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Staller Center for the Arts

The 26th annual Stony Brook Film Festival, presented by Island Federal Credit Union, wrapped up with a Closing Night Awards Reception on July 31. The evening recognized the outstanding new independent films screened at the festival, which was held at Staller Center for the Arts at Stony Brook University from July 22 to 31.

Making its world premiere at the festival, Anchorage won the Grand Prize this year. Director Scott Monahan and screenwriter Dakota Loesch star as two brothers who attempt to drive a trunk full of opioids from Florida to Alaska to cash in big in the Land of Gold. But their plan gets challenged by their surroundings, their shortcomings, and their tendency to dip into their own supply. This one-of-a-kind film explores the national crises of opioid addiction.

Special Achievement in Directing was awarded to Trey Nelson for his directorial debut in The 5th Man, a documentary that tells the extraordinary story of Paul Limmer, a world class track coach at Mepham High School in North Bellmore, whose dedication impacted so many lives. This film is also the first documentary to ever open the Stony Brook Film Festival.

The Spirit of Independent Filmmaking Award, given to a filmmaker whose work exemplifies the spirit and breadth of filmmaking where the focus is on the art and most often produced with an extremely limited budget, was awarded to Red River Road. Written and directed by Paul Schuyler, the film was shot entirely under COVID-19 lockdown by one family and their dog that served as the entire cast and crew.

Written and directed by Lina Luzyte, The Castle captured the Audience Award for Best Feature. The film features Monika, a thirteen-year-old Lithuanian girl living in Dublin with her mother, a pianist who works at a local fish factory, and her grandmother, who has dementia and requires constant supervision. After singing with her mother at a small locale, they are approached with an invitation to play in ‘The Castle’ which they are told is one of the best music venues in Ireland. 

Willow received the Jury Award for Best Feature. Written and directed by Milcho Manchevski, the film tells of a young peasant woman who seeks the help of an aged sorceress in the attempt to get pregnant. Centuries later, two contemporary women find themselves struggling with their own beliefs, modern science, and societal mores, in their own struggles to navigate motherhood. With its amazing images and unconventional narrative, this is a film whose story and characters exhibit that rare authenticity that makes you forget you’re watching a movie.

Noisy received the Audience Award for Best Short. A film by Cedric Hill, it features two strangers on a noisy subway who discover they have way more in common than where they’re heading. 

Rounding out the awards, The Saverini Widow captured the Jury Award for Best Short. A French film by Loïc Gaillard, it details how a widow’s life falls to pieces when her son is killed in a clash. Left with only her dog, she plots a desperate scheme. With stunning visuals and no dialogue, this film keeps you riveted to the end.

Of the winning films, filmmakers and cast and crew from Anchorage, Red River Road, and The 5th Man were in attendance to accept their awards. It was an unusual year indeed, with only American filmmakers in attendance for the live Q&A sessions following their screenings, but a joyful and celebrated return to the theater.

Virtual passes are now available to view the encore screening of the Festival on IndieFlix Festivals through Aug. 30. Passes for the entire 4 weeks are $85 per household or $25 for a weekly pass. Virtual passholders will be able to watch films multiple times and will have access to a number of features and shorts beginning each Thursday at 7 p.m. through Monday at midnight. Pre-recorded discussions with filmmakers, directors, cast, and crew will be included as well. For more information, call 631-632-2787 or visit stonybrookfilmfestival.com.

Photos courtesy of Staller Center for the Arts

The Staller Center for the Arts at Stony Brook University welcomes fans and filmmakers alike back into its theatres tomorrow night as it features new independent films from over fifteen countries at the Stony Brook Film Festival presented by Island Federal on Thursday, July 22 through Saturday, July 31. The popular Festival, now in its 26th year, brings a highly selective roster of diverse films, making it a favorite of moviegoers and filmmakers alike.

The Festival kicks off with the world premiere of The 5th Man, a documentary on Paul Limmer, a former track coach at Bellmore’s Mepham High School. During his 50-year career there, Limmer racked up hundreds of wins, though director Trey Nelson focuses on the story of all the other kids – the ones who never felt “seen” – until Paul Limmer came into their lives. The film will be preceded by Feeling Through, an Oscar-nominated short featuring deaf-blind actor Robert Tarango of Selden.

Produced by Staller Center, the Festival pairs unforgettable short films with a selection of features you won’t see anywhere else. The Stony Brook Film Festival presented by Island Federal is one of the first film festivals to announce its return, and it brings in filmmakers, cast, and crew who field questions after the screenings, adding a unique interactive dimension to the experience.

In addition to the live in-person Festival, the Stony Brook Film Festival will be screening the Festival virtually following the Live in-person Festival. This Virtual Festival will be available on IndieFlix Festivals August 5-30, and it will be an encore screening of the films shown live at Staller Center.

Please note: The Staller Center for the Arts is committed to your safety and will be following CDC, State, and University guidelines regarding health & safety protocols. All patrons will be required to comply with the guidelines in place at the time of the event.

Covid Guidelines for the STONY BROOK FILM FESTIVAL: At this time, masks are optional for guests who are fully vaccinated. For guests who are unvaccinated or those who are not fully vaccinated, we ask that you continue to wear face masks at all times inside the building.


THE 5TH MAN – Paul Limmer, was a world class track coach at Mepham High School in Bellmore, Long Island.

• Rachel Keller (of Legion, Fargo, Dirty John, and Tokyo Vice) is planning to attend for her film THE FOLLOWING YEAR.

• The entire short film NOISY was filmed on a single subway train ride to Coney Island, with the two actors sitting among regular passengers who ignored them as the film crew sat at the front of the car, hanging on through the lurching stops and starts of the train.

• The feature ANCHORAGE was shot chronologically over five days in the California High Desert with a cast and crew of ten people shoved into a few vehicles. This darkly comic, intense and even frightening film stars director Scott Monahan and screenwriter Dakota Loesch as low-level, opioid-addicted brothers who plan to drive their stash from Florida to Alaska and sell it for a huge profit.

• Ruby Barker, Marina Thompson in Bridgerton starred in HOW TO STOP A RECURRING DREAM before being cast for her role in Bridgerton.


WHEN/WHERE: Thursday, July 22, through Saturday, July 31, at Staller Center for the Arts at Stony Brook University, or virtually, from the comfort of your own home Thursday, August 5, through Monday, August 23.

TICKETS & INFORMATION: stonybrookfilmfestival.com/
Single-day tickets are $20; virtual passes are $85; festival passes are $125; gold passes are $250

For the Stony Brook Film Festival schedule and descriptions of all films go to stonybrookfilmfestival.com/films/

A scene from Willow. Photo courtesy of Banana Films
Watch in-person or virtually this year!

Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts turns into a movie lover’s mecca when new independent films screen at the Stony Brook Film Festival on evenings and weekends from Thursday, July 22 to Saturday, July 31. The popular festival, now in its 26th year, pairs memorable short films with an array of features you won’t see anywhere else, making it a favorite of moviegoers and filmmakers alike.

The live, in-person screening of the film festival, presented by Island Federal, will be followed up by a virtual festival from Aug. 5 to 30 on the IndieFlix Festivals app. 

Presented by Island Federal, the 2021 Festival lineup boasts 35 films from over 15 countries and includes never-before-seen features from around the globe. The Festival kicks off with the world premiere of The 5th Man, a documentary on Paul Limmer, a former track coach at Bellmore’s Mepham High School. During his 50-year career there, Limmer racked up hundreds of wins, though director Trey Nelson focuses on the story of all the other kids – the ones who never felt “seen” – until Paul Limmer came into their lives. 

