Film Premiere and Live Performance
Thursday, November 4, 2021 7:30 PM
Film also streaming on the FirstWorks Virtual Stage • Friday, November 5, 2021, 8 PM EST
“Women Trailblazers in Music” takes us on a journey with tunes and tales by — and about — pioneering women composers who were all but expunged from history. The quarantine film, featuring twenty-five celebrated performers, was created remotely by Stillman in 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Commissioned by FirstWorks and Artists & Activists Productions, and premiering at Rhode Island College, the film features stories rarely heard, and music not often played.
Award-winning pianist and composer, Judith Lynn Stillman, serves as pianist, filmmaker, writer, and artistic director. Actor Becky Bass appears as Florence Price, the first Black woman composer to have her music played by a major symphony orchestra. Other notable cast members include Jeanine Kane of the Gamm Theatre, Emmy award-winning actor Kate Burton, cellist Aristides Rivas, sopranos Michelle Esposito and Mia Douglas and Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra Concertmaster Charles Dimmick.
“These extraordinary women composers have been marginalized, repressed, and shamefully neglected, but should be household names,” said Stillman.
The film premiere will take place at Rhode Island College’s Sapinsley Hall in the Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, November 4th at 7:30 PM (with a preview for invited schools at 12:30 PM). A live concert showcasing additional music composed by women and including performers from the film will follow the screening.
“Women Trailblazers in Music” will also stream on FirstWorks Virtual Stage on Friday, November 5 at 8 PM. Judith Lynn Stillman will join viewers on our live chat feature during the stream to answer questions.
Tickets are free* and reservations are required for access to both the Live and Streaming performances.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
The commissioning of works is FirstWorks’ latest initiative to support Rhode Island’s arts community, and speaks to the organization’s commitment to local artists as essential partners and to supporting “firsts” in the arts. Offering platforms for local artists to create and present their work is a part of FirstWorks’ “Raise Your Voice” programming, a thematic initiative that amplifies diverse voices and celebrates difference through the arts.
Masks and advance reservations are required for all attendees and vaccination is recommended for all eligible patrons. View RIC Health & Safety Protocols