The Founders Coming to Tar Heel Shorties!!

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Let us know you’re coming by RSVP-ing HERE!

TheFoundersPosterThe Founders / 7:30 PM / Charlene Fisk & Carrie Schrader
They were not supposed to be athletes. They were not supposed to get paid to play. They were not supposed to call the shots. But in 1950, 13 amateur women golfers battled society, finances and sometimes even each other to stake their claim to become professional sportswomen by creating the Ladies Professional Golf Association (The LPGA). Long overdue, this film is about finally recognizing those unseen efforts and identifying The Founders as true icons of sport and equality. The film isn’t just for those who frequent the golf course. This film is for anyone who believes in the transformative power of defying the odds.

The Founders is an iconic story of thirteen women who battled society, prejudice and preconception to create a lasting, global sporting legacy.TheFounders2_1080x853

With humour, grit and raw talent, these underdogs not only changed the course of women’s sport but created a timeless story of redemption and endurance. Through rare, archival footage, historical re-enactments and current-day interviews with surviving founders and leading players, we tell that story – a special legacy.

Co-director Charlene Fisk and the Director of Photography of The Founders will be in attendance and will participate in an exclusive Q&A after the screening!

Watch a trailer here: https://vimeo.com/153048152

More information about The Founders can be found at http://www.thefoundersfilm.com/

To see the other films playing at Tar Heel Shorties, check out our full schedge HERE!

Now Hiring Connect Coordinator!

Cucalorus is looking for a human to fill the position of Connect Coordinator for the Cucalorus Festival, taking place in downtown Wilmington, NC from November 8-12, 2017. Cucalorus Connect is a conference for startups and entrepreneurs presented by the UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and tekMountain. Connect showcases the Port City’s most visionary business leaders while bringing in well-known presenters and speakers for a weekend full of networking and creative exploration.

The Connect Coordinator manages the programming of the Connect conference. The Connect Coordinator works closely with the Connect Board President, Executive Director and Programming Coordinator to select speakers, workshops, presenters and panelists for the event. The Connect Coordinator will research innovation conferences and send out invitations for people to submit proposals to Connect. They will maintain the Connect submission system and facilitate the selection of Connect proposals. The Connect Coordinator works closely with the Technical Department to insure professional handling and presentation of all accepted digital media for Connect. They will also work closely with the Volunteer Coordinator and Operations Manager to plan volunteer and staffing needs for Connect events.

The Connect Coordinator works with the Travel Coordinator to plan travel for participating entrepreneurs and other guests of the Connect Conference. The Connect Coordinator is responsible for leading, managing and developing content for the Connect portion of the festival program guide, website and other promotional materials. The Connect Coordinator is responsible for providing timely and consistent communication with all participating entrepreneurs. The Connect Coordinator is responsible for producing box office reports for Connect events. The Connect Coordinator is the primary point of contact for all presenters, attendees, staff and volunteers associated with Connect events.

This is a contract position starting immediately after the hiring process and ends December 1, 2017. Hours required are an average of 40 hours per month and being on-call full-time during the festival (November 8-12, 2017). Compensation based on experience and availability. Please email operations “at” cucalorus.org with the subject line “Best Job Ever”. Include a resume, cover letter, and a one-sentence pitch for an imaginary business idea.

Cucalorus Now Hiring Operations Manager!

Cucalorus is looking for a human to fill the full-time contract position of Operations Manager for the 23rd annual Cucalorus Festival, taking over downtown Wilmington November 8-12, 2017!! The fest is 5 days of film screenings, workshops, theatre, music, panels for entrepreneurs, late-night parties and more! This contract position has potential for extension post-festival.

The Operations Manager is a key position within the organization and works directly will all departments, providing administrative support to the Executive Director and other staff as needed. The Operations Manager is the lead staff member working with volunteers, tech and venue relations. The Operations Manager is responsible for daily and weekly maintenance of the foundation’s offices.