The film will be preceded by Feeling Through, an Oscar-nominated short featuring deaf-blind actor Robert Tarango of Selden. Other must-see features include Yamina Benguigui’s Sisters, starring Isabelle Adjani and Maïwenn, a finely crafted reflection on memory and belonging to two worlds and As Far As I Know, an uncompromising film that wrestles with questions of perspective and victimhood. Milcho Manchevski’s newest masterpiece Willow is resplendent in unforgettable images and unconventional narrative. Closing out the 2021 Festival is the intense and complexly drawn sports drama Final Set.



Thursday, July 22 at 8 p.m.

Feature: The 5th Man, United States

Short: Feeling Through, United States


Friday, July 23 at 7 p.m.

Feature: Risks & Side Effects, Germany

Short: David, United States

Friday, July 23 at 9:15 p.m.

Feature: Red River Road, United States

Short: The Following Year, Spain


Saturday, July 24 at 7 p.m.

Feature: Sisters, France

Short: Girls Are Strong Here, U.S.

Saturday, July 24 at 9:15 p.m.

Feature: Games People Play, Finland

Short: Off Duty, United States


Sunday, July 25 at 7 p.m.

Feature: Persona Non Grata, Denmark

Short: On the Sidewalk, at Night, U.S.

Sunday, July 25 at 9:15 p.m.

Feature: Anchorage, United States

Short: The Saverini Widow, France


Monday, July 26 at 7 p.m.

Feature: As Far As I Know, Hungary

Short: DA YIE, Ghana

Monday, July 26 at 9:15 p.m.

Feature: Willow, Republic of Northern Macedonia, Hungary, Belgium

Short: The Night I Left America, U.S.


Tuesday, July 27 at 7 p.m.

Feature: Fire in the Mountains, India

Short: The Music Video, Canada

Tuesday, July 27 at 9:15 p.m.

Feature: Everything in the End, U.S.

Short: Max is Bleeding, U.S.


Wednesday, July 28 at 7 p.m.

Feature: Sun Children, Iran

Short: Noisy, United States

Wednesday, July 28 at 9:15 p.m.

Feature: The Castle, Lithuania, Ireland

Short: Inverno (Timo’s Winter), Italy


Thursday, July 29 at 7 p.m.

Feature: Murder at Cinema North, Israel

Short: Devek, Israel

Thursday, July 29 at 9:15 p.m.

Feature: How to Stop a Recurring Dream, United Kingdom

Short: This Uncertain Moment, U.S.


Friday, July 30 at 7 p.m.

Feature: Lorelei, United States

Short: Swipe, United States

Friday, July 30 at 9:15 p.m.

Feature: Perfumes, France

Short: Ganef, United Kingdom



Saturday, July 31 at 8 p.m.

Feature: Final Set, France


10:30 p.m.

Ticket information

All live screenings are held at Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts, 100 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook in the 1,000-seat Main Stage theater. Festival passes are on sale for $125, which guarantees entry to all live films at the Staller Center in July. Virtual passes are $85 with guaranteed access to all virtual films. For $250 you can purchase a Gold Pass, which guarantees entry and preferred seating for all live films at the Staller Center in July and full access to the Virtual Festival. Student passes are also available. For more information or to order, call the Staller Center Box Office at 631-632-2787 or visit stonybrookfilmfestival.com.

*This article first appeared in TBR News Media’s Summer Times supplement on June 24, 2021.

The Staller Center for the Arts and Stony Brook University, in partnership with Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP, a Forbes Top Corporate Law Firm in America, presents a complimentary webinar titled Gift Planning on April 14 at 3:00 p.m. Join them for a comprehensive overview of planned giving and creating a vision to benefit you, your loved ones, and your charity.


Vincent Clark: Intermin Director of Planned Giving at Stony Brook University

Ashley Fetter: Assistant Director of Gift Planning at Stony Brook University

Martin S. Glass, Esq.Elder Law Attorney at Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP

Date: April 14, 2021

Time: 3:00 p.m.

The webinar is free but registration is required by visiting www.stallercenter.com/giving/

After registering, you will receive an email confirmation with instructions for joining the meeting.

Jack Licitra & Camryn Quinlan. Photo from Staller Center

Staller Center for the Arts at Stony Brook University and musician Jack Licitra team up once again to offer an uplifting and healing concert, virtually, on Monday, Feb. 15 at 3 p.m.

Titled “Let the Music Heal Your Soul” the concert offers the usual funny songs and crazy antics while touching on some serious issues of loneliness for kids during the pandemic. Jack Licitra believes music is critical to healing and happiness. “Music can heal your soul,” says Licitra, “talking about all of the feelings, and singing about them, using yourself as the instrument, using hand movements and symbols, it can help to  heal your soul … it all helps kids get those feelings out in the open, and it shows them that they’re not alone.”

The Staller Center and Jack Licitra have paired up in the past to offer concerts through the Staller Center’s Outreach and Education Program at local nonprofits, libraries, and at the Staller Center itself. “There are a lot of other kids that feel disconnected from their friends … that’s why we wanted to offer this concert as a resource, to try to help them feel more connected to other kids that are feeling more alone than usual,” says Paul Newland, Outreach Director for the Staller Center for the Arts.

“Let the Music Heal Your Soul” by Jack Licitra and Friends uses music in a healing way by taking familiar melodies, rhythms, and chord progressions, to create a shared community consciousness. The concert features performances by Jack Licitra, Katie Monhan, Camryn Quinlan, and Brian Licitra.

Jack Licitra is a Sayville-based piano/hammond organ driven singer/songwriter; music educator; founder of the music-teaching studio South Bay Arts in Bayport. He has performed with some of the best musicians in the world such as Levon Helm, Jimmy Vivino and Bakithi Kumalo as well as opening shows for legends such as Richie Havens, Buckwheat Zydeco, Pinetop Perkins and even playing for then-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton

The concert is free and registration is required by visiting www.stallercenter.com/outreach.


A scene from 'Louis Van Beethoven'

The Staller Center for the Arts’ much anticipated Spring 2021 Film Series goes virtual on February 11. This year’s series features thirteen independent films you won’t see anywhere else and presents award-winning and record-breaking films from around the world. 

Inspiring and often challenging, the films explore family and social conflict, health and healthcare issues, social justice issues, drug addiction and abuse, and so much more. 

The Staller Center’s entire spring season will be virtual and will be available for viewing from the comfort of your living room using the IndieFlix Festivals app. The full schedule is listed below.

Patrons and households can view all films with one $50 season film pass which includes access to three bonus films. Single tickets for $6 each are also available for purchase. The series is 12 weeks long and will feature ten new premieres and three bonus films from previous Stony Brook Film Festival events. All movies will be available on-demand to watch and re-watch from Thursdays at 7 p.m. through Sundays at midnight. 

To purchase, please visit stallercenter.com/movies.


‘Days of Bagnold Summer’

February 11 to February 14

United Kingdom (86 minutes)


February 18 to February 21

Israel. In Hebrew with subtitles. (85 minutes) 

‘The Subject’

February 25 to February 28

United States. (119 minutes)

*Bonus screening, only available to passholders.

‘Higher Love’

February 25 to February 28

United States. (80 minutes)

*Bonus screening, only available to passholders.

‘Louis Van Beethoven’

March 4 to March 7

Germany. In German with  subtitles. (120 minutes)

‘Yalda, A Night for Forgiveness’

March 11 to March 14

Iran. In Persian with subtitles. (89 minutes)

‘Rose Plays Julie’

March 18 to March 21

Ireland. (100 minutes)

‘Citizens of the World’

March 25 to March 28

Italy. In Italian with subtitles. (92 minutes)

‘Night Shift’

Thursday, April 1 to Sunday, April 4

France. In French with English subtitles. (98 minutes)

‘Blizzard of Souls’

April 8 to April 11

Latvia. In Latvian with subtitles. (104 minutes)

To the Edge of the Sky’

April 15 to April 18

United States. (118 minutes)

*Bonus screening, only available to passholders. Will be followed by a Q&A with directors.

