December 1, 2020, is #GivingTuesday, a day to give to organizations in the midst of this Coronavirus pandemic. We at The Franke Center understand that there many urgent needs in our community—individuals who have lost jobs, businesses that are struggling, and frontline medical workers in need of our support. If you have already helped these important causes and still have resources to give, please consider supporting your local arts organization. The Franke Center’s operations have been severely impacted by COVID-19, but we are still working hard to provide great arts experiences. If you are able to support The Franke Center this #GivingTuesday, please visit our donation page.
And thank you!TICKETS
The Franke Center of Marshall invites filmmakers to submit to the Wolf Tree Film Festival which will be held on Saturday, January 23, 2020. Submissions will be accepted October 1 through December 13, 2020. In its third year, Wolf Tree Film Festival aims to showcase films set in the Great Lakes region or that include themes or topics related to the region, as well as the work of filmmakers who reside in or grew up in the Great Lakes region. The Great Lakes region is defined as any state or territory that touches one of the Great Lakes (including Ontario, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York). Submitted films should be no longer than 30 minutes, and all genres will be considered.
The festival will include screenings of each selected film, a Q&A with select filmmakers, an awards presentation, a networking mixer, and a toast to the filmmakers.
The Wolf Tree Film Festival takes place in historic Marshall, Michigan, a gorgeous small town with a vibrant artistic community. Hosted by the Franke Center for the Arts and Marshall’s Youngish Professionals Committee, the festival is held at Franke Center*, originally a church built in 1921, now an arts complex that is the proud home of world-class concerts, inspiring theater, and award-winning movies.
The lore of Marshall’s Wolf Tree is one of a lone, prominent tree, with a stately position in the middle of what is now Mansion Street. Perched high between its large oak branches was a platform, where it is said a sentry, seeking the faint glow of eyes – wolves’ eyes – would sit, eager to protect his village from the threats hidden in the darkness below. The legend continues that the first person to stay in Marshall sought refuge in the heights of this same tree, as wolves and bears would roam the dirt lanes and forests of what would soon become Downtown Marshall. It is a wild history, a bold story, and a great homage to the films that will be featured at this exciting new event.
*Wolf Tree Film Festival will adhere to guidelines dictated for health and public safety. It is likely this year’s festival will be a hybrid of in-person and livestreamed screenings and events.
Filmmakers who wish to submit a film can do so here:
5th – 9th Grade Students
Performances February 18-21, 2021
Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, the Tony Award-winning Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical is the captivating masterpiece from the Royal Shakespeare Company that revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination and the inspiring story of a girl who dreams of a better life. With a book by Dennis Kelly and original songs by Tim Minchin, Matilda has won 47 international awards and continues to thrill sold-out audiences of all ages around the world.
Matilda is a little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence and psychokinetic powers. She’s unloved by her cruel parents but impresses her schoolteacher, the highly loveable Miss Honey. Over the course of her first term at school, Matilda and Miss Honey have a profound effect on each other’s lives, as Miss Honey begins not only to recognize but also appreciate Matilda’s extraordinary personality. Matilda’s school life isn’t completely smooth sailing, however – the school’s mean headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, hates children and just loves thinking up new punishments for those who don’t abide by her rules. But Matilda has courage and cleverness in equal amounts, and could be the school pupils’ saving grace!
Packed with high-energy dance numbers, catchy songs and an unforgettable star turn for a young actress, Matilda is a joyous girl power romp. Children and adults alike will be thrilled and delighted by the story of the special little girl with an extraordinary imagination.
Auditions in late November 2020
Rehearsal beginning in January 2021
Icons of the alternative rock scene, Michigan’s own The Verve Pipe has journeyed from their roots in East Lansing to the top of the charts with hits including The Freshmen, Photograph, and Colorful. The Verve Pipe is known for powerful live performances, and this is one you won’t want to miss.
Celebrate the music of folk icon Pete Seeger, writer of classic songs such as If I Had A Hammer, Where Have All The Flowers Gone and Turn, Turn, Turn. The show will feature Marshall’s own band “3LB Cut”, which includes Kjell Croce, Adrian Bagale, Derek Smith, and Alvin Lautzenheiser, with other special guests.TICKETS
One of the premier hip-hop / contemporary dance companies in the Midwest, Chicago Dance Crash brings their flashy blend of reparatory pieces and freestyles to The Franke. See the dance troupe the Chicago Tribune called “supremely fun to watch.”
