Category Archives: sedona theater

Sedona Theater: World Premiere of “Marrano Justice” at Canyon Moon Theatre

Marrano Justice
by Joel Levin

An historical drama set in New York and Washington in the 1920s and 1930s about the life of the extraordinary Hispanic/Jewish judge, Benjamin Cardozo. Cardozo is visited by Torquemada, the 15th century Spanish Inquisitor who expelled Arabs, Moors, and Cardozo’s ancestors, returning to view the fruits of that exile. The scenes alternate between the complex family and professional life of Cardozo and the tense dialogue between Cardozo and Torquemada, each seeking purpose and vindication for the events of the Inquisition. The play is punctuated by sinister and wordless images recalling medieval Cordoba, Spain and the Jim Crow South. The play culminates with the Justices of the Supreme Court hearing the Scottsboro case — the seminal civil rights affair of the era — pitting the claim that society must be strictly protected, advocated by Torquemada, against a more tolerant inclusion of those on the outside, envisioned by Cardozo.

Cast, among others, includes Mark DeMichael, Robert Bays, and Michelle Lambeau.

“Marrano Justice presents a riveting vision of the tensions and difficulties of race, freedom, cruelty, love, execution, and dignity — framed by grim flashbacks and haunting music — but a vision rooted in vigorous ideas, textured thought, and intelligence, so often in retreat in the purely visceral theater of today.” – Ellen Simon

Directed by Mary Guaraldi.

Music is 15th century Sephardic/Ladino music, with words and melodies drawn from a lost Jewish-Spanish culture, re-conceived and rearranged by Paul Ferguson and Joel Levin.

Presented by Canyon Moon Theatre, 6601 Hwy. 179, Suite A6, Sedona, AZ 86351.

Marrano Justice plays Thursday, September 9 through Saturday, September 12 and again September 23 through 26. Tickets are $19 general admission. Full-time students are $11. To purchase tickets, call Canyon Moon Theatre at 928-282-6212. Tickets are also available at Rycus’ Corners and Marketplace Café in the VOC and at Basha’s in West Sedona. Thursday through Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m. Sunday performances are at 3 p.m. Canyon Moon Theatre is located in the Oak Creek Factory Outlets, next to Village Pet Supply and Grooming, on Highway 179 in the Village of Oak Creek.

Touching Documentary "Mine" Makes Arizona Premiere on Sept. 8

Film Festival Presents Award-Winning Film Around the Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