The Operations Manager will create staffing plans for all foundation events and the Cucalorus Festival. The Operations Manager will be responsible for building and maintaining the foundation’s base of volunteers, using the database to manage and track data and developing relationships in the community in order to grow and strengthen the volunteer base. They will manage relationships with festival venues and provide consistent communication about venue usage and needs. The Operations Manager will hire and oversee the Technical Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, Bar Manager, Signage Coordinator, and others. They will secure special event insurance and alcohol permits as needed. The Operations Manager will provide technical support to all staff and volunteers, and provide maintenance and planning support for foundation computers and IT needs. The Operations Manager will be the primary contact for cinema rentals at the foundation’s offices. The Operations Manager will maintain accurate records as needed for all departments in the DevOps database and use the database whenever possible to manage and share valuable information.

The Operations Manager will manage and coordinate the technical needs for foundation events, maintain a strong understanding of current exhibition trends in the film industry, and coordinate equipment rentals and loans for all events, working with support staff when appropriate.

To apply for a position, please submit a cover letter, resume, and a haiku poem about your favorite monster movie in a single email with the Subject Heading “Best Job Ever” to operations@cucalorus.org. Applications will be accepted through Friday July 21, 2017.

Now Hiring Seasonal Contract Positions!

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Cucalorus is looking for humans to fill Seasonal Contract positions for the 23rd annual Cucalorus Festival, taking over downtown Wilmington November 8-12, 2017!! The fest is 5 days of film screenings, workshops, theatre, music, panels for entrepreneurs, late-night parties and more! As a Cuc staff member, you’ll have access to all screenings and events, and be in a great position to meet potential employers and collaborators from all over the world!!

Seasonal Contract positions are part-time and begin over the summer and run through the Festival in November. Open positions include:

Box Office Manager – The Box Office Manager handles all work related to ticket sales, ticket printing, and passholder ticket redemptions and will serve as the public face for all Box Office operations leading up to and during the festival. The Box Office Manager must have a thorough and clear understanding of festival pass and ticket policies and is responsible for clearly communicating these policies to the general public through the website, ticket outlets, press releases, etc.

The Box Office Manager will develop a comprehensive understanding of Vendini ticketing systems and manages the Cucalorus Vendini (online ticketing service) to facilitate the advance sale of tickets to the general public. The Box Office Manager will support the Pass Desk Manager and the Pass Printing Manager in coordinating the delivery of passes to volunteers, staff,, sponsors and the general public. The Box Office Manager will be responsible for monitoring all cash transactions during the festival. The Box Office Manager will be responsible for collecting all box office cash boxes and creating detailed deposit statements for all cash income on a daily basis.

The Box Office Manager is responsible for providing detailed financial accounting for all Box Office activity in a timely manner. The Box Office Manager will be responsible for tracking attendance at all events and producing a detailed attendance report the day after the festival ends. The Box Office Manager will be responsible for updating the Box Office Manual, training documents, and Vendini instructions to reflect any changes from the previous year. The Box Office Manager will deliver a detailed report identifying strengths and areas of improvements for Box Office operations.

Engagement CoordinatorThe Engagement Coordinator organizes Cucalorus’ free outreach programs in the community and will sometimes serve as host and facilitator for Engagement events. This includes Media Literacy for elementary school students, Global Perspective for high school students, Latino Lens for the Hispanic/Latino community, and Kidsalorus for films made by and/or for youth. The Engagement Coordinator also organizes community screening for our VOICES films (social justice documentaries).

The Engagement Coordinator will work with the Executive Director and Programming Coordinator to identify films appropriate for Engagement events, ideally during the submission/selection process. The Engagement Coordinator will maintain good and timely communication with the Operations Manager and Technical Coordinator about Engagement events to ensure all tech aspects are properly covered. The Engagement Coordinator is responsible for formalizing all partnerships for Engagement events using a signed contract, completing Event Screening Forms at all Engagement events and to ensure relevant information is recorded for input into the Programming Database.

Crowdfunding Coordinator – The Crowdfunding Coordinator is a critical part of the crowdfunding campaign and the development department. The Crowdfunding Coordinator will be responsible for working with the Executive Direction and Development Director to plan and coordinate the Cucalorus Film Festival crowdfunding campaign. The Crowdfunding Coordinator will participate in cultivating backers for the campaign, supporting any events associated with the campaign, organizing backer rewards, managing backer reward surveys, maintaining good communication with campaign backers, delivering rewards immediately following the end of the campaign and following up on reward deliveries to make sure all rewards are delivered by the end of the festival.

The Crowdfunding Coordinator will work with the Box Office department to assist with pass and ticket delivery and will provide detailed reports at the end of the campaign regarding backer information, backer amounts, and rewards delivery status. The Crowdfunding Coordinator will also provide any needed support to the development department.

Volunteer Coordinator – The Volunteer Coordinator manages the identification and cultivation of at least 200 volunteers for the festival and all events leading up to the festival. They will create a master volunteer schedule and provide clear, consistent communication to all festival departments to help meet their volunteer needs. The Volunteer Coordinator is responsible for maintaining accurate volunteer records in the DevOps Database (Filemaker Pro).

The Volunteer Coordinator will deepen relationships with existing volunteers, new volunteers, and seek out opportunities to cultivate volunteers of all ages, races, genders and socioeconomic statuses. The Volunteer Coordinator serves as the communication hub for the volunteers before and during the festival, provides administrative support to the Operations Manager, and supports the work of other staff in regards to volunteers.

The Volunteer Coordinator will be responsible for delivering a detailed report analyzing the volunteer program. The report must include feedback both quantitative and qualitative from active volunteers.

Social Media Coordinator – The Social Media Coordinator provides administrative support to the Executive Director and works closely with the Communications Coordinator to create a strategy for social media and internet marketing. They will be charged with developing new audiences by strategically maximizing the festival’s presence on social media sites and by creating content for the Cucalorus Website, blogs and other interweb locales. The Social Media Coordinator will provide daily opportunities for follows to interact with the organization on the Cucalorus Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, website and more.

They will assist the Communications Coordinator and the Programming Coordinator in managing the festival’s various campaigns. The Social Media Coordinator will work to mentor new leaders and to cultivate engagement from new volunteers. The Social Media Coordinator will also collaborate with the Communications Coordinator to manage the distribution and tracking of ticket promotions, giveaways and contests for the festival.

Technical Coordinator – The Technical Coordinator works closely with the Operations Manager, Technical Director, Print Traffic Coordinator, and Digital Media Manager to assist in coordinating all technical aspects of screenings, events, venues and the technical staff for the annual film festival and all events leading up to the festival. This includes the set-up and breakdown for approximately fifteen festival venues. The Technical Coordinator will work with the Operations Manager to oversee, train and manage technical staff and volunteers including the Print Traffic Coordinator, media manager, technical assistants, projectionists and projection assistants.

This position requires knowledge to troubleshoot any technical issues that may occur and assists with scheduling technical staff. An excellent understanding of projection equipment, audio, aspect ratios, file exporting, Adobe Premiere, Adobe Media Encoder, and screening formats is required. Previous experience with film presentation is required. The Technical Coordinator must be detailed oriented, self-motivated, proactive, and dependable. This position can become a promotion to Technical Manager.

VR Coordinator – The VR Coordinator provides administrative support to and works closely with the Connect Conference Coordinator to execute all things Virtual Reality related. They will coordinate the VR Lounge, connect with key partners and curators, and work with the Connect Production Manager, Operations Manager and Technical Coordinator to plan for the technical aspects of all VR related events and venues.

