ANNOUNCEMENT: Hosting new "Kids Klassics" series at The Wilmette Theatre!
For the last two years or so, I've enjoyed casual opportunities to connect with the fine folks at The Wilmette Theatre in the north suburbs of the Chicago. They are one of the few and premiere venues for independent and eclectic film in the Chicagoland area. I have hosted a few screenings there, including their debut of Wonder and paired selections from their "Writers Theatre" series. After Wonder went so well, they sought me out with my educator background on an idea to engage more youth audiences. Together, we created the new "Kids Klassics" series coming this spring! See below for the full press release. Consider this an invitation to join me at a screening and bring the kids!
WILMETTE THEATRE ANNOUNCES “KIDS KLASSICS”
A NEW SERIES FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES THAT TEACHES THROUGH FILM
The Wilmette Theatre has partnered with educator and film critic Don Shanahan to host a rotation of curated films that will feature some of the most beloved kids' classics followed by a thought-provoking, fun post-screening talkback.
The Wilmette Theatre is excited to announce a new, curated film series for children and families starting this spring. KIDS KLASSICS is a themed film series screening some of the most beloved classics. Each screening will be followed by a fun and educational talkback to engage young audiences to think about films in a new way. Hosted by Chicago film critic for Every Movie Has a Lesson and educator Don Shanahan, who will lead an interactive discussion.
The theme in the first series is ‘Mischievous Kids’, beginning with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on Sunday, April 8th, at 2:00pm. Tickets are $10.00 for adults and $8.50 for children and can be purchased at www.wilmettetheatre.com.
KIDS KLASSICS introduces high quality, live-action family films to young audiences as an alternative to the deluge of commercial animated fare in family films. The series will present classic conversation provoking movies that introduce young audiences to thoughtful movie viewing. The intention of this series is to serve as a springboard for a critical analysis of films and other means of entertainment throughout their lives.
“We have the perfect moderator in Don Shanahan, an educator and film critic, introducing the films and leading a post-movie conversation,” said Wendy Sharon, Executive Director of the Wilmette Theatre. “This series allows us to offer families the opportunity to ‘See Something Different.’ KIDS KLASSICS will provide both entertainment and education to our young audience.”
The first theme of the series is "Mischievous Kids," (April – June) that will teach kids a great deal about avoiding trouble when watching others figure out their own. Followed by future series including "Musicals," "Fantasy," and "Sports."
Don Shanahan has been an elementary educator in the Chicagoland area for 16 years, standing day after day in front of the toughest crowds you will ever meet: really honest kids. He is currently an instructional coach at an intermediate elementary school in the western suburbs. KIDS KLASSICS will allow Don to take his zest for teaching and merge it with a passion for films, in which he will highlight the learning experiences found in every movie. Since 2010, Don has been a published film critic through his site Every Movie Has a Lesson, rated top “Top 100 Movie Blogs of 2018.” He also writes for Medium.com and for the Southland Voice community newspaper serving southern Cook and northern Will Counties.
Don’s post-screening talks will include background stories on the making of these movies and how best to watch films with a discerning eye. He wants to help grow informed and educated new film fans. Ever the talkative schoolteacher, Don will lead engaging, funny, and "student-centered" talkbacks keen on youth participation. Any and all questions are welcome and expect a few thought-provoking challenges along the way.
SCHEDULE FOR "MISCHIEVOUS KIDS" FILM SERIES
April 8 - Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Thee original 1971 film about an enigmatic candy manufacturer Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) who stages a contest by hiding five golden tickets in five of his scrumptious candy bars. Whoever comes up with these tickets will win a free tour of the Wonka factory, as well as a lifetime supply of candy. Four of the five winning children are insufferable brats: the fifth is a likeable young lad named Charlie Bucket (Peter Ostrum), who takes the tour in the company of his equally amiable grandfather (Jack Albertson). In the end, only Charlie and his grandfather are left.
April 22 - E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial
Both a classic movie for kids and a remarkable portrait of childhood, E.T. is a sci-fi adventure that captures that strange moment in youth when the world is a place of mysterious possibilities (some wonderful, some awful), and the universe seems somehow separate from the one inhabited by grown-ups. The film centers around a troubled child who summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world.
May 6 - The Goonies
A 1985 American adventure comedy film about two brothers who find out they might lose their house and they are desperate to find a way to keep their home. They find a treasure map and bring some friends along to find it. They are all out looking for the "X" and trying to get away from a group of bad guys who also want the treasure.
May 20 – Big
Starring Tom Hanks, this 1988 American fantasy comedy film highlights the old adage ‘be careful what you wish for.’ After wishing to be made big, a teenage boy wakes the next morning to find himself mysteriously in the body of an adult. This charming, sweet, hilarious gem of a film works because Tom Hanks makes you believe he actually is a small boy in the body of an adult. The interesting trick of what makes the story appealing is not so much the magic that the boy gets his wish to be "big." It's that once he is an adult, he has to navigate the adult world.
June 3 - Home Alone
A 1990 American comedy film starring Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, a boy who is mistakenly left behind when his family flies to Paris for their Christmas vacation. Kevin initially relishes being home alone, but soon has to contend with two would-be burglars played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. The film also features Catherine O'Hara and John Heard as Kevin's parents.
Please visit the website for the most up-to-date information and to purchase tickets: www.wilmettetheatre.com
The Wilmette Theater: SEE SOMETHING DIFFERENT at the ‘Mette! More than 100 years after opening its doors, the not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) Wilmette Theatre continues to be the premiere multi-arts and performance center anchoring the downtown Wilmette business district. The theatre plays host to an eclectic mix of film, movies, concerts and live programs. 1122 Central Avenue, Wilmette, IL, 60091. www.wilmettetheatre.com
MEDIA CONTACT: Shelly Cellak, [email protected], 773.398.6154