Director/Producer Geralyn Pezanoski will be in Sedona to host screenings and Q&A discussions
The multiple award-winning documentary “Mine” makes its Arizona Premiere in Sedona on Tuesday, Sept. 8. The event is scheduled to coincide with the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina which sets the backdrop of the powerful, touching and thought-provoking film. There will be two screenings of the film at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres. “Mine” is the second film in the Sedona International Film Festival’s four-week “What’s Up, Doc?” Documentary Series featuring award-winning documentaries from festivals around the world.
Director and producer Geralyn Pezanoski will be in Sedona to host the premiere and conduct Q&A discussions following both screenings.
“This film will resonate with all animal lovers and pet owners, as well as anyone with an interest in humanity,” said festival operations director Debbie Williams. “It is sure to be one of the most moving and touching documentaries you will see, taking you on an emotional roller coaster.”
“Mine” is the powerful story about the essential bond between humans and animals told against the backdrop of one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history. The film explores how tragedy intensifies that bond and is told from the perspective of original guardians, rescuers, and adoptive parents of the voiceless victims of Katrina. These individuals are all connected by two things, the tragic aftermath of Katrina and their love of animals.
In response to an unprecedented crisis, thousands of pets were transported around the country and adopted even when their displaced guardians were still desperately looking for them. Meanwhile, many adoptive guardians had forged strong bonds with their new pets, nurturing them back to health from the traumas they suffered during and after the storm.
When two families love the same pet, conflicts inevitably arise over who is the rightful “owner” and what is right for the animal. At the center of this tension are pets who are loved like family, but by law are considered property. This begs the question, who is looking out for the best interest of the animals? Set in a post-Katrina landscape of poverty, loss and moral uncertainty, “Mine” presents the complexity of an intensely emotional situation that has no simple answers.
A tragedy of this scale reveals the worst and brings out the best in humankind and presents an opportunity for us to bring about meaningful social change. “Mine” is a compelling, character-driven story that challenges us see the way we treat animals in our society as a reflection of how we treat ourselves – and each other.
“Like millions across the country I was profoundly affected by the startling images I witnessed during coverage of Hurricane Katrina: people stranded on rooftops, suffering crowds at the Super Dome, and the decimation of one of America’s most culturally vibrant and diverse cities,” said producer/director Geralyn Pezanoski. “And like millions of others I was devastated as well by images of the thousands of animals in distress – their helplessness bringing into even greater relief the chaos and overwhelming scope of the tragedy. So when I read about a nascent but quickly growing rescue effort being carried out by animal lovers from across the country and the world, I decided to go to New Orleans to document this incredible undertaking.”
During the ensuing six weeks, Pezanoski filmed dozens of intrepid rescue workers, devoted animal rights advocates, and thousands of animals in need of saving – even after they were ‘rescued’. While a few residents trickled back into New Orleans and managed to reclaim their pets, most were displaced and barred from entering the city, so she watched day after day as these unclaimed animals were loaded onto trucks and planes and sent to shelters across the country, their fates uncertain.
Pezanoski herself fostered – and eventually adopted – a pointer mix she named Nola.
“As the months went on, my crew and I began to see an increasing number of residents returning to New Orleans to try to rebuild their lives. It became apparent that legions of them – people who had lost everything – were desperate to find their pets,” said Pezanoski. “We heard about hundreds of other cases across the county: people who were still displaced but on the hunt for their animals. But as broad and deep as the story went, there seemed to be strangely little information about it in mainstream media.”
Pezanoski had many questions: “Why hadn’t people been allowed to evacuate with their animals? Now that these animals were adopted into new homes, who had the authority to decide whether they should be left where they were or returned to their previous owners? Why were original owners running into such resistance in trying to find and reclaim their pets? What would I do if someone came looking for Nola, to whom I had become so attached?”
“I explored these questions and many more during the three years I spent making ‘Mine’. My primary focus was on a handful of extraordinary Katrina victims committed to finding their animals even years after the disaster, but the story extends to rescue workers and new adoptive guardians, who, like me, decided to take in pets left behind and care for them as their own,” said Pezanoski. “We met and interviewed hundreds of people over the years, and what emerged was a profound story of the bond between humans and animals, and the power of that bond to ameliorate human suffering. Equally striking, however, were stories both of the continuing prevalence of racism and classism in America, and the incredible power of compassion in the wake of tragedy.”
Preview the Film Here:


The title sponsor for the event is the Humane Society of Sedona. All audience members attending the screenings of “Mine” are requested to bring a donation of dog or cat food for the Humane Society shelter here in Sedona. The lodging host sponsor is Los Abrigados Resort & Spa.
“Mine” will be shown at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres on Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $10, or $8 for Film Sedona members, and will be available starting at 3:00 p.m. that day in the Harkins lobby. Cash or checks only. Film Sedona members can purchase tickets in advance at the Sedona International Film Festival office, 1785 W. Hwy. 89A, Suite 2B, or by calling 282-1177. For more information, visit:

Award-Winning Documentary "The Cove" Debuts in Sedona 9/1

Film Festival Presents Critically-Acclaimed Oscar Hopeful

Producer to Attend and Host Q&A

The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to present the debut of the award-winning, critically-acclaimed documentary “The Cove” on Tuesday, Sept. 1. There will be two screenings of the film at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres. The film kicks off the festival’s four-week “What’s Up, Doc?” Documentary Series featuring award-winning documentaries from festivals around the world.

“The Cove” is taking the world by storm and quickly becoming one of the best reviewed films of the year. The documentary garnered more than 30 top audience choice awards from prestigious film festivals around the globe, including Sundance. Roger Ebert rates the film four stars and calls it a “certain Oscar contender.” The New York Times says “The Cove” is “an exceptionally well-made documentary that unfolds like a spy thriller – one of the most audacious and perilous operations in the history of the conservation movement.”

Producer Fisher Stevens will be in Sedona to present “The Cove” and host Q&A discussions following both screenings.

“The Cove” Movie Trailer – CAPTIVATING!

In a sleepy lagoon off the coast of Japan lies a shocking secret that a few desperate men will stop at nothing to keep hidden from the world. At last, the truth of “The Cove” comes to the fore in an act of covert filmmaking that turns a documentary into a gripping action-adventure thriller – and a heart-pounding call for help from the world’s oceans.

“The Cove” begins in Taiji, Japan, where former dolphin trainer Ric O’Barry has come to set things right after a long search for redemption. In the 1960s, it was O’Barry who captured and trained the 5 dolphins who played the title character in the international television sensation “Flipper.” But his close relationship with those dolphins – the very dolphins who sparked a global fascination with trained sea mammals that continues to this day – led O’Barry to a radical change of heart. One fateful day, a heartbroken Barry came to realize that these deeply sensitive, highly intelligent and self-aware creatures so beautifully adapted to life in the open ocean must never be subjected to human captivity again.

This mission has brought him to Taiji, a town that appears to be devoted to the wonders and mysteries of the sleek, playful dolphins and whales that swim off their coast. But in a remote, glistening cove, surrounded by barbed wire and “Keep Out” signs, lies a dark reality. It is here, under cover of night, that the fishermen of Taiji, driven by a multi-billion dollar dolphin entertainment industry and an underhanded market for mercury-tainted dolphin meat, engage in an unseen hunt. The nature of what they do is so chilling – and the consequences are so dangerous to human health – they will go to great lengths to halt anyone from seeing it.

Undeterred, O’Barry joins forces with filmmaker Louie Psihoyos and the Ocean Preservation Society to get to the truth of what’s really going on in the cove and why it matters to everyone in the world. With the local Chief of Police hot on their trail and strong-arm fishermen keeping tabs on them, they will recruit an “Oceans Eleven”- style team of underwater sound and camera experts, special effects artists, marine explorers, adrenaline junkies and world-class free divers who will carry out an undercover operation to photograph the off-limits cove, while playing a cloak-and-dagger game with those who would have them jailed.

The result is a provocative mix of investigative journalism, eco-adventure and arresting imagery that adds up to an urgent plea for hope.

Director Louis Psyihoyos, one of the world’s most sought-after photographers and a co-founder of the Ocean Preservation Society, first encountered – or rather didn’t encounter – Ric O’Barry while attending a marine conference at which O’Barry was supposed to be a keynote speaker. When O’Barry was banned at the last minute by the event’s sponsor, Sea World, Psihoyos’ curiosity was piqued. What he couldn’t have known is that this curiosity would lead him to seek out O’Barry, and eventually compel him to undertake an incredible filmmaking adventure – as he and his crew used high-tech military grade equipment, bold free divers and a fearless sense of urgency to carry out a perilous underwater shoot that was entirely under cover.

He could not have foreseen that his crew would, in the process, expose not only the hidden truth about dolphin hunts but also a major human health hazard, government corruption, the declining state of our oceans and one man’s emotional battle for redemption.

“Hollywood could hardly have contrived a more dynamic scenario,” raves David Edelstein from National Public Radio. Mary Pols from Time Magazine says “The Cove… puts Hollywood capers like Mission: Impossible to shame.” And Kenneth Turan with the Los Angeles Times calls the film “a powerful and effective piece of advocacy filmmaking.”

Producer Fisher Stevens, who will be in Sedona to present “The Cove”, is also an accomplished director. Stevens has appeared in more than 40 stage productions including the Tony award-winning Torch Song Trilogy, as well as more than 50 films and television programs. He will host a Q&A discussion following both screenings.

The title sponsor for the event is Go Electric, Sedona Electric Vehicles; the supporting sponsor is Vora Financial. The series is also made possible by a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts and the City of Sedona.

“The Cove” will be shown at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres on Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $10, or $8 for Film Sedona members, and will be available starting at 3:00 p.m. that day in the Harkins lobby. Cash or checks only. Film Sedona members can purchase tickets in advance at the Sedona International Film Festival office, 1785 W. Hwy. 89A, Suite 2B, or by calling 282-1177.

For more information, visit: