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Liza Sacheli

Chicago-Based Theatre Company Manual Cinema Presents “The End of TV” January 30

December 21, 2018

Breathtaking Performance Creates a Film Right Before Your Eyes


Middlebury, VT—Sometimes a work of art is so unusual, astonishing, or moving that the experience of it is hard to describe effectively. Such is the case with Manual Cinema’s The End of TV—a multi-media theater/film hybrid coming to Middlebury College on January 30. The storyline of The End of TV explores two sides of the American Dream—its technicolor promise through TV advertising, and its failure witnessed in industrial decline. But the beautiful, moving story is only part of the appeal.

Using vintage overhead projectors, multiple screens, puppets, actors, live-feed cameras, multichannel sound design, and a live music ensemble, Manual Cinema transforms the experience of attending the movies into an immersive event created right before your eyes. Then, as a special treat at the end of the show, the audience is invited onstage to meet the company, see the equipment and puppetry, try out some video in front of the green screen, and learn how the complex production is made.

“The End of TV, surely the very retro-coolest and most creatively compulsive show of the Chicago summer, is not really about the end of TV… It’s actually about how we survive despite it living on.”—Chicago Tribune


“Prepare to be surprised,” says Mahaney Arts Center Director Liza Sacheli, “seeing this company is like watching an intricately choreographed dance. One moment, you’ll be watching the puppets. Then you’ll get caught up in the GoPro part…. then it’s the musicians, who are scoring the whole show as it goes. Meanwhile, it all comes together as a movie above your head. The magic happens right before your eyes.”

This show will appeal to young and old alike. Performing Arts Series Director Allison Coyne Carroll previewed the show in Chicago with her 13 year old son. “Now an artistic performance with a teen in tow is always an adventure,” she noted. “But I wasn’t prepared for how deeply moved I would be by a work that has virtually no dialogue. Even more incredibly, my son was actively attentive throughout the show. Afterward I asked him if this would be a good performance for Middlebury. He gave an immediate and enthusiastic ‘Oh yeah!’”

The End of TV was made possible with funding by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Theater Project, with lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


About Manual Cinema

Manual Cinema, founded in 2010, is a performance collective, design studio, and film/video production company which transforms the experience of attending the cinema, imbuing it with liveness, ingenuity, and theatricality, and creating immersive stories for stage and screen.

Manual Cinema is prolific and varied in their storytelling. In addition to The End of TV, they have created six other feature length shows as well as site-specific installations, music videos, short films, and live cinematic puppet adaptations of StoryCorps stories. Their work has been commissioned by the Logan Square Arts Center, the University of Chicago, and the Grammy-winning music ensemble Eighth Blackbird. Manual Cinema’s short film The Forger won a 2017 Emmy Award.

The company’s work has been featured at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Tehran International Puppet Festival, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Noorderzon Festival (Netherlands), The Detroit Institute of Art, the Chicago International Music and Movies Festival, and elsewhere around the world. In 2018, the company debuted in Holland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.

Manual Cinema has served as ensemble in residence at the University of Chicago; its members have been guest lecturers at Yale University, and have taught residencies and workshops at universities and festivals around the country.

“One of the great joys of any Manual Cinema production is to watch the madcap, kinetic activity of the performers as they make a movie come into being in front of our eyes.”—Chicago Reader


Performance Details

Manual Cinema will present “The End of TV” on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at 7:30 P.M. at Wright Memorial Theatre, on the campus of Middlebury College. Wright Theatre is located at 96 Chateau Road in Middlebury, just off Route 125. Free parking is available on Route 125, on Old Chapel Road, and in the College parking lot off Shannon Street, with handicap-accessible parking available on Chateau Road. Tickets are $22 for adults; $16 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, emeriti, and alumni; $10 for youth; and $6 for Middlebury College students; and are on sale at 802-443-MIDD (6433) or


Image captions:

(right hand images) Manual Cinema will present the multi-media theatre/film work The End of TV on Wednesday, January 30 at Middlebury College’s Wright Theatre. Photo Maren Celest.

(top left) Manual Cinema will present the multi-media theatre/film work The End of TV on Wednesday, January 30 at Middlebury College’s Wright Theatre. Photo Judy Sirota Rosenthal.

(left, second from top) Manual Cinema will present the multi-media theatre/film work The End of TV on Wednesday, January 30 at Middlebury College’s Wright Theatre. Photo Danny Ghitis.

Mahaney Arts Center
Middlebury College
South Main St./Route 30 South
72 Porter Field Rd.
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 443-3168 phone
(802) 443-2834 fax