Arts, Film & Music

Michael Perry: How Ya Doin’ – Q&A With Program Co-Producers

Michael Perry: How Ya Doin’ is a new television special with an old twist.

In the program, premiering 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 5 on Wisconsin Public Television, celebrated Wisconsin author and humorist Michael Perry looks back on his Clodhopper tales of life in Wisconsin with an eye toward the ways his stories of the past connect us to the future. Checking in from north of Wisconsin’s Highway 64, Perry reflects on the people and places that shaped his life, while sharing stories relatable to every Wisconsinite.

Laurie Gorman and Grant Fenster, co-producers of Michael Perry: How Ya Doin’, sat down with us to discuss the upcoming special.

Read on to learn more from the people who put this new program together!

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Celebrate African-American History Month 2019 with WPT

Any day is a great day to recognize the many contributions that African-Americans have made to American history and culture. But February offers special opportunities to celebrate and recognize African-Americans, both famous and not-so-famous, who have made a difference.

Read on for a selection of upcoming programs airing on WPT – and don’t forget our many offerings available anytime online!

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Q&A: John DeMain leads A Madison Symphony Christmas

The Madison Symphony Orchestra‘s holiday concerts are always its most popular events of the year. For the first time. Wisconsin Public Television brings this festive celebration into homes across the state, filmed live at Madison’s Overture Hall.

A Madison Symphony Christmas premieres 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17. Or tune in for an encore broadcast Christmas night: 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 25.

John DeMain“Our annual Christmas concert has become a very meaningful experience for everyone involved,” says Music Director John DeMain. “One cannot help but leave the Hall with a feeling that the holiday season has begun. And hopefully, you will have a big glow in your heart.”

Read on for our exclusive Q&A with Maestro DeMain to learn about how this inaugural broadcast came together.

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WPT Exclusive First Look: Wisconsin Water From the Air

Are you ready to come soar with us again?
Watch an exclusive first look at the all-new Wisconsin Water From the Air.
Coming to Wisconsin Public Television at the end of November 2018.

The all-new Wisconsin Water From the Air takes viewers above, atop and along state waterways that inspire reflection, wonder and adventure. From the routes that the Wisconsin, Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers carve through the state’s landscape to the wide-stretching shores of Lake Michigan, celebrate the waterways that shape Wisconsin.

As we anxiously await this exciting new show, we want you to be the first to take a look inside the program with an exclusive clip from the show’s first segment that explores the wonders of the Wisconsin River.

Looking toward the premiere in November, we will be sharing other new segments from the program each month here on the WPT Blog, along with information on a series of premiere screenings at venues across Wisconsin for you to take in the beautiful imagery and stunning musical score on the big screen before the television broadcast.

Enjoy this clip from the show’s first segment and share this video with your friends!

Director’s Cut: Jim Theres, “The Hello Girls”

This week on Director’s Cut, it’s our pleasure to welcome the final guest of our 11th season: director Jim Theres, discussing his documentary The Hello Girls.

In a year which has seen some of the best guests and films we’ve ever had on our show, Theres is under serious pressure! But he rises to the challenge, bringing his A game in both his interview and his film.

They were known as the “Hello Girls” – American women fluent in French and English who answered the urgent call for telephone operators needed in France during World War I.

They took oaths to join the U.S. Army Signal Corps, underwent training by AT&T before boarding ships to Europe, heading to war before most of the American doughboys arrived in France, connected 26 million calls and ultimately proved to be a significant factor in winning the war.

And then they were forgotten.

Read on for more about this film, and about my interview with filmmaker Jim Theres.

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Director’s Cut: Chasing Bubbles

It’s three guests for the price of one on this week’s Director’s Cut. I really enjoy having multiple guests on the couch at the same time, and this week, viewers get a taste of filmmaking from three different perspectives. The film is called Chasing Bubbles and its director is Topher Cochrane. “Bubbles” is a documentary about a day trader from Chicago who gave up the yuppie lifestyle to buy a sailboat and travel the world.

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Director’s Cut: Manlife

This week on Director’s Cut, it’s my pleasure to welcome Ryan Sarnowski, discussing his documentary Manlife.

MANLIFE – TRAILER from Threshing Media on Vimeo.

At age 90, Merle Hayden has a lot to do. A devout follower of Lawsonomy (a utopian movement begun by Alfred Lawson, inventor of the first passenger airliner), Merle feels Lawson provided the answers to many of America’s economic and social problems. So why was Lawson written out of the history books? And why isn’t anyone listening?

Using a wealth of archival photos, films, and audio tapes collected by Merle, MANLIFE tells the story of Alfred Lawson’s attempts to make history and Merle’s unrelentingly quest to save humanity before he runs out of time.

Read on for more about this film, and about my interview with filmmaker Ryan Sarnowski.

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Director’s Cut: The 60 Yard Line

This week on Director’s Cut, we take a break from our documentary-heavy lineup and welcome writer-actor-producer Ryan Churchill to discuss his film The 60 Yard Line.

The 60 Yard Line from Gravitas Ventures on Vimeo.

Ben “Zagger” Zagowski is a diehard Packers fan. While he and his fiancée Amy prepare for their wedding, Zagger uses their savings to seize a rare opportunity to buy a house next to Lambeau Field, which he names The 60 Yard Line. His superfan status is elevated, as he spends his days parking cars for money, getting drunk and befriending actual pro football players. In all his drunken tailgating glory, he loses his job and Amy. He must figure out what is most important in his life. Also, where did this cow come from? Based on some true events.

Read more about this film, and about my interview with filmmaker Ryan Churchill.

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Director’s Cut: The Smart Studios Story

Film and music lovers, we have a real treat for you this week: the rock documentary The Smart Studios Story, by director Wendy Schneider. Joining her on our Director’s Cut couch is legendary music producer Butch Vig, who is both a subject of the film and its executive producer.

Watch the trailer:

The Smart Studios Story from wendy schneider on Vimeo.

If you’ve ever been touched by the music of Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Garbage, L7, Death Cab For Cutie (among many, many others), you’ve been touched by the music created at Smart Studios, the legendary recording facility founded by Butch Vig and Steve Marker. Drawing on in-depth-interviews with musicians and producers, never-before-seen archival footage and a powerful soundtrack, The Smart Studios Story tells the story of the pivotal Midwest link to the global rise of Alternative Rock in the 1990’s and the unassuming Madison, Wis. recording studio at its center. The post-70’s explosion of independent music in America has many traceable roots, each with a compelling story. This is one of the most significant stories that has never been told until now.

Read more about this film, and about my interview with filmmakers Wendy Schneider and Butch Vig.

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