Sunday, October 7 • 3 p.m.
700 Terrace Heights
Winona, MN 55987
$24 senior citizens and students (18 and up)
$18 youth (17 and under)
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Manual Cinema: The End of TV
Manual Cinema combines handmade shadow puppetry, cinematic techniques, and innovative sound and music to create immersive stories for stage and screen. Using vintage overhead projectors, multiple screens, puppets, actors, live feed cameras, multi-channel sound design, and a live music ensemble, Manual Cinema transforms the experience of attending the cinema and imbues it with liveness, ingenuity, and theatricality.
The End of TV depicts the decline of an American rust belt city through the stories of Flo and Louise, both residents of a fictional Midwestern town. Flo is an elderly white woman who was once a supervisor at the thriving local auto plant; now succumbing to dementia, her memories of her life are tangled with television commercials and the “call now” demands of QVC. Louise, a young black woman laid off from her job when the same local auto plant closes, meets Flo when she takes a job as a Meals-on-Wheels driver. The two women begin an unlikely relationship as Flo approaches the end of her life and Louise prepares for the invention of a new one. Their story is intercut with commercials and TV programs that are the constant background of their environment.
Set in a post-industrial Rust Belt city in the 1990’s, The End of TV explores the quest to find meaning amongst the constant barrage of commercial images designed to sell us lifestyles in the interest of selling us junk. The two sides of the American Dream — its technicolor promise as delivered through TV advertising, and its failure witnessed in the dark outcome of industrial decline — are staged in cinematic shadow puppetry and lo-fi live video feeds with flat paper renderings of commercial products. The show is driven by a sweeping song cycle performed live by a 5 piece band.
Following the performance, audience members are invited to explore the Manual Cinema set and puppets, and interact with the cast. Audience members are also invited to attend a post-performance discussion with representatives of Winona’s Dementia Friendly Community initiative, the Winona Friendship Center, Catholic Charities, and Manual Cinema.
This presentation of The End of TV is made possible with funding by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project, with lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
One of the great joys of any Manual Cinema production is to watch the madcap, kinetic activity of the performers as they make a movie come into being in front of our eyes.
The End of TV‘s artistry is awesome. Its impact is profound, unique, indescribable.