The Jackson Symphony Orchestra’s debut performance at the Franke Center features Brahms’ most famous and popular First Symphony. The program will open with Jessie Montgomery’s Starburst, a fresh, fanfare for strings. Additional works to be announced.TICKETS
This show has been postponed due to the number of COVID cases in the area. Check this space again and a new date will be announced soon!
Fresh off a stint performing with Brantley Gilbert, Bath, Michigan-based Sadie Bass and her killer band are ready to blow the doors off The Franke—country style.
In this season’s annual Franke Center Fundraiser, legendary improv troupe Second City takes aim at Marshall and West Michigan. The Second City finds laughs in local history, events, hot-button issues, and headlines from the hometown newspaper. Experience the classic Chicago-style sketch comedy and improv created by some of Second City’s most lauded alumni, including Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Gilda Radner, and Bill Murray. Cap the night off with a dinner and raffle supporting The Franke Center, and it should be an unforgettable evening!TICKETS
The Franke Center in Marshall is excited to present Joe Louis Walker, a Blues Hall of Fame inductee and four-time Blues Music Award winner, live in concert on Saturday, May 1. Described as a “living legend” within the blues world by fans and peers, Walker’s celebrated career over half a century has taken him across the world to many of the world’s most famous Blues venues – and now, to the intimate Main Stage of the Franke Center! Tickets for the show are $30 in advance and $32 at the door. Doors and bar open at 7 PM, with pre-show music featuring Alvin Lautzenheiser in the Downstage Club. Local musician Kjell Croce will open the Main Stage show at 8 PM, followed by Joe Louis Walker and his band.
A true powerhouse guitar virtuoso, unique singer and prolific songwriter, Walker has toured extensively throughout his career, performed at the world’s most renowned music festivals, and earned a legion of dedicated fans. Walker’s 1986 debut album Cold Is the Night on HighTone Records announced his arrival in stunning fashion, and his subsequent output has only served to further establish Walker as one of the leading bluesmen on the scene. He has been described by NPR Music as “a legendary boundary-pushing icon of modern blues.”
Born in 1949 in San Francisco, Walker took up the guitar at age 14. Just two years later, he was a known quantity on the Bay Area music scene, playing blues with an occasional foray into psychedelic rock. For a while, he roomed with guitarist and composer Mike Bloomfield, who introduced him to Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead. Walker even made a brief pilgrimage to Chicago to check out the blues scene there. In 1975, burned out on blues, Walker turned to God, singing for the next decade with a gospel group, the Spiritual Corinthians. When the Corinthians played the 1985 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Walker was inspired to embrace his blues roots again. He assembled the Boss Talkers, and throughout the 1990s merged many of his gospel, jazz, soul, funk, and rock influences with his trademark blues. Through the years Walker has collaborated with a diverse group of first-rate artists including Branford Marsalis, James Cotton, Tower of Power, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Ike Turner, and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. He has released twenty-five albums since 1986, including his most recent effort “Journeys to the Heart of the Blues” in 2018.
Looking back on his rich history, Walker shares, “I’d like to be known for the credibility of a lifetime of being true to my music and the blues. Sometimes I feel I’ve learned more from my failures than from my success. But that’s made me stronger and more adventurous. And helped me create my own style. I’d like to think that when someone puts on one of my records they would know from the first notes, ‘That’s Joe Louis Walker.’”
Part of the Michigan Stars Series, Kalamazoo-based rapper, vocalist and cellist Jordan Hamilton weaves stellar vocals and sharp, thought-provoking lyrics over hypnotic cello loops to create a unique brand of Michigan hip-hop. Cellist of Last Gasp Collective and the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Jordan Hamilton merges songwriting, loop pedals, sample machines, and vocals to create a sonic landscape of experimental hip-hop, folk, soul, and classical music. The Western Michigan University graduate aims to find new ways for the cello, a traditional instrument, to relate to a modern audience where it can be found playing the music of Bach, the Beatles, or Chance the Rapper. Filled with an eclectic range of songs, Jordan’s set is sure to capture the heart and mind while reflecting on new horizons. Jordan is a Jammie Award winner and winner of the Local Spins’ Emerging Artist of the Year award for 2019.
A deviously delicious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical, Little Shop Of Horrors has devoured the hearts of theatre goers for over 30 years. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast, and Aladdin) are the creative geniuses behind what has become one of the most popular shows in the world.
The meek floral assistant Seymour Krelborn stumbles across a new breed of plant he names “Audrey II” – after his coworker crush. This foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore promises unending fame and fortune to the down and out Krelborn as long as he keeps feeding it, BLOOD. Over time, though, Seymour discovers Audrey II’s out of this world origins and intent towards global domination!