Friday, May 16, 2014

Wanda’s Picks Radio Show, Friday, May 16, 2014 8-10:59 a.m. PST

Michael Lange (director and actor, role: Hon. Elijah Muhammad) and Kreshenda Jenkins (Sister Betty X) join us to talk about Larry "Americ" Allen's The Expulsion of Malcolm X, opening March 23 at Laney College's Odell Johnson theatre in Oakland, directed by Michael Lange.

Michael Lange, actor, director and filmmaker, is best known for his portrayal as a Malcolm X delineator, having performed the fiery freedom fighter and orator’s speeches nationally on stage since early 1990. He has directed two award-winning plays, ‘Ceremonies in Dark Old Men’ (Best Play Award) and ‘The Old Settler’ (Best Director). As a playwright, he wrote the play ‘Prophet Nat’, a musical docudrama based on the life of slave-prophet Nat turner. Currently, he is on the faculty at San Jose State University, where he has taught since 1998. Lange continues to write and perform for stage and film, and lives in Oakland, California.

Kreshenda Jenkins (Sister Betty X), a thespian at heart, has always had a passion for performing arts.  She started acting on stage at the age of 15 and although she took a hiatus for some time she is back and ready to play her role as “Betty X” for a second time.

We close with a conversation with Rachel Caplan, Founder & Executive Director of the San Francisco Green Film Festival and Bill Morrison, director, The Great Flood, USA, 2013, 80 min, screens Sunday, June 1, at The Little Roxie and Leah Mahan, director, and Derrick Christopher Evans, subject in the film, Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek, USA, 2013, 56 min., screens Saturday, May 31, at the Roxie Theatre, followed by a panel discussion.

Laney College theatre 900 Fallon Street in Oakland. Lake Merritt BART
Friday May 23 @ 7:30 pm 
Saturday May 24 @ 7:30 
Thursday, May 29 @ 7:30
Friday, May 30 @ 7:30
Saturday, May 31 @ 2:30 matinee
Saturday, May 31 @ 7:30

Guest Bios:
Christina Anderson was the National New Play Network Playwright-in-Residence at Magic Theatre in 2011.  Her plays include DripHollow RootsBlacktop SkyInked Baby, and Man in Love. Her work has been produced by or developed with Steppenwolf Theater, Playwrights Horizon, Crowded Fire, American Conservatory Theatre, About Face Theatre, The Public Theater, Penumbra and other theaters all over the country. Awards and honors include the ASCAP Cole Porter Prize (Yale School of Drama), Schwarzman Legacy Scholarship awarded by Paula Vogel, Susan Smith Blackburn nomination, Lorraine Hansberry Award (American College Theater Festival), Van Lier Playwriting Fellowship (New Dramatists), Wasserstein Prize nomination (Dramatists Guild), Lucille Lortel Fellowship (Brown University). She is a Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center, and American Theatre Magazine selected Anderson as one of fifteen up-and-coming artists “whose work will be transforming America’s stages for decades to come.” Born and raised in Kansas City, KS, she obtained her B.A. from Brown University and an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama’s Playwriting Program.
The Magic Theatre is delighted to celebrate the return of Magic’s 2011 Playwright in Residence, Christina Anderson, with the world premiere of PEN/MAN/SHIP. The production is directed by Magic Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director Ryan Guzzo Purcell and will run May 21 – June 15, 2014 at Magic Theatre, Fort Mason Center, Building D, 3rd Floor. 

For tickets call: 415-441-8822 or visit

Featured Guests: The 4th Annual San Francisco Green Festival, May 29-June 4

Rachel Caplan ~ Founder and Executive Director, San Francisco Green Film Festival, celebrating its fourth year; the SFGF returns May 29th through June 4th to showcase films and events that spotlight the world’s most urgent environmental issues and most innovative solutions, this year thematically connected to Water in the West.  See

Caplan is passionate about how environmentally-focused films & media can be used to engage the public in many different ways, through screenings, discussions, events, education programs, and online tools. In 2011, I launched the San Francisco Green Film Festival – to present forward-thinking programs of films and discussions that inspire collaborative environmental action. The Festival is also committed to working with corporate and non-profit partners to produce innovative pairings of film with other arts and green activities.

She has seventeen years experience in film exhibition and distribution including work for the Edinburgh, London and San Francisco International Film Festivals and as a film publicist with Intermedia and United International Pictures (handling international theatrical campaigns for Paramount, Universal, and DreamWorks). From 2007-2009, I was Festival Director for the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival, the first and largest showcase for ocean related films in North America. The vision for the Green Film Festival grew out of this work and to fill the need for a dynamic forum for sharing diverse environmental stories in the city that’s at the forefront of the global Green movement.

Caplan has a Masters degree in Cinema & Television Studies from the British Film Institute (BFI). I have been a voting member of BAFTA since 2000 and served as Board Treasurer for Bay Area Women in Film & Media 2008-2011. I’m most likely to be found in one of the city’s many excellent cinemas or parks. Follow @rachelsf.

Bill Morrison, (born in Chicago, November 17, 1965) is a New York-based filmmaker and artist, best known for his experimental collage film Decasia (2002). He is a member of Ridge Theater and the founder of Hypnotic Pictures. He attended Reed College 1983-85, and graduated from Cooper Union School of Art in 1989 (wikipedia).

The Great Flood, dir. Bill Morrison, USA, 2013, 80 min, screens Sunday, June 1, at The Little Roxie

“The Mississippi River Flood of 1927 was the most destructive river flood in American history. In the spring of 1927, the river broke out of its earthen embankments in 145 places and inundated 27,000 square miles. Part of its legacy was the forced exodus of displaced sharecroppers, who left plantation life and migrated to Northern cities, adapting to an industrial society with its own set of challenges.

“Musically, the Great Migration fueled the evolution of acoustic blues to electric blues bands that thrived in cities like Memphis, Detroit and Chicago becoming the wellspring for R&B and rock as well as developing jazz styles.

“THE GREAT FLOOD is a collaboration between filmmaker and multimedia artist Bill Morrison and guitarist and composer Bill Frisell inspired by the 1927 catastrophe. “In the spring of 2011, as the Mississippi River was again flooding to levels not seen since 1927, Frisell, Morrison, and the band traveled together from New Orleans, through Vicksburg, Clarksdale, Memphis, Davenport, Iowa, St. Louis and on up to Chicago.

“For the film, Morrison scoured film archives, including the Fox Movietone Newsfilm Library and the National archives, for footage of the Mississippi River Flood. All film documenting this catastrophe was shot on volatile nitrate stock, and what footage remains is pock marked and partially deteriorated. The degraded filmstock figures prominently in Morrison's aesthetic with distorted images suggesting different planes of reality in the story-those lived, dreamt, or remembered.

“For the score, Frisell has drawn upon his wide musical palette informed by elements of American roots music, but refracted through his uniquely evocative approach that highlights essential qualities of his thematic focus. Playing guitar, Frisell is joined by Tony Scherr on bass, Kenny Wollesen on drums and Ron Miles on trumpet” (

Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek
Derrick Evans (subject)
Derrick Christopher Evans is a sixth-generation native of coastal Mississippi’s historic African-American community of Turkey Creek, founded in 1866. He earned his bachelor's and master’s degrees from Boston College, where he taught civil rights history as an adjunct professor from 1992 to 2005. Evans also taught middle-school American history and social studies in the Boston public school system from 1991 to 2001 and taught history and African-American studies at Roxbury Community College. In 1997, Evans co-founded Epiphany School, a full-service and tuition-free independent middle school for low-income children and families from Boston neighborhoods.

Evans is the co-founder of the Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health, which directs financial, technical and collegial support to grassroots community groups addressing the region’s challenges of poverty, racism, gender inequality and environmental destruction. He is also the co-founder of Turkey Creek Community Initiatives, which works to conserve and restore the culture and ecology of the Turkey Creek community and watershed.

In 2010, Evans worked with filmmaker Leah Mahan and the Gulf Coast Fund to launch BRIDGE THE GULF, an interactive Web-based platform for community advocates, journalists and storytellers. Evans' efforts to protect Turkey Creek are told in Mahan's documentary Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek.

Leah Mahan (director)
Leah’s film Sweet Old Song (2002) was featured on the PBS series P.O.V. and was selected by film critic Roger Ebert to be screened at his Overlooked Film Festival (“Ebertfest”). The film tells the story of Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong, an old-time string band musician who undertakes a bittersweet journey with the woman he loves. In 2013 she completed Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek, about a group of determined Mississippians who struggle to save their endangered Gulf Coast community in the face of rampant development, industrial pollution and disaster. She worked with Gulf Coast NGOs to develop a related community journalism project titled BRIDGE THE GULF. Leah began her career as a research assistant for filmmaker Henry Hampton on the groundbreaking PBS series on the civil rights movement Eyes on the Prize. A sequel to her first film, Holding Ground: The Rebirth of Dudley Street (1996), was completed in 2013. The films tell the story of a vibrant community organization that transforms a devastated Boston neighborhood through grassroots organizing.

Leah’s work has been supported by the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund, Independent Television Service, Ford Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation. She holds a BA in anthropology from Cornell University and an MFA in Cinema from San Francisco State University. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their two children.

Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek, dir. Leah Mahan, USA, 2013, 56 min., screens Saturday, May 31, at the Roxie Theatre, followed by a panel discussion
Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek follows the painful but inspiring journey of Derrick Evans, a Boston teacher who returns to his native coastal Mississippi when the graves of his ancestors are bulldozed to make way for the sprawling city of Gulfport. Derrick is consumed by the effort to protect the community his great grandfather’s grandfather settled as a former slave. He is on the verge of a breakthrough when Hurricane Katrina strikes the Gulf Coast. After years of restoration work to bring Turkey Creek back from the brink of death, the community gains significant federal support for cultural and ecological preservation. Derrick plans to return to Boston to rebuild the life he abandoned, but another disaster seals his fate as a reluctant activist. On the day Turkey Creek is featured in USA Today for the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the Deepwater Horizon rig explodes.

SFGFFThe festival is excited to have the Roxie Theater in San Francisco as a new venue for its programming. The Opening Night Reception and Premiere will be at the Aquarium of the Bay, on the Embarcadero, to launch this year’s Festival theme: Water in the West. Additional films will be at the Koret Auditorium at the San Francisco Public Library Main Branch on 100 Larkin Street. For tickets and information please visit, email, or call 415-552-5580415-552-5580.

Show link:


Post a Comment

<< Home