Local and International Programming Defines Irvington Town Hall Theater
Beneath a vast skylight of Tiffany snowflake glass that crowns the 116-year-old building, Irvington Town Hall Theater (ITHT) has countless stories to tell. Although the theater’s stately columns and Victorian chandeliers reflect its long history, ITHT is always evolving. It is a theater serving its local community as well as a destination for international programming.
The 432-seat theater, overlooking the Hudson River, is home to the All Shorts Irvington Film Festival (As iFF). In 2015, As iFF premiered to film enthusiasts eager to view award-winning shorts on the big screen in their little town. Since then, the festival has gained a worldwide following, with filmmakers and patrons traveling from abroad to attend. The selection process has grown increasingly competitive, and As iFF is now recognized globally as a sought-af-ter festival by both renowned and up-and-coming filmmakers.
As iFF will present its seventh festival on Saturday, April 14 at 7:30 pm, “The Lighter Side of Film,” screening animated, narrative, and documentary short films that “highlight humor, hope, renewal, and joyfulness.” The selected films were chosen from more than 400 submissions from filmmakers around the world. Two were nominated for Oscars this year; four are New York premieres.
The spring program features shorts (spanning two to 17 minutes) from Australia, Burkina Faso, Canada, China, France, Norway, Scotland, and the United States. Audience members vote for their favorite film at the end of the evening, and jury prizes are awarded in selected categories by the As iFF Advisory Board (comprising acclaimed film editors, animators, writers, actors, directors, and producers). An after-party follows for all festival ticket-holders and filmmakers. (Past festivals have sold out; visit www.asiffestival.com for tickets and film synopses.)
As iFF’s serious yet whimsical, international voice is articulated in its posters and website materials, designed exclusively for each festival by graphic designer Andrea Trabucco Campos. Italian and Columbian-raised, Trabucco Campos was nominated earlier this year for a Grammy award with his colleagues at Pentagram Design in NYC for their album production and promotional design work.
“In addition to in-house-produced events like As iFF, we have amazing arts partners who bring innovative artistry to Irvington,” said ITHT manager, Greg Allen. “Those relationships create ties to the community that are invaluable for our patrons and performers.”
On April 7, Common Ground Community Concerts presents British singer/songwriter, Robyn Hitchcock (with special guest, Rachelle Garniez). Hailed throughout his 40-year career as a gifted guitarist, surrealist poet, and iconic live performer, Hitchcock describes his music as “paintings you can listen to.”
ITHT arts partners Clocktower Players, Broadway Training Center, and Mercy College offer local theater opportunities for students of all ages. Clocktower’s Kids Troupe presents “The Lion King” April 21-22.
On April 23, students from Mercy College’s theater club will present a showcase of scenes and monologues at 7:30 pm. This free event is a co-production between ITHT and Mercy College in conjunction with Professor Marc Palmieri.
“When ITHT was built in 1902, it became a cultural center for Irvington. It also brought the community together,” said Allen. “This still holds true.”
On April 28, Irvington’s Fundraising and Community Events (FACE) committee will present internationally acclaimed, multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell and singer/guitarist Teresa Williams. The Divining Rod Band, with deep roots to Irvington, will also perform. (Visit: www.irvingtontheater.com.) Tickets are 50% tax deductable as a charitable contribution. Westchester Wine Warehouse will pour complimentary wine, and other refreshments are included in the ticket price.
FACE is a village-based volunteer committee; its mission is to enhance the quality of life for Irvington residents by providing funding to village departments, programs, and special events.
While The Divining Rod Band has a devoted following beyond the rivertowns – and a highly successful, recent CD – their April 28th line-up (Miyuki Furtado, Patrick Harmon, Eric Kaye, John Malone, Mike Malone, and Minori Furtado) features four local dads, two brothers, and the debut of a talented young daughter on
vocals and viola/fiddle.