Philly gardens, ‘Making Micheaux,’ ‘Sojourner,’ ‘Studio X-hibition’ decorate Mother’s Day weekend

4 minute read
Aaron Marcellus stars in Prospect Theater Company's 'Making Micheaux.' (Image by Brian Bon.)
Aaron Marcellus stars in Prospect Theater Company's 'Making Micheaux.' (Image by Brian Bon.)

The weather outside isn’t frightful anymore, and Philly is showing its green side with Go Public Garden Days and Love Your Park Week kicking off this weekend. Then, the Annenberg Center, Scribe Video Center, and Philadelphia Theater Company are screening an assortment of culturally impactful films. Happy Mother’s Day to you and yours!

Go Public Garden Days

It’s been nice outside, so why not pay a visit to one of Philadelphia’s dozens of public gardens? Greater Philadelphia Gardens, a collaborative that advocates for the city's centuries-long history of horticulture and stakes Philly's claim as "America's Garden Capital," is celebrating Go Public Garden Days, a national initiative highlighting public gardens throughout the US. Gardens around the city will host onsite tours, family-friendly activities, and other special events. Find out which of the 37 public gardens participating in the event online, which runs May 7 though 16.

Craft: An American History

The Carpenters’ Company, America’s oldest craft guild, is teaming up with CraftNOW Philadelphia for a virtual author talk with Glenn Adamson, the author of Craft: An American History. The book is billed as a “groundbreaking and endlessly surprising history” of American artisans and their influence on the country’s economic and social development. Check it out on Thursday, May 6, at 5:30pm.

Making Micheaux

The Philadelphia Theatre Company continues its virtual theater season with its presentation of Prospect Theater Company's musical, Making Micheaux. The 15-minute film is available for streaming now through May 16. The jazz musical is inspired by the life of America’s first major Black filmmaker, Oscar Micheaux. The film is free to stream.

Love Your Park Week

And if garden tours aren’t enough, the Fairmount Park Conservancy is kicking off its annual Love Your Park Week on Saturday, May 8, at 12pm at Tacony Creek Park. Running through May 16, the celebration features a variety of events including a scavenger hunt and volunteering opportunities.

Calle de la Resistencia

The Annenberg Center concludes its spring 2021 film series with Calle de la Resistencia. Directed by Denise Blasor, the film is a look at the struggle of nine Puerto Ricans whose lives were changed by Hurricane Maria, blending real-life footage with a staged musical production. Access is $10 and serves as a sneak preview to the upcoming Philadelphia Latino Film Festival. The film is available for screening for 24 hours starting on Saturday, May 8, at 7pm.


First World Theatre Ensemble will present an on-demand virtual production of Richard LaMonte Pierce’s Sojourner on May 10 through May 23. Teaming up with Quintessence Theatre Group, the stream will be presented as a full virtual production. The one-person show is about Sojourner Truth, the abolitionist and women’s rights activist who was born into slavery and escaped to the North and fought to tear down slavery in America. Stream it for $5.

Studio X-hibition

Theatre Exile’s Studio X-hibition series continues this year with The Ever Present, a reading commissioned by national bestselling author and playwright R. Eric Thomas. The family-friendly show centers on a group of residents discussing what to do with a vacant lot in their neighborhood, and debuts virtually on Monday, May 10, at 7pm. The Studio X-hibition series continues the following week with They’ll Neglect to Tell You — A Choreopoem by TS Hawkins on May 17. Both events are pay-what-you-wish.

Rea Tajiri film retrospective

Scribe Video Center serves up another intriguing curated screening beginning on Wednesday, May 12, at 7pm featuring Rea Tajiri. The acclaimed filmmaker who creates installation, documentary, experimental, and essay films, her work “advances the exploration of forgotten histories, multi-generational memory, landscape, and the Japanese American experience.” The Chicago-native now lives in Philadelphia, and one of the first films to screen is Off Limits, which interweaves the endings of two films, Off Limits, a 1988 cop movie set in Vietnam, and Easy Rider, an iconic 1969 film revealing the hopelessness of the “American dream.” The other films include Little Murders on Wednesday, and Yuri Kochiyama: Passion for Justice and Lordville will screen on Thursday and Friday respectively. Each film screening is $5.

Image Description: Aaron Marcellus stands with his arms out, his back to the camera. His head is tilted back. It appears he's singing emphatically. A white light shines in the background, but the rest of the image is dim, like it takes place in a darkened theater space.

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