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Create Carolina Festival Takes Look at Politics

ROCK HILL, S.C. - The second annual Create Carolina Arts Festival: A Southern Fried Arts and Film Festival will focus on politics during this presidential election year, as well as showcasing independent films.

The festival, scheduled for May 19-June 7 at Winthrop University, will bring together artists from around the country for a multi-disciplinary arts experience featuring productions by established and emerging artists.

Inspired by the current political climate, Create Carolina participants will write and produce an innovative theatre piece about the untold story of Victoria Woodhull and Frederick Douglass. Festival writer-in-residence Jonathan Davidson will collaborate with Winthrop University students to create a multimedia theatre production to examine the parallels between the political processes of the late 1800s and now.

A little know fact in American history is that in 1872, Victoria Woodhull, the first female stockbroker, ran for president and nominated Frederick Douglass, a former slave, as her vice presidential nominee. Currently, Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama are vying for the Democratic Party nomination for president.

The highly anticipated project will premiere at the Create Carolina Arts and Film Festival on May 30, 31 and June 7.

"We wanted to tell a story through the lens of today, that's why multimedia will be such an essential element,” said Davidson. “The play will be a further testament to the rise of youth interest in the elections of 2008 where youth turnout is three or four times greater then in 2004 election.”

Organizers also will continue a commitment to independent filmmakers who can be present for the festival screening. This year, the festival will present on May 23 “Train Wreck - My Life as an Idiot” starring Sean William Scott and Gretchen Mol. Writer and director Todd Williams will attend and answer questions about the film, which was an official selection of the Hampton and Seattle international film festivals.

Create Carolina also will screen on May 24 the documentary “A Man Named Pearl,” which tells the inspiring story of self-taught topiary artist Pearl Fryar of Bishopville, S.C. Fryar will lecture about his work prior to the film screening.

Other theater events will include a staged reading on June 5-6 of “God's Man in Texas,” written by David Rambo, and a staged reading on June 4 of Rock Hill writer Terry Roueche's new play, “Discretion.”

In addition, there will be a university three-hour credit course, performance opportunities, lectures and master classes. This creative catalog of activities will provide Winthrop students and the community a variety of hands-on cultural events for their participation.

In 2007, Winthrop University's College of Visual and Performing Arts produced the first Create Carolina, an arts festival collaboration between the university and Charles Randolph-Wright, acclaimed writer, director and producer of theatre, film and television and past recipient of the Winthrop University Medal of Honor in the Arts.
To learn more, go to or call Amanda Woolwine at 803/323-2399.

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