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Documentary Film Highlights MCES's Our TownBy Gabriel NathanDevelopment Specialist and Our Town Stage Director
Typically, the production of a play is an emotionally and physically taxing endeavor and, when it's all over, there is nothing but a bare theatre and the audience, cast and crew's memories of the experience.
Fortunately for MCES, Our Town will last a lot longer than that, thanks to a film crew headed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Glenn Holsten. In addition to many other projects, Glenn creates short documentary films for the website OC87 Recovery Diaries, which features positive, enriching and engaging stories about mental health recovery. The site was founded by Bud Clayman, whose foundation financed MCES's production of Our Town.
On December 17, just three days before Our Town opened to the public at Building 33, Glenn and his film crew attended and filmed the entirety of that evening's dress rehearsal, and filmed several interviews with cast members. Glenn and his team spent countless hours editing the footage from that rehearsal and created a beautiful, 7-minute documentary film about MCES's production of Our Town. The film is a moving tribute to the intrepid mental health professionals at MCES who worked so hard to create this memorable and beautiful play for the community, and for each other.
The Our Town documentary may be viewed here. There you will not only see the film, but a touching write up about the play that also includes some of the excellent still photography of MCES Assistant Crisis Director Paul Butler. I encourage all of you to go visit the OC87 Recovery Diaries site and enjoy Glenn's film, share it with everybody and anybody you can, and keep the message of Our Town close to your heart.
With 40 years of experience in psychiatric emergencies and mental health crises, MCES will be making good use of that knowledge and understanding in a blog. The blog will feature the diverse and skilled voices of MCES staff members writing about a variety of topics related to mental health, wellness, recovery, suicide prevention, and commenting on pertinent issues in the psychiatric community.
MCES's blog will also be a great way to keep connected to the community, and keep the public updated and informed about goings-on within the hospital and the services we provide. MCES's blog can be found from the MCES website homepage and will be updated once a week. Stay on the lookout for valuable information and thoughtful commentary from MCES staff.
Click here for the MCES blog
Since its now well-established inpatient concert series began in June of 2014, MCES has played host to a GRAMMY-nominated flutist, a forty-piece concert band, a fifty-member choir, and a folk music legend who traveled from his New Hampshire home to pluck and strum for our patients and staff.
The first MCES concert event of 2015 was a lovely hour of great music provided by three excellent musicians from Opera North, Inc. Vivian Fairfax, coloratura soprano, Dan Lickteig, baritone, and accompanist Pasquale Montenegro entertained and moved staff and patients with their beautiful renditions of pieces by Mozart, Puccini, Gershwin, and other composers of great works of opera.
Click here to view the performances
These talented performers, however, explored other musical areas, including operetta, giving a playful nod to Gilbert and Sullivan, and musical theatre, singing songs from "The Phantom of the Opera", "Les Miserables", and "The Most Happy Fella." Ms. Fairfax and Mr. Lickteig provided brief, informative introductions to each song, putting them into historical and plot context for those in attendance.
Opera North, Inc. is the oldest African American opera company in Pennsylvania, presenting full-scale productions, recitals, concerts, and engaging in a wide variety of outreach and educational programming throughout the region.
This concert was made possible by a generous grant from the Clayman Family Foundation. In mid-February, MCES will proudly welcome back the first performer to make music at MCES: renowned percussionist Doc Gibbs!
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