Lifetime Achievement: On Friday, Aug. 26, Duke Ellington School of the Arts announced via Twitter that the school’s dance chair, Charles Augins, has been nominated to receive the Black British Theatre Lifetime Achievement Award this October. In 1991, Augins received a Laurence Olivier Award for directing and choreographing Five Guys Named Moe. The Virginia native has worked with numerous dance companies including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Suzanne Farrell Ballet. (For all us millennial Labyrinth fans, Augins also voiced one of the side characters in Jim Henson’s 1986 film, according to IMDB!)
Short But Not Small: Today, DC Shorts International Film Festival announced its 2022 lineup, featuring a total of 94 films from 29 counties, including three world premieres. Of the films showcased, 51 were made by women filmmakers. The event, back for its 19th year at a new venue—Alamo Drafthouse Cinema—returns Sept. 8 and runs through Sept. 11 with filmmaker talkbacks, workshops, panel discussions, and special parties for all. Of the 94 films, 77 will screen live, while the remaining 17 will be available online only through Sept. 12 (all 94 films can be watched virtually). The internationally recognized film fest features genres from drama to animation, documentary to arthouse, LGBTQ to thriller and horror. Films range from two to 30 minutes each, and are presented in 90- to 120-minute blocks—many of the showcases are followed by Q&As with filmmakers. The filmmaker workshops include the Art of Make-Up, Entertainment Law 101 for Filmmakers, and Immersive Storytelling. And Saturday evening’s panel will focus on representation and diversity in film and production.
DMV Represent: Chad L. Coleman, the Richmond-bred actor known for his roles in The Wire (Dennis “Cutty” Wise), The Walking Dead (Tyreese), and various films, has been named ambassador of the Prince George’s Film Festival. Among his many duties as ambassador, Coleman will be part of this year’s opening night reception where he’ll talk about his career and host a short film screening. Known for celebrating cinematic arts, the 2022 PGFF runs from Thursday, Sept. 22 through Sunday, Sept. 25, and will include onsite film screenings featuring filmmakers, artists, industry professionals, and film lovers. Over the four days, attendees can also attend workshops, panel discussions, networking events, keynote talks, and virtual screenings as well as an outdoor digital art exhibition. Coleman, who grew up in Richmond and whose mother and sisters once called D.C. home, studied acting with Howard University Professor Emeritus Vera Katz and has performed with Shakespeare Theatre Company and at Arena Stage. “I’m honored to serve as the first ambassador of the Prince George’s Film Festival, which I know will become one of the County’s most exciting and anticipated cultural attractions,” Coleman said in a statement announcing his new role at PGFF. “I couldn’t be more excited to engage with independent filmmakers and highlight Prince George’s County as a burgeoning filmmaking destination.” The actor currently stars in Seth MacFarlane’s dramedy series The Orville. He concluded, “To be very clear, I am the DMV, and that includes Prince George’s County.”
Back East: As the National Gallery Nights program returns to the East Building, the museum is celebrating with its first fall evening event, Homecoming. Expected to “sell out”—the event is free, but tickets are required—Homecoming will feature pop-up talks on current exhibitions including The Double: Identity and Difference in Art since 1900, an interactive performance blending classical music, toy piano, and electronics from Chromic Duo followed by DJ Heat, drawing with live models, as well as food trucks and pop-up bars. The event takes place Sept. 8, but registration opens this Thursday at noon.
End on a Go-Go Note: This Saturday, Sept. 3, concludes the 50th anniversary of the beloved Fort Dupont Park Summer Event Series, also known as Summer Music Festival in the Park. Experience Unlimited fronted by Sugar Bear will headline the wrap party with support from Blacc Print Experience Band, DJ Rico, and others. Since the series began in 1972, it’s been bringing people together to celebrate the city’s musical culture and community.
Fun Home, New Home: After 14 years and a confusing end to its time at Source Theatre, Washington Improv Theater has found a new home. On Aug. 24, WIT announced a yearlong residency at Studio Theatre, where the company will also celebrate its 25th anniversary with six productions throughout the season, in addition to their weekly Harold Night Series. The partnership came about earlier this year when Studio Theatre’s executive director, Rebecca Ende Lichtenberg, reached out to Mark Chalfant, WIT’s artistic director, regarding sharing space. “We are delighted that Studio Theatre can provide this space for WIT, especially this year, as they celebrate their 25th anniversary,” Lichtenberg said in a press release. The upcoming season kicks off on Sept. 30 with Playing it by Ear, a show that mixes improv with musical theater. “The opportunity to put up our performances at Studio is a true dream,” said Chalfant. “Our dire situation in March allowed us to be open to new opportunities and I was thrilled when Studio reached out. I can’t wait to celebrate our 25th year in this world-class theater, and we’ve got such an exciting season planned.”
51 Is Better Than 50: Glen Echo Park’s annual Labor Day Art Show may have celebrated 50 years in 2021, but it’s their 51st event, happening Sept. 3 through 5, that’s making headlines as the biggest yet. This year, the showcases will feature more than 300 artists—more than ever before—from the Washington area and beyond. Katey Boerner, the executive director of the Glen Echo Park Partnership—the group responsible for presenting the event, noted in the press release that, “the Labor Day Art Show has connected artists with the community for more than half a century. Some local artists have been submitting work for many years, but we also have so many new artists each year as well.” The 2022 event will have more than 700 works on exhibit, including sculpture, painting, ceramics, jewelry, photography, and furniture, and many will be buyable. The free art show kicks off Friday, Sept. 2 with a reception and runs daily over the weekend from noon to 6 p.m.