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In its third year, Wolf Tree Film Festival will showcase films set in the Great Lakes region or that include themes or topics related to the region, as well as the work of filmmakers who reside in or grew up in the Great Lakes region. The festival will be fully virtual and will include screenings of each selected film, a Q&A with select filmmakers, an awards presentation, and a filmmaker roundtable with industry professionals.
The Wolf Tree Film Festival is housed in historic Marshall, Michigan, a gorgeous small town with a vibrant artistic community. Hosted by the Franke Center for the Arts and Marshall’s Youngish Professionals Committee, the festival is held at Franke Center*, originally a church built in 1921, now an arts complex that is the proud home of world-class concerts, inspiring theater, and award-winning movies.
Lance Barber has the skills to play a wide range of television characters having appeared in numerous shows on the small screen since 2001. An alumnus of Chicago’s Second City, Lance played the role of Paulie G on HBO’s critically acclaimed, The Comeback, which The New York Times described as “among the great villains of television comedy.”
Previously, Lance had recurring roles on Black-ish, Faking It, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Californication, and United States of Tara, and he guest starred on Dr. Ken, Grey’s Anatomy, Justified, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Harry’s Law, Masters of Sex, The Crazy Ones, How I Met Your Mother, and as Jimmy Speckerman on The Big Bang Theory.
Recently, Lance appeared as Irwin in the feature film, Buster’s Mal Heart opposite Rami Malek. His earlier film credits include Gangster Squad, The Godfather of Greenbay, For Your Consideration, and Leatherheads.
Barber was born and raised in Battle Creek, Michigan. He began acting with his Pennfield High School Drama Club and later joined the theatre program at Kellogg Community College.
Why “Wolf Tree?” According to legend, the Wolf Tree was a lone, prominent tree that once stood in the middle of Marshall. The first settler in the area sought refuge in the heights of the tree as wolves and bears roamed the dirt lane and forest that would one day become the city’s downtown. Later, a platform was built in the large oak’s branches where it is said a sentry, seeking the faint glow of wolves’ eyes, would hunt, eager to protect the village from threats hidden in the darkness below. It is a wild history, a bold story, and a great homage to the films that will be featured at this exciting annual event.
Directed by Hugo Lacasse
Produced by Futur Media Inc.
An “Instababe” puts her physical and mental health on the line to compete against a younger, more popular rival.
Directed and Produced by Krista Davis, Jenny Zander
In February 2020, Sharon Day (Ojibwe) led a group of Water Walkers through the Arizona desert to walk for the Salt River. Through animation and live-shot footage, this documentary travels with the Salt River Water Walkers, describing this Indigenous-led ceremony as it creates community and builds relationships with the earth through the shared goal to care for the water.
Directed by Orlando Leroi
Produced by Marissa Duignan
After a brutal interaction with the police, a young black father’s search for freedom takes him beyond the limits of the atmosphere.
Directed by Lanessa Miller
Produced by Walkingstick Music LLC
An animated video illustrating the original swing jazz song Medical Help by Dwight L. Wilcox II with relevance to the era in which we are living.
Directed by Hannah Byrd
Produced by Emily ‘Mealz’ Smith, Jason Howard, Andrew Accaioli and Fatima Al Saif
A previously homeless man takes a ride through his past in order to understand the present and how it affects his future.
Directed by Simone LeClaire
Produced by Xiaolu Wang
Mari gets more than she bargained for when she spends her night out hiding in the bathroom.
Directed by Michael R Faulkner
Produced by Robin Miller Ungar
When Evan Bertrand was diagnosed with autism at eighteen months, doctors told his mother, Andrea, to go home and mourn the loss of a “normal child.” Instead, she and her son went on to discover his gift for music together. Twenty years later, Evan and Andrea are putting on the biggest concert of his life, just as they are.
Directed by Alexandra Emmons and Andrew Juhl
Produced by Alexandra Emmons, Andrew Juhl and John Morrow
Will, a quiet introvert, deals with a change in his routine on the same day a woman from his past appears. His self-control is put to the test as he struggles to harness his instincts during a confrontation that ends in a surreal mirror maze.
A troubled woman records her journey to finding her mother after she was abandoned more than a decade ago.
5th – 9th Grade Students
Performances February 18-21, 2021
Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, the Tony Award-winning Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical is the captivating masterpiece from the Royal Shakespeare Company that revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination and the inspiring story of a girl who dreams of a better life. With a book by Dennis Kelly and original songs by Tim Minchin, Matilda has won 47 international awards and continues to thrill sold-out audiences of all ages around the world.
Matilda is a little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence and psychokinetic powers. She’s unloved by her cruel parents but impresses her schoolteacher, the highly loveable Miss Honey. Over the course of her first term at school, Matilda and Miss Honey have a profound effect on each other’s lives, as Miss Honey begins not only to recognize but also appreciate Matilda’s extraordinary personality. Matilda’s school life isn’t completely smooth sailing, however – the school’s mean headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, hates children and just loves thinking up new punishments for those who don’t abide by her rules. But Matilda has courage and cleverness in equal amounts, and could be the school pupils’ saving grace!
Packed with high-energy dance numbers, catchy songs and an unforgettable star turn for a young actress, Matilda is a joyous girl power romp. Children and adults alike will be thrilled and delighted by the story of the special little girl with an extraordinary imagination.
Auditions in late November 2020
Rehearsal beginning in January 2021
The Franke Center for the Arts Education program offers classes, workshops, lessons. Our teachers are dedicated professionals who excel in their field–and make learning fun.
