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From May 10, 2007...
Enrollment in the Birmingham school system has sharply declined over the last few decades, resulting in millions of dollars lost in state funding each year. The school system is again on the brink of a financial crisis, leaving some programs such as the fine arts on shaky ground. Gigi Douban has the story of two Birmingham fine arts educators who press on in spite of the challenges.
Award-winning playwright Martin McDonagh is taking Birmingham by storm. City Equity Theatre opens its second season later this month with "The Cripple of Inishmaan" and this weekend Theatre Downtown hold the Birmingham premier of the Irish playwright's dark comedy "The Pillowman". "The Pillowman" opened on Broadway in late 2004 to rave reviews, boasting a cast that included Billy Crudup, Jeff Goldblum, and Tony nominee Michael Stahlburg. It's set in a totalitarian society and tells the story of a writer who find himself blindfolded in a room being interrogated by two detectives who suspect a link between the writer's short stories and a series of child murders in town. Child murder? Comedy? Director Billy Ray Brewton and actors Brad Riegel and Richard Scott tell WBHM's Tanya Ott the show is sometimes frightening, sometimes shocking, but always entertaining.
Director Billy Ray Brewton and actors Brad Riegel and Richard Scott, talking with WBHM's Tanya Ott. Theatre Downtown's production of The Pillowman runs through May 20th at the Virginia Samford Theater in Birmingham.
The acoustic music scene in Birmingham has a wealth of talent - with acts like The Great Book of John, Duquette Johnston and Valley Creek Bluegrass making a name for themselves. But there's one big problem - there aren't many venues for acoustic music, especially with the demise of the Moonlight Music Café in Vestavia. Hence, the creation of the Compound Folk Festival, held this weekend in Hoover. Organizer Gilbert Douglas tells WBHM's Rosemary Pennington the festival was the result of a happy accident.
To hear the audio portion of the Community Calendar from Tapestry, click here.
Want to know more? Activeculture.info is a one-stop source for finding out what's going on in the Birmingham metro area.
For a moment, take a well-known axiom and give it a little tweak:"Music is in the ear of the beholder." Keep on that theme as we listen to the experimental sounds, the electro-acoustic computer works of Dr. William Price... Doctor as in Ph.D., not M.D... But you may need an M.D. to check if your heart is still beating rhythmically when this is over. Dr. Price, an Assistant Professor of Music Theory at UAB, takes sounds and instruments and pre-recorded music and feeling -- and he shapes it all into modern-chaotic-jams. He's performed nationally and internationally and won praise for his pieces. Here's "Let Freedom Ring", from a recent sampler disc, on Tapestry. (AUDIO MONTAGE)
William Price's "Let Freedom Ring," electro-acoustic computer works from a sampler CD. Price is Assistant Professor of Music Theory at UAB and lives in Jemison. He performs with the Birmingham Art Music Alliance on June 3rd at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham.
Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott, Michael Krall and Hunter Bell with help this week from Francesca Rosko, Rosemary Pennington, Gigi Douban and Steve Chiotakis. I'm Greg Bass and we'll see you next week!