Best Picture Weekend, legendary glass art, Afrofuturism, and the ripple

The BSR Weekly Arts and Culture Roundup, February 22-28, 2024

3 minute read
Stankard wears dark protective eyewear, using fire from a torch to shape glass in a laboratory setting
South Jersey’s Paul J. Stankard has over 60 years of glass art experience. (Photo courtesy of Perkins Center for the Arts.)

If you didn’t catch any of the films listed for Best Picture, now’s your chance to see them all again, all at once, this weekend. Then, catch some glass making and a new documentary chronicling the life of a legendary South Jersey-based glass paperweight artist. Engage with Black stories through an Afrofuturism workshop, a new reading series from Run Boy Run Productions, and a regional premiere at People’s Light. There’s also the return of Yes! And… Collaborative Arts’s annual Winter Sort of Thing festival.

Stay warm, Philly!

the ripple, the wave that carried me home
February 21-March 24, 2024
People’s Light, 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern

People’s Light will present the regional premiere of the ripple, the wave that carried me home, the award-winning play about justice, legacy, and one family’s fight to integrate public swimming pools in the 1960s and 1970s.

Winter Sort of Thing
February 22-25, 2024
Yes! And…, 21 West Washington Lane, Philadelphia

Yes! And… Collaborative Arts’s annual winter tradition is back. This year, it’s giving new life to its 2021 digital production (remember quarantine and social distancing?), Be Careful What You Wish For, a musical about siblings Prometheus and Abel who try to bring color into their lives during the early human days on the earth. If you can’t make it out or if you’re feeling curious, the digital production is also available online. The Winter Sort of Thing doesn’t stop there and has a variety of events for children and their families.

Reading in Black
February 22-24, 2024, 7:30pm
Plays & Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Street, Philadelphia

Run Boy Run Productions introduces Reading in Black, a stage reading series celebrating the history of Black theater, writers, and actors. Three shows are on deck, including Topdog/Underdog, the 2001 off-Broadway play written by American playwright Suzan-Lori Parks that delves into the complexities of the adult lives of two African American brothers as they grapple with poverty, racism, employment, relationships, and their challenging upbringings. Eclipsed is set in the midst of the tumultuous Liberian Civil War, and a new play from Run Boy Run Productions.

Best Picture Weekend
February 23-25, 2024, various times
Philadelphia Film Center, 1412 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia

This weekend, the Philadelphia Film Center screens the Best Picture nominees—see them all for one price. Barbie, Oppenheimer, Maestro, Killers of the Flower Moon, Anatomy of a Fall, Poor Things, Past Lives (my personal pick out of this bunch), American Fiction, The Holdovers, and The Zone of Interest will light up the big screen.

Paul J. Stankard: Flower and Flame
Saturday, February 24, 1-5:30pm
Perkins Center for the Arts, 30 Irvin Avenue, Collingswood

South Jersey-based glass paperweight artist Paul J. Stankard comes to the Perkins Center for a glass-making demonstration and artist talk this weekend. Stankard has more than 60 years of experience under his belt and has gained plenty of international acclaim along the way. In addition to the glass-making demonstration, a new documentary film capturing his life’s work will screen.

Liberation through Afrofuturism
Sunday, February 25, 3-5pm
Germantown Mennonite Church, 21 West Washington Lane, Philadelphia

This free workshop geared towards families, community members, and educators celebrates the genre through the art of teaching. Explore strategies for creation and curation of Afrofuturism art through literature, visual, and performance, and check out four short films by members of SIFTMedia 215 Collective, Sisters in Film and Television, a cooperative that centers Black and Latinx women-identified independent media artists who work in Philadelphia.

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