Web Coordinator – The Web Coordinator provides administrative support to and works closely with the Communications Coordinator to create a strategy for the Cucalorus site and internet marketing. The Web Coordinator will assist the Communications with drafting and proofing press releases when needed. They will assist the Communication Coordinator and the Programming Coordinator with inputting festival schedule and film information into the website, and will ensure accuracy of information by comparing the site with the database consistently.

The Web Coordinator will also help troubleshoot broken links or ticketing issues on the web, and assist anyone who calls needing help on the website. The Web Coordinator will work with the Volunteer Coordinator by using social media as a tool to cultivate engagement from new volunteers.

To apply for a position, please submit a cover letter, resume, and a haiku poem about your favorite monster movie in a single email with the Subject Heading “Best Job Ever” to operations@cucalorus.org. Applications will be accepted through Friday, July 7th, 2017.

Tar Heel Shorties Film Festival Line-up

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Cucalorus and Pinestraw Magazine are pleased to announce that selections have been made for the 1st annual Tar Heel Shorties Film Festival on July 8th, 2017 in Southern Pines, NC. Tar Heel Shorties will kick off at the Sunrise Theater in downtown Southern Pines on Saturday, July 8th at 5pm with seven unique short films in an hour long block. Following the block will be a party with attending filmmakers! At 7:30pm is a screening of The Founders, a documentary feature film about the 13 women who founded the LPGA Tour. An exclusive Q&A with co-director Charlene Fisk will follow the screening.

The free event will showcase a slate of the coolest NC short films and a feature documentary with roots in the Sandhills region. The shorties range from animated narratives to archival experimentals, including:

SHORTS BLOCK:

Let us know you’re coming by RSVP-ing HERE!

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Swimlapse / 9:00 / Eddie Schmit
In the shadow of a chilling accident, a young lifeguard struggles to return to work while teaching a reluctant girl to swim.

 

 

 

Sugar

 

Sugar / 3:25 / Kristin Pearson
An animated collage of the futility of a good night’s sleep.

 

 

 

courtesycall

 

Courtesy Call / 5:00 / Jim Haverkamp
A free agent for decency tries to reach out and touch someone–usually, someone who doesn’t like to be touched. Starring the incomparable Stuart Hoyle.
Courtesy Call screened at the 3rd annual Cucalorus Film Festival in 1997. Jim Haverkamp lives and works in Durham, North Carolina, where he is a freelance video editor, teacher, and filmmaker.

 

 

Ignite

 

Ignite / 4:16 / Christopher Zaluski
Ron Killian has big art dreams. On the brink of 50 years old, however, he’s worried that time may be running out. As a way to reinvent himself, he has created a new art medium using fire. He now spends his days inside his Asheville, NC, bungalow burning canvas, paper, and paint and creating unique pieces that the world may never see.

 

 

What-it-was-was-Football

 

What it Was, Was Football / 7:00 / Duncan Brantley
A naive country preacher accidentally finds himself at a football game. He has no idea what he is seeing, but describes it as best he can. A visual recreation of Andy Griffith’s classic radio comedy routine.

 

 

 

Bernerd

 

Bernerd / 5:18 / Marshall Johnson
Bernerd, the controlled burn spokesman, is here to teach us about fire safety. Unfortunately he’s lost his way and now his method mostly involves a trail of lit cigarettes and smoldering ruins. Come with Bernerd as he teaches one family the importance of random fire.

 

 

PrivateLifeOfACat

 

The Private Life of a Cat / 10:00 / Iris Monahan
In 1947, Alexander Hammid (the cinematographer husband of the famous experimental filmmaker Maya Deron) made a silent documentary chronicling his cat having kittens. Fifty years later, Iris Monahan and her dad Dave added cat voices, funky music, and a few laughs.

 

 

AcitoOnTheMound 2

 

Acito on the Mound / 14:05 / Shawn Lewallen
The spirit of baseball lives on long after players leave the field. A visit to the pitching mound after saying goodbye to a friend brings back memories of a rough game.

