Growing pleasures: your guide to new things at Cucalorus 24


Growing pleasures: your guide to new things at Cucalorus 24

By Dan Brawley, Chief Instigating Officer at Cucalorus

The filmmakers lounge is gone!
Visual/Sound/Walls got eaten by sharks!

Okay, these things only happened in a fever dream that I had a few months ago, so don’t worry, all your favorite Cucalorus treats will still be easy to find next week in downtown Wilmington. But many of your favorite spots are moving around the corner and down the street. And some of them might have changed just a bit. So if you’re a Cucalorian coming back for year 12 or a first time festival attendee, here are a few tips to help you understand the creative maze of discovery and delight of Cucalorus 24.

The lounges are dating!?
The filmmakers lounge is a frisky one this year. She’s been dating the wellness lounge for a few months, doing yoga and drinking kombucha. So these two lovelies are joining forces this year to create the “Pegasorus Lounge.” Each morning you can roll in early for a cup of coffee, a smoothie or even a chair massage and some yoga. And then as the day moves on, you’ll slowly see our cocktail bar take over the kombucha station for an after-evening of spirits and Edward Teach brews. The Pegasorus Lounge will feature a few of our signature Cuctail recipes, courtesy of sponsors like Sombra Mezcal, Sutler’s Gin, TOPO Vodka and Kill Devil Rum. Fun fact: Cuctails is an official Mezcal Week event this year, which just happens to run from November 4-11!! Sip on that! (Ps – this may be the best reason ever to buy a Peg Pass – free drinks every day from 2pmish to 11pm!! Buy yours now before they sell out!)

The lounge and the ticketbox are moving!?
The biggest change for the filmmakers lounge is that its moving to Front Street to be next to its favorite friend the Ticketbox. Both of these festival sites are moving to CFCC’s Union Station building at 502 N Front Street, just a few blocks from our new host hotel the Embassy Suites!! I’m sure some of you might wonder “Why mess with a good thing?” And we spent many hours talking about the same thing at Main Brain and in board meetings. But the reality is, Cucalorus is growing and some of our critical functions needed a bigger pair of pants. This move has allowed us to offer you a new ticketing system, which we hope makes the box office experience much easier for everyone. So whether you need a cold one from the lounge or to pick up the Pegasorus pass you just bought online, go straight to Union Station and take the Cucalorus elevator to the 5th floor.

We know that the “Pegasorus Lounge” won’t have the same secret, social buzz as that sweet spot backstage at Thalian, so we’ve spread the lounge-love around by transforming Visual/Sound/Walls the party into Visual/Sound/Walls the lounge. We’re doing a wire transfer to shift some of the spiritual energy of the filmmakers lounge into the V/S/W lounge. And the rumors of Johnny Gray’s disappearance may be true. We’ve warned Peru and a few other target countries like California that he may be around. But for reals, Cucalorus owes a great gratitude to Mr. Grayballs for his weird and wonderful imaginings and for building Visual/Sound/Walls into such a coveted part of the festival experience. We can only hope that this year’s V/S/W lounge will bring you some hint of the curious fascination that Johnny Gray delivered over the years.

So what does that mean though?!
The Visual/Sound/Walls lounge is your multi-spirited venue, the heart of our Cucalorus Stage Festival where you can drop in during the day for a Cuctail and stay all night for a fringe-style showcase of experimental theatre, comedy, dance, and music from real good bands. We’ve still put together the year’s best music videos and they’ll be playing ALL DAY LONG on several screens. So you can drop in and immerse yourself at any time at the Visual/Sound/Walls lounge!! Oh yeah – its located at Whiskey Tango Foxtrot at 111 Grace Street – right between Union Station and Thalian Hall.

What about Thalian Hall?!
Well, we still have an outstanding lineup of film (and now theatre) hitting the main stage and the black box at Thalian. From the Fringe-World winner Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde starring Anna Stromberg to Erica Dunton’s latest feature film Abigail Falls, Thalian Hall is still the top spot for the festival’s biggest hits.

What is the Connect Theatre?!
Our technology conference, Cucalorus Connect, is growing in some exciting ways. The conference is organized into five fascinating tracks: FinTech, HealthTech, GigTech, Startups and the Community Brew. A host of new sponsors have joined us to fund and shape these programs, which will take place in one-half of the Daniels Hall Ballroom on the 5th floor of the Union Station building – right next to the Ticketbox. We’ll be building a world-class theatre for both Film and Connect events, with about 200 seats and a stadium style seating platform so that you’ll get a great view of speakers and films. On Thursday and Friday, the space will host our all-conference sessions, highlighted by Susan Ellis and Charlie Fink our keynote speakers for Connect’s main event. Don’t miss it!!

Connect Theatre has films!!
During the evenings and all day Saturday and Sunday, the Connect Theatre becomes our 5th screen – showcasing great films and including a mix of indie hits and documentaries. I suggest checking out The Biggest Little Farm on Saturday at 7:15pm in the Connect Theatre. It is one of the most uplifting docs I’ve seen in years and includes an unlikely friendship between a big hog and a scrappy rooster. The Connect Theatre will also host our infamous late night Convulsions program featuring Jonas Akerlund’s newest film Lords of Chaos. And for anyone need to pregame a Convulsions screening – the lounge is just a few feet away with all your favorite Cuctails.

Many of the changes this year are a result of your wonderful feedback and advice. We’re making every effort to make Cucalorus easier to navigate. Every narrative feature and every shorts block will play twice, making it easier to see all the films you’ve been reading about. And with our new hub on Front Street, you’re just a bit closer to Wilmington’s amazing restaurant and bar scene. On Sunday, you can even catch a few festival films (like Wild Nights with Emily or Don’t Get Trouble in Your Mind) at the Cameron Art Museum. If you need any help at all navigating the festival layout this year, visit, call our ticketbox at 343-5995, or drop by Jengo’s Playhouse – we love to chat!