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Cantata for a Loop Trail, Ultima Partida, 48 Hour Film Project, and The New Black

A preview of Erik Spangler’s ‘hiking opera,’ Cantata for a Loop Trail; Monica Lopez-Gonzalez’ theatrical experiment, UltimaPartida – The Final Draw; Rob Hatch reviews the 48 Hour Film Project; and Yoruba Richen discusses her documentary, The New Black

  An innovative musical production is about to debut in the woods of Baltimore’s Leakin Park, a ‘hiking opera’ titled, Cantata for a Loop Trail.  The Signal’s Aaron Henkin hikes the trail with composer and sound artist Erik Spangler.


left to right: actor Ignacio Garcia-Bustelo, director Monica Lopez-Gonzales, and actress Luz Nicolas

  A man and a woman agree to meet in a cabaret for an emotional, final conversation.  A piano player tickles the ivories at the club, and his music has a strange way of following along with the ups and downs of the couple’s tête-à-tête.  Such is the scenario in a new play called Ultima Partida – The Final Draw, and playwright/director Monica Lopez-Gonzalez joins Aaron Henkin to explain how it works. 

Monica Lopez-Gonzalez' "Ultima Partida - The Final Draw"


Rob Hatch, 48 Hour Film Project event producer, at the WYPR studios

  For your average Hollywood movie, the production timeline goes something like this:  six months for script-work, casting, and location scouting; four more months for shooting; then another eight months for editing and post-production.  Now imagine compressing that timeline into two days.  It’s not a challenge for the weak of heart, but it can be done.  Several local teams proved it last weekend at Baltimore’s 48 Hour Film Project.  Event producer Rob Hatch visits with Aaron Henkin to tell how it went.

Rob Hatch explains the 48 Hour Film Project


  The documentary film, The New Black, explores gay rights within the African American community. From church pews and conference rooms to street corners and kitchen tables, the film reveals the evolution of this divisive issue.  Director Yoruba Richen talks with producer Lisa Morgan.

Yoruba Richen discusses "The New Black"

Aaron creates and produces original radio programs and podcasts for WYPR. His current project is The Maryland Curiosity Bureau. Aaron's neighborhood documentary series, Out of the Blocks, earned the 2018 national Edward R Murrow Award. His past work includes the long-running weekly cultural program, The Signal, and the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings series, Tapestry of the Times. Aaron's stories have aired nationally on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered.