Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pastime Players reflect many talents

Pastime Players reflect many talents

M. Scot Skinner | Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010

A fascinating documentary about the Pastime Players, a Tucson troupe that showcases the abilities of people with developmental disabilities, is one of 18 feature films selected for the 2010 Arizona International Film Festival.

"Such Good Friends" goes behind the scenes with the inspiring ensemble, which took its name from the street within the Amphitheater school district, where the Pastime Players originated 25 years ago.

Under the constant and energetic guidance of Susan Claassen, Gail Fitzhugh and other professionals from Tucson's Invisible Theatre, the players have rehearsed and performed at Catalina High Magnet School since 1990.

You can see "Such Good Friends," a film by Claassen and Cyndee Wing, at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Crossroads theater on East Grant Road.

Although the documentary was first screened at the Loft Cinema a year ago, Claassen and Wing continued sharpening and shaping the film, and they consider Saturday's screening to be the premiere. Admission is $6.

The remarkably effective film, which includes footage of the performers and interviews with several sets of parents and caregivers, also was selected for next month's inaugural Black Hills Film Festival, to be held in the shadow of Mount Rushmore.

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Photo: THE INVISIBLE THEATRE, Verl Foley of the Pastime Players will be portraying the White Rabbit in the "Alice in Wonderland" portion of Monday's "The Me Inside of Me.