast episode, Willis Ryder Arnold and Nancy Fowler talk with Stark about his work for a major motion picture.
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.