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Monday, Nov. 23, 2015

Shaping the City

Documentary Series continues with episodes 5-8


Documentary series continues with Episodes 5-8

Shreveport natives and brothers Will and Jim Broyles announced Nov. 9 the latest episodes of the “Shape of Shreveport” will be released for a showing 7 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Historic Strand Theatre.

Episodes 5-8 will feature four new topics centered around Shreveport’s history. The topics for this new installment of the “Shape of Shreveport” cover baseball in Shreveport, Huey “Lead Belly” Ledbetter, Barksdale Air Force Base and the Civil War.

“My brother, Jim, and I and some other folks embarked on this and it’s been a fun ride so far,” Will said. “The first event got a lot of people talking. We had a great turn out. We had, I think, four excellent episodes. The shame in that is that everyone came out June 4 with no expectation and so for this followup they are going to have a lot of expectations and we are hoping to meet them and exceed those.”

Strand Theatre Executive Director Jenifer Hill also confirmed the continuing partnership between the series and The Strand. The first event, showing Episodes 1-4 of the “Shape of Shreveport,” was a sellout and raised more than $25,000 for the Strand.

Tickets will be $20, and all proceeds will go to the Strand.

“To give you the broader outline, our goal is to see Shreveport grow. In order to do that, we feel it’s important for us to know our history,” Will said.

He said one of the thing that Shreveport is lacking is a cultural identifier that other Louisiana cities have.

“Here we have this mix, and it’s a beautiful mix of how we are kinda of like Louisiana and kinda of like Texas and we sort of struggle through what is our identity,” he said.

The first four episodes covered the Yellow Fever epidemic, Capt. Henry Shreve, Elvis and Martin Luther King Jr. and the two crashes that happened in the area.

Will said the subjects of the new episodes are insightful, challenging and entertaining.

“The second time around will be a little bit of a high demand,” Will said. “I think it will be wise for people to pay attention on Dec. 1 and get their tickets early.”

Will said the format of the new episodes will come together differently.

“Last time, we had four stories and it was a questions and answer forum,” he said. “This time we are going to change it up just a little bit.”

Will said he learned a lot in the process of researching for the episode on Barksdale Air Force Base. “How the city rallied around this opportunity to bring Barksdale Air Force Base here and what we mean in terms of national security,” he said. “It’s a really fascinating episode.”

Will said the Lead Belly episode will feature a spin on Lead Belly never discussed previously.

“[We are going to talk about] how this area influenced [Lead Belly’s] music, his roots and the way he has impacted music and how Shreveport was at the time. In those complicated times, we talk about how murder is involved and the red light district that existed in Shreveport.”

Will said the Civil War episode was a challenging subject to feature.

“We will be handling it with great care. We are going to talk about the monument in front of our courthouse that has been in some controversial lights. Shreveport overcame a lot and suffered a lot and there’s a dichotomy and we will explore some of that.”

Will said because of the baseball topic, the group is looking into serving soft serve ice cream in Shreveport Captains helmet cups.

The Broyles brothers continued to work with Chris Lyon, a director and editor; and Chris Scott is the co-executive producer of the “Shape of Shreveport.”

Moving forward, the team will also work with Liz Swaine and the Downtown Development Authority and an “organic group” of residents looking to better the community through partnerships.

“[We have had] a lot of good responses through the first installment,” Will said. “We are hoping to sell out.”

Beside the “Shape of Shreveport” series, the group also has a speaker series planned for early next year. Will said the event will be in February and feature discussions of experts. The first speaker series will be about Shreveport’s heroes and villains.

The Robinson Film Center will also host a limited run of Episodes 5-8 in February.

–Lydia Earhart

Want to go?

Tickets go on sale Dec. 1. Get tickets at www.thestrandtheatre. com or call 226-8555.


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