The Franke Center for the Arts is proud to partner with Melissa Sigh at Sigh.Studio in Lansing to offer this 6-week ALL VIRTUAL Intro to Ukulele course. Melissa Sigh holds a Master of Music in Music Education from Michigan State University and teaches music for East Lansing Public Schools.
Melissa’s Intro to Ukulele course will teach students a variety of songs that rely on the easiest ukulele chords. Students are provided with practice routines to help master new chords and switch between chords fluidly. All music is provided. Students will have “lab time” after each class to ask questions and receive individualized feedback.
YOUTH INTRO TO UKULELE – For ages 8-17
Cost: $90 + $2 registration fee
Length: 6 weeks
Meets: once per week on Thursdays at 5:30pm-6:15pm via Zoom, beginning Feb. 25
A maximum of 10 students will be allowed to participate so register soon!
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
Meets: once per week on Tuesdays at 6:30pm-7:30pm via Zoom, beginning Feb. 23
Celebrate the music of folk icon Pete Seeger, writer of classic songs such as If I Had A Hammer, Where Have All The Flowers Gone and Turn, Turn, Turn. The show will feature Marshall’s own band “3LB Cut”, which includes Kjell Croce, Adrian Bagale, Derek Smith, and Alvin Lautzenheiser, with other special guests.TICKETS
The Franke Center for the Arts will offer ALL VIRTUAL creative writing workshops for youth and adults starting March. The workshops will meet once per week for six weeks and will be taught by literary agent Carrie Howland and Franke Center executive director Jacob Gates, the author of five novels.
YOUTH CREATIVE WRITING – For students grades 6-12
Cost: $80 + $2 registration fee (scholarships are available)
Length: 6 weeks
Meets: once per week on Wednesdays from 4pm – 5:15pm, March 17th – April 21
A maximum of 12 students will be allowed to participate, so register soon!
ADULT CREATIVE WRITING – For adults 18 and up
Cost: $100 + $2 registration fee (scholarships are available)
Length: 6 weeks
Meets: once per week on Wednesdays from 6pm – 7:15pm, March 17th – April 21
A maximum of 12 students will be allowed to participate, so register soon!
Jacob Gates has had five novels published under the name J. Gabriel Gates, and two of his screenplays were optioned by Hollywood producers. He has an MFA in writing from Spalding University and has taught writing at Olivet College and Kellogg Community College. “This is really a phenomenal opportunity for writers,” Jacob Gates said. “When I was starting out, I would have loved the chance to sit down with a published author and an established literary agent to discuss my work. It’s the type of experience a person usually only gets in an MFA program or at an expensive conference, so the fact that we’re able to offer it through The Franke Center is really exciting.”For more information on his work,
Carrie Howland is a literary agent who lives in Marshall and represents an array of adult literary fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books. She founded Howland Literary, LLC in 2018, after thirteen years as an agent in New York City, most recently at Empire Literary. Carrie holds a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Albion College, where she was the Poetry Editor of The Albion Review. Her poetry has appeared in various literary journals and magazines. She attends several conferences, both nationally and internationally, throughout the year. She has been featured in several publications discussing her work as an agent including Poets & Writers, SCWBI insight, Akashic Books, and Slice Magazine. For more information on Carrie,
One of the premier hip-hop / contemporary dance companies in the Midwest, Chicago Dance Crash brings their flashy blend of reparatory pieces and freestyles to The Franke. See the dance troupe the Chicago Tribune called “supremely fun to watch.”
This show has been postponed due to the number of COVID cases in the area. Check this space again and a new date will be announced soon!
Fresh off a stint performing with Brantley Gilbert, Bath, Michigan-based Sadie Bass and her killer band are ready to blow the doors off The Franke—country style.
In this season’s annual Franke Center Fundraiser, legendary improv troupe Second City takes aim at Marshall and West Michigan. The Second City finds laughs in local history, events, hot-button issues, and headlines from the hometown newspaper. Experience the classic Chicago-style sketch comedy and improv created by some of Second City’s most lauded alumni, including Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Gilda Radner, and Bill Murray. Cap the night off with a dinner and raffle supporting The Franke Center, and it should be an unforgettable evening!TICKETS
Part of the Michigan Stars Series, Kalamazoo-based rapper, vocalist and cellist Jordan Hamilton weaves stellar vocals and sharp, thought-provoking lyrics over hypnotic cello loops to create a unique brand of Michigan hip-hop. Cellist of Last Gasp Collective and the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Jordan Hamilton merges songwriting, loop pedals, sample machines, and vocals to create a sonic landscape of experimental hip-hop, folk, soul, and classical music. The Western Michigan University graduate aims to find new ways for the cello, a traditional instrument, to relate to a modern audience where it can be found playing the music of Bach, the Beatles, or Chance the Rapper. Filled with an eclectic range of songs, Jordan’s set is sure to capture the heart and mind while reflecting on new horizons. Jordan is a Jammie Award winner and winner of the Local Spins’ Emerging Artist of the Year award for 2019.
A deviously delicious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical, Little Shop Of Horrors has devoured the hearts of theatre goers for over 30 years. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast, and Aladdin) are the creative geniuses behind what has become one of the most popular shows in the world.
The meek floral assistant Seymour Krelborn stumbles across a new breed of plant he names “Audrey II” – after his coworker crush. This foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore promises unending fame and fortune to the down and out Krelborn as long as he keeps feeding it, BLOOD. Over time, though, Seymour discovers Audrey II’s out of this world origins and intent towards global domination!