 

 

 

FEATURE:

Let us know you’re coming by RSVP-ing HERE!

TheFoundersPosterThe Founders / 90:00 / Charlene Fisk & Carrie Schrader
They were not supposed to be athletes. They were not supposed to get paid to play. They were not supposed to call the shots. But in 1950, 13 amateur women golfers battled society, finances and sometimes even each other to stake their claim to become professional sportswomen by creating the Ladies Professional Golf Association (The LPGA). Long overdue, this film is about finally recognizing those unseen efforts and identifying The Founders as true icons of sport and equality. The film isn’t just for those who frequent the golf course. This film is for anyone who believes in the transformative power of defying the odds.

The Founders is an iconic story of thirteen women who battled society, prejudice and preconception to create a lasting, global sporting legacy.TheFounders2_1080x853

With humour, grit and raw talent, these underdogs not only changed the course of women’s sport but created a timeless story of redemption and endurance. Through rare, archival footage, historical re-enactments and current-day interviews with surviving founders and leading players, we tell that story – a special legacy.

Watch a trailer here: https://vimeo.com/153048152

More information about The Founders can be found at http://www.thefoundersfilm.com/

 

Surfalorus Film Festival Announces Call For Entry

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Wilmington, NC — Cucalorus announces the official call for entries for the sixth annual Surfalorus Film Festival being held September 21-23 on the Outer Banks.

Surfalorus is a premier collaboration between Dare County Arts Council and Wilmington, NC-based Cucalorus Festival, which will celebrate its 23rd anniversary this fall. Surfalorus is an annual showcase of the year’s coolest surf films and ocean documentaries.

“Surfalorus has really found its home on the Outer Banks,” said Cucalorus Executive Director Dan Brawley. “The festival showcases a range of films, from super shorties to features, that show how you can translate the pure stoke of surfing onto the big screen. And hidden within these tasty journeys you get to know the surfers, shapers, photographers, beach bums and occasional odd birds who define the lifestyle.”

Outer Banks filmmakers, watermen and outdoor enthusiasts can enter their original short and feature film submissions at cucalorus.org. Regular deadline for entry is June 2 and “Surfalorus” should be put in the signature section of the online entry form. Contact programming@cucalorus.org for more information about submitting your film.

The free, family-friendly event will feature international, regional and local surf film screenings at various venues on the Outer Banks. Surfalorus screenings will be held at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head (Thursday, September 21), Dare County Arts Council in Manteo (Friday, September 22), and the Outer Banks Brewing Station in Kill Devil Hills (Saturday, September 23). Screening times will be released at a later date.

Other aquatic activities will also take place during Surfalorus, including a surf art exhibit at Dare County Arts Council’s Gallery in Downtown Manteo.

“We are super excited to bring Surfalorus to the Outer Banks again this year,” said Dare County Arts Council Programs Director Fay Davis Edwards. “In addition to incredible short and feature length films, this year’s festival will be coupled with an exhibit of historic surfboards curated by Steve Wise, and a photography exhibit honoring the late Mickey McCarthy curated by Daniel Pullen. Surfalorus is going to be an event that you do not want to miss.”

Sponsors interested in being a part of the Surfalorus Film Festival can contact Dare County Arts Council Executive Director Chris Sawin at DareArtsInfo@gmail.com or at (252) 473-5558.

For more information about Surfalorus or on how to become a sponsor, please call (252) 473-5558 or visit DareArts.org and Surfalorus.com.

Cucalorus Hires Blair Middleton as Development Director

AudienceHeaderWilmington, NCThe Cucalorus Foundation, a multi-disciplinary arts non-profit that organizes the annual Cucalorus Festival in November, has hired Blair Middleton as Development Director.

Blair Middleton (née Brown) previously served as Director of Business Operations at local youth development organization DREAMS of Wilmington, and has several years of experience working in the non-profit sector. She brings accounting skills and a strong commitment to community engagement to her new position to grow the organization financially through grants and sponsorship.

“Cucalorus is excited to welcome Blair to our team of year-round staffers. Blair has the kind of industry-specific experience blended with strong business instincts that Cucalorus needs as we blossom from a grass-roots movement into a community institution,” says Dan Brawley, Executive Director of the Cucalorus Foundation.

Middleton is the owner and founder at Acacia Tree Wellness and is a registered yoga teacher and licensed massage and bodywork therapist. A resident of Wilmington since 2009, she has worked previously for Cucalorus coordinating Special Programs, Social Events, and Engagement and Outreach programs.
“I’m so honored to be working for Cucalorus in this new capacity. Collaboration and unconventional thinking is really applauded here,” says Blair Middleton, “and I appreciate the opportunity to help nurture such a well-loved organization in Wilmington.”

Now Hiring: Programming Coordinator!

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The position of Programming Coordinator offers
expansive freedoms mixed with chaotic pleasures.
Cucalorus seeks an outgoing, inventive, and detail-oriented human for the position of Programming Coordinator to support curatorial activities that shape the annual film festival, residency program, and other artistic missions launched from Jengo’s Playhouse in Wilmington, North Carolina. The Cucalorus Programming Coordinator manages communications with artists while orchestrating the annual submission and selection process for the Film Festival, Stage Experience, and Connect Conference. The Programming Coordinator works with thousands of filmmakers and more than 50 programmers to create the perfect fusion of unexpected satire, cheeky humor, insurgent rebellion, and liberating revelation.

The Programming Coordinator will work closely with the Chief Instigating Officer and other staff to plan this fall’s 23rd Annual Cucalorus Festival. The Programming Coordinator must enjoy watching movies and be open to travel, adventure, and occasional bouts of mischief. Cucalorus is a highly creative and collaborative environment with a deep respect for artists and high standards for integrity.

The ideal candidate will have some working knowledge of Filemaker Pro and have at least three years experience in the film festival industry. The Programming Coordinator is responsible for managing support staff, including volunteers and interns who support the substantial work of managing the programming database. Candidate must live in Wilmington, NC or be willing to relocate.

Compensation is based on experience and could include housing on the Jengo’s Campus. Position is one of four full-time salaried jobs with Cucalorus.

To apply for the position, please submit a cover letter, resume, and a haiku poem about your favorite movie in a single email with the Subject Heading “Best Job Ever” to development@cucalorus.org. Applications will be accepted through Friday, May 19, 2017 and the Programming Coordinator position will begin immediately after the candidate is selected.

Rekindling the Forgotten Flames of History – Cucalorus Screens Wilmington On Fire

Cucalorus is screening the documentary Wilmington On Fire this Saturday, March 25th at Portia Mills Hines Park as part of our Pop-Up Cinema Series. The evening will begin around 6pm with free hot dogs and popcorn, and tunes from Bigg B and the Coast 97.3 truck, followed by the screening at 8pm.

Event Photo3

 

In preparation for one of the most impactful movies to come out of Wilmington, we sat down with the Director – Christopher Everett – for an exclusive interview. If you’d like to meet Christopher and ask further questions, Cucalorus is hosting a discussion the day after the screening, March 26th at 4pm at Jengo’s Playhouse (815 Princess St).


 

Cucalorus:  What inspired you to make Wilmington On Fire?

Christopher Everett: I was inspired to make Wilmington on Fire after I heard about the history back in 2008. I saw that the Black perspective was never a part of the conversation when people would discuss the 1898 massacre, so that made me want to tell the story from a different perspective and I felt the best way to truly tell this story was through a documentary medium.

 

Cucalorus: What lasting impact does the Wilmington Insurrection of 1898 have on Wilmington today?

Christopher Everett: The lasting impact of the Wilmington Massacre on the city of Wilmington today is all around. The lack of growth of the city since 1898, the lack of Black-owned businesses and wealth within the Black community, and the lack of Black political power within the city are all lasting effects from the 1898 massacre.

 

Cucalorus: While making the film, were people generally open to discussing the Wilmington Insurrection of 1898 or was there still some resistance to confronting that history?

Christopher Everett: When filming, I had a few people that were hesitant, but only about being on camera and sharing stories and the history on camera. They were very open in wanting to discuss everything, but some didn’t want to be on camera. But for the most part, the descendants, historians, activists and researchers that we interviewed were willing to share everything they knew.

 

Cucalorus: Why do you think America’s only coup d’etat has such a low profile in our history?

Christopher Everett: I think this history has had a low profile in North Carolina because it’s one of the main reasons why we have so many racial problems within the state; plus it’s been a badge of shame for all of these years. But I’ve noticed that more places outside of North Carolina actually teach this history and know this history. It goes back to what Larry Thomas (who’s in Wilmington on Fire) always says.. “The secret is, there is no secret.”

 

Cucalorus: What do you hope Wilmington On Fire accomplishes?

Christopher Everett: I hope it accomplishes a lot of things. One thing that I hope it accomplishes is to recreate another 1898 commission and a serious one that will investigate more in regards to making a case for reparations. And another thing I hope it can do is to force the state of NC to incorporate learning about this history in our school system.


For more info about the screening, check out the Facebook event HERE.

Thanks to contributing writer Winston Orzechowski.

Party Like It’s 1984!

Dystopian Vistas and Fabulous Dancing in Wilmington

RealLifeTestPoster

The NYC based immersive dance company Motion Picture Show came to Wilmington to give us REAL LIFE TEST – a theatrical experience unlike anything you’ve ever seen. 13,000 square feet of the finest downtown Wilmington real estate was completely transformed into an Orwellian game of choose-your-own-adventure. The cast includes Broadway veterans along with UNCW faculty and students. Big Brother danced his way through Wilmington March 1st-5th! 

Cucalorus sat down for a Q&A with the performance’s director – Nick Kepley – to give you an exclusive look into the show. We’re nice like that. To get fully indoctrinated, grab a friend and attend this week! Remember – we’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

Cucalorus: How did you come up with the idea for Real Life Test/How long have you been working on it?Nick Kepley: We’ve been working on REAL LIFE TEST for almost a year. The initial inspiration came from the concept of gender roles in society and a questioning of why we feel the need to define our sexuality in any capacity. From there we started to incorporate themes from 1984 and decided to set the work in a futuristic society where power and control are very much in flux.

Cucalorus: What inspired you to choose to base it off 1984?

Nick Kepley: We were searching for a narrative to serve as a jumping off point for us. Since the work is told purely through movement, it helps to have a story that most people can walk in knowing or at least understanding the basic themes. At the time we initially started building the show, the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election was still very much up for grabs. Since November, I feel like the power and importance of telling this story has only grown.

Cucalorus: What are you hoping audiences take away?

Nick Kepley: My greatest hope is that people will just give themselves permission to get completely lost and carried away in the world of the show. Whether it’s the story, the dance, the set installation or the music, there’s really something for everyone to enjoy. We’ve purposely designed the show in such a way that it’s basically impossible to follow the story in a narrative fashion from start to finish. So rather than stressing out too much about “understanding it,” I hope they just let themselves enjoy the dreaminess of it all and let it transport them.

Cucalorus: What are some other shows (if any) that inspired Real Life Test?

Nick Kepley: I’m a huge fan of immersive theatre in general. The first time I saw Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More, it truly changed my life. I’m also a big fan of Third Rail Projects’ shows. Any time you can shake up the norm and knock the audience out of their comfort zone, I’m all for it!

Cucalorus: Is there anything you’d like readers to know before going in?

Nick Kepley: Just keep an open mind and enjoy yourself! We’re performing artists so our goal is to entertain first and foremost. Have fun!

Thanks to contributing writer Winston Orzechowski.