‘Thou Shall Not Hate’

April 22 to April 25

Italy. In Italian with subtitles. (96 minutes)

‘Needle Park Baby’

April 29 to May 2

Switzerland. In Swiss German with subtitles. (98 minutes)

Films have not been rated. Viewer discretion is advised. Closed captions or subtitles available for all films.


'When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit'

Organizers of the Stony Brook Film Festival hosted a virtual awards ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 15. All of the festival winners were in attendance at the ceremony to accept their awards. 

Jury Award for Best Feature

‘The Subject’

The Subject, directed by Lanie Zipoy and written by Chisa Hutchinson, won the Jury Award for Best Feature. The Subject tells the story of a successful documentary filmmaker haunted by his last film, which captured the murder of his subject, a black teen in Harlem. The timely film explores the relationship between an artist and their subject and addresses the harsh reality of race and class among the privileged. The film features Jason Biggs, Aunjanue Ellis, Anabelle Acosta, Carra Patterson, Nile Bullock, and Caleb Eberhardt.

Audience Award for Best Feature

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, directed by Caroline Link and written by Anna Brüggemann, Judith Kerr, and Caroline Link, won the Audience Award for Best Feature. The film features Riva Krymalowski, Marinus Hohmann, Carla Juri, Oliver Masucci, and Justus von Dohnányi. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit is a German film based on the beloved semiautobiographical children’s book by Judith Kerr. 

Anna is a nine-year-old living with her family in Berlin in 1933 when her life completely changes. To escape the Nazis, her father — a well-known Jewish journalist — quietly flees one night, and the rest of the family follows. Anna has to leave everything behind, including her beloved pink rabbit, and begins a new life full of challenges as a refugee abroad. A beautiful story for the whole family, filled with suspense, drama, sadness, and hope, with a timely message about being a refugee in a foreign land.

Jury Award for Best Short

They Won’t Last, a lighthearted short film written and directed by Portlynn Tagavi, won the Jury Award for Best Short. The film tells the story of a woman’s uncertain future when her hopeless boyfriend proposes after a friends’ perfect wedding.

Audience Award for Best Short

The Audience Award for Best Short was presented to Extra Innings. Written and directed by John Gray, the film tells the story of a reporter who interviewed the Boston Red Sox manager in an attempt to uncover secrets from his past. 

Spirit of Independent Filmmaking

The final award presented was the Spirit of Independent Filmmaking, which is awarded to a filmmaker whose work exemplifies the spirit and breadth of filmmaking where the focus is on the art and most often produced with an extremely limited budget. This year’s recipient was Higher Love. Written and directed by Hasan Oswald, the film is a harrowing and unblinking documentary about lives affected by hard drugs, shown with honesty, compassion, desperation, and hope. 

Like many other events around the country, this year’s Festival went virtual through a partnership with IndieFlix. Attendance soared with the virtual option as patrons across the country tuned in to watch the films with family and friends every weekend. Attendees sent regards from across the country, saying “what a relief to have this escape during this time,” and “these films are the only bright spot in our week.” 

“We were thrilled to be able to offer this virtually during the Pandemic, and we were so happy to receive such positive and uplifting feedback from our patrons. The arts are needed now more than ever, and we can’t wait to get back to offering world-class programming in person as soon as it’s safe to do so. Until then, we’ll keep getting creative with virtual programming,” said Alan Inkles, Director of the Stony Brook Film Festival and the Staller Center for the Arts.

The Staller Center for the Arts also announced on Tuesday night that virtual films will continue. Patrons can purchase a Spring Movie Pass to view 14 films for only $40. Films will be offered virtually throughout the Spring using the IndieFlix app. Additionally, the center will continue to provide virtual arts and education outreach and other virtual programming options throughout the year. Visit stallercenter.com or stonybrookfilmfestival.com for more information.

The film festival kicks off tonight with a screening of 'Dreamfactory.'

If the pandemic of 2020 has done anything, it has made us realize how small the world truly is – and how alike we all are in our hopes, dreams, fears and failings. This year, more than ever, thought-provoking and innovative films introduce us to inspiring characters and transport us to new worlds, all from the comfort and safety of our homes.

For the first time in its 25-year history, the Stony Brook Film Festival, presented by Island Federal, moves from a 10-day live event to a 12-week virtual festival starting tonight, Sept. 10, at 7 p.m. and closing with a live Awards Ceremony on Dec. 15.

The films, which can be watched on all platforms and devices in your home including FireTV, AndroidTV, AppleTV, Roku, Chromecast and GooglePlay, feature 24 new and independent premieres from a dozen countries including the United States, Israel, Germany, Hungary, Poland, France, Switzerland, New Zealand, Canada and Portugal. Each feature is preceded by a short film.

The exciting lineup offers stories of every genre: comedy, coming of age, romance, drama and documentaries with many of the films sharing a theme of life interrupted, a universal topic many can relate to as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In these very uncertain and precarious times we find ourselves in we hope the mix of these socially conscience films balanced with uplifting, often fun and joyous stories, with spectacular performances, will provide the stimulation and entertainment we are all so desperately craving,” said festival director Alan Inkles.

The Festival kicks off tonight with the American premiere of Dreamfactory, the romantic story between two movie extras who are torn apart when East Germany closes its border and erects the Berlin Wall. An epic tale told against the backdrop of history, this film is part comedy, part musical, part romance, and a pure joy from beginning to end.

Tickets are available as an all-access, 12-week pass for $60 or may be purchased as a single ticket for each film for $6. The pass for 24 films allows 72 hours each week for viewers to watch and re-watch the weekly line-up. It also includes exclusive filmmaker interviews and Q&As with directors, cast and crew, as well as behind-the-scenes footage and back stories. For more information, visit stonybrookfilmfestival.com or call 631-632-ARTS [2787].

Film schedule:

September 10

FEATURE: Dreamfactory (Germany)

SHORT: Extra Innings (United States)

September 17

FEATURE: The Subject (United States)

SHORT: Corners (United States)

September 24

FEATURE: Those Who Remained (Hungary)

SHORT: Sticker (Macedonia)

October 1

FEATURE: Of Love and Lies (France/Belgium)

SHORT: Generation Lockdown (United States)

October 8

FEATURE: When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit


SHORT: Walk a Mile (New Zealand)

October 15

FEATURE: The Art of Waiting (Israel)

SHORT: Waterproof (United States)

October 22

FEATURE: Higher Love (United States)

SHORT: A Simple F*cking Gesture (Canada)

November 5

FEATURE: Long Time No See (France)

SHORT: Touch (Israel)

November 12

FEATURE: Submission (Portugal)

SHORT: They Won’t Last (United States)

November 19

FEATURE: Relativity (Germany)

SHORT: Forêt Noire (France/Canada)

December 3

FEATURE: On the Quiet (Hungary)

SHORT: Jane (United States)

December 10

FEATURE: My Name is Sara (United States)

SHORT: Maradona’s Legs (Germany/Palestine)

December 15


* Please note: All films in the Stony Brook Film Festival are premiere screenings and have not been rated. Viewer discretion is advised. Films are available to begin streaming at 7 p.m. on Thursdays.

Eddie Alfano stars in the upcoming short, Internet Gangsters, on May 24. Photo from Staller Center

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts is sharing a selection of award-winning short films from previous Stony Brook Film Festivals to watch at home. The shorts, which debuted on May 5,  will be available for free online and will be screened twice a week through June. The films are announced on a weekly basis at www.stonybrookfilmfestival.com/shorts.

“We receive numerous requests every week from our patrons and followers asking for more content to be available at home during this crisis. These shorts are a great way to give them a taste of what the Stony Brook Film Festival is, and it shows what kind of films we premiere,” said Staller Center and Stony Brook Film Festival Director Alan Inkles. 

The series includes introductions from Festival co-programmer, Kent Marks, and Q&A footage from previous festivals.

 “We are excited to see all of our patrons soon, but until then, be safe and stay healthy, and we hope you enjoy this selection of shorts from the Stony Brook Film Festival,” said Inkles. 

Upcoming shorts include Internet Gangsters, a film by Sam Friedlander and starring Deer Park native Eddie Alfano, on Sunday, May 24 at noon; Hunter Gatherer, a film by Ashley Grace on Tuesday, May 26 at noon; and Across the Line, a film by Nadav Shlomo Giladi (in Arabic and Hebrew with subtitles) on Tuesday, June 2 at noon.

To gain access to the films, visitors can subscribe online at www.stonybrookfilmfestival.com or by visiting www.stallercenter.com/athome. 

On March 7 Kelli O’Hara and Sutton Foster joined forces for the first time in a double headline show at Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts for their 2020 Gala and, though no one knew it at the time, this would be the last show of the Staller Center season. Performing songs from their lengthy repertoires, both Tony-winning performers gave it their all to a sold-out crowd despite mounting precautions and fears surrounding COVID-19. 

“I know this is a time of a little bit of nerves and wonder and mystery and anxiety … we want to give you a night away from that,” O’Hara said during her performance. The show went on, but out of an abundance of caution, the Gala’s reception was canceled. Little did O’Hara know, her comment about it being the last time audiences would be together, quickly became true. (see more photos at www.tbrnewsmedia.com)

Days later, on March 10, at the urging of Interim Stony Brook President, Michael Bernstein, the Staller Center announced that all March events were canceled. Bernstein’s bold and forward-thinking guided Staller Center Director, Alan Inkles, in his decision to cancel the Starry Nights concert, which was scheduled that same evening. 

One week after that, Inkles also took the lead and stated that all events at the Staller Center through May 15 would be canceled. In the following days, other theaters and arts organizations, including the Metropolitan Opera, followed suit. In a time of considerable unease, theatre venues across the world have closed their doors to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“We were the first East Coast Arts Center that canceled shows for March last week and second in the country,” Inkles said. Indeed, the Staller Center decided to close before larger venues such as Broadway, The Metropolitan Opera House, and London’s West End. 

Performances by the Russian National Ballet, America’s Got Talent finalist Diavolo, and the 30th-anniversary show of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, among many others, are no longer coming to the Staller Center this season. “We are working with all of our artists and their managers in attempting to reschedule their shows in upcoming seasons and working together to find creative ways to minimize the financial hardships that appear imminent for these performers,” said Inkles. 

Other canceled events include: three remaining MET Opera Live in HD screenings, the Spring Film Series, A Capella Live, Starry Nights, Jack Licitra: U are the Music!, the Emerson String Quartet, Carol Wincenc, and the Doo Wop Project. The Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery is also closed to all in-person visitors through the end of May.

The Box Office is closed to in-person visitors, but patrons are asked to call or email the box office at 631-632-ARTS[2787] or [email protected] with questions or concerns. 

While Staller is offering credit or refunds for all ticketholders, generous sponsors, donors, and partners are offering their help, and many patrons have kindly donated their tickets back. 

“We are certainly seeing some great humanity in the art world as everyone scrambles to help each other,” Inkles said. 

Stay tuned for announcements on the Staller Center’s 2021-22 Season at www.stallercenter.com and visit www.stonybrookfilmfestival.com for information on this July’s 25th Annual Stony Brook Film Festival.

All photos by Millie Elangbam/Staller Center