While public gatherings have been on pause, exciting original artistry has safely taken place in Johnson City. Goodwill Theatre, Inc. collaborated with NYC’s award-winning Prospect Theater Company, whose mission is to create and present original musical theater works by emerging artists. In response to safety concerns, Prospect created their new VISION Series, which features six short original music and theatre films, from a variety of writers, composers, and other artists. Four pieces were filmed on location during a September residency at the historic Goodwill Theatre and Firehouse building in Johnson City. The first short film, The Band at the End of the World, is scheduled for release tomorrow (October 21, 2020).
“We’ve had a long and rewarding relationship with Prospect Theatre Company. When we heard they were thinking of creating a series of videos but needed a space to create in, we were happy to open our doors,” said Naima Kradjian, Goodwill Theatre CEO. “The Goodwill Theatre building, which turns 100 years old this year, was the perfect space to allow for social distancing while creating. We followed all the protocols of SAG-AFTRA, compete with a regular schedule of COVID-19 testing and onsite monitoring.”
Goodwill Theatre, Inc. and Prospect Theater Company have been collaborating since 2007 with a reading of Sacagawea. Collaborative projects have also included the staged readings of The Flood, Marco Polo, Evergreen, and most recently the musical The Hello Girls, which later went on to a successful Off-Broadway run.
During Prospect’s September residency at the Goodwill Theatre, health and safety requirements were generously sponsored by United Health Services, including regular COVID testing under the guidance of Health Safety Supervisor, RN Megan Farmer.
“We were thrilled to welcome professional artists – many of whom are Broadway veterans – into our incredible space,” continued Kradjian. “When someone steps inside the Goodwill Theatre building for the first time, they always have a moment of awe, and these videos help to capture the magic of the building while offering a virtual tour of the space.” Three floors of the historic Firehouse were also used for filming.
Two of the films have strong ties to the Binghamton community. Suffragette Belva Lockwood, the subject of the short film Lady Lawyer Lockwood Rides Her Tricycle, operated a school in Owego, NY, which has since been transformed into the Belva Lockwood Inn. Angel Desai, the star of Lady Apsara, was raised in Binghamton, before becoming a Broadway, TV and film actress, vocalist and musician.
The Fall 2020 projects filmed during the Goodwill Theatre residency were:
- The Band at the End of the World, created by Bandits on the Run (Roy Dodger, Bonanza Jellyfish, and Clarissa) a.k.a. Adrian Blake Enscoe, Sydney Shepherd, and Regina Strayhorn. Directed by SRĐA, with cinematographer and editor Bart Cortright.
Description: In a post-apocalyptic world, three musicians discover an abandoned theater and strive to re-connect with humanity.
Anticipated Release Date: Wednesday, Oct. 21st
- Lady Lawyer Lockwood Rides Her Tricycle, written by Britt Bonney, directed by Cara Reichel. Director of Photography Gabrielle Mariella. Featuring Ali Ewoldt, Tina Stafford, Jacob Keith Watson, and Fiona Santos (who also serves as Music Director).
Description: Groundbreaking 19th-century American lawyer Belva Ann Lockwood, the first woman to argue a case before the Supreme Court, grapples with her decision to run for President of the US in the 1884 election.
Anticipated Release Date: Wednesday, Oct. 28th
- UNRAVELL’D, a thrilling movement narrative conceived and directed by Kristen Brooks Sandler, scored by Or Matias, with Director of Photography Sean Dolan. Choreography created by Thistle Dance / Kristen Brooks Sandler in collaboration with performers Morgana Mauney and Lucas P. Melfi.
Description: Lost in the labyrinth, with hope suspended by a single thread, Ariadne and Theseus desperately seek to find each other.
Anticipated Special Halloween Release Date: Friday, Oct. 30th
- Lady Apsara, book and lyrics by Naveen Bahar Choudhury, music by Kamala Sankaram. Directed by Zi Alikhan, with Directors of Photography Sean MacLaughlin and Brian Bon. Starring Angel Desai, and featuring Chris Cornwell, Shinya Miyamoto, and Debbie Christine Tjong.
Description: Apsara, a hard-working NYC actress whose identity is both Filipina and Indian, sings her way through a two-audition day… to an extraordinary conclusion.
Anticipated Release Date: Wednesday, Nov. 11th
Two additional commissions will be filmed by Prospect Theater Company in New York City this fall.