Author: Tybee Post Theater

Gray’s Reef, Tybee Post team up for ocean-themed film series

Gray’s Reef, Tybee Post team up for ocean-themed film series

By Jim Reed/SMN

The world’s oceans are, without a doubt, the key to the continued existence of life as we know it on this big blue marble we call Earth. That’s especially obvious to those of us who live near the coastline, where visible signs of that inestimably integral relationship are omnipresent.

However, it’s far too easy to take the health and welfare of our natural bodies of water and the myriad creatures that inhabit them for granted. The U.S. Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is devoted to promoting the necessity of preserving and strengthening our country’s natural aquatic treasures, and here in the Savannah area, Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary is our local branch of the federal government’s network of protected underwater parks.

One of the most popular educational and recreational attractions on the Southeastern coast, this 22-square-mile protected environment of open ocean is located a little over 15 miles off Sapelo Island. Gray’s Reef is a treasure to behold, as it provides a home for a vast array of fish, whales, sharks and sea turtles.

For the past 13 years, the staff of this government entity has presented a wonderful annual film festival geared toward showcasing the very best in informative, entertaining motion pictures which celebrate and raise awareness of the fragile beauty of our seas, as well as the underwater kingdom of unique and often endangered species they hold. That festival runs for just a couple of days in Historic Downtown Savannah, but now, Gray’s Reef has partnered with Tybee Island’s newly restored Tybee Post Theater to launch a similar, weekly series of award-winning films.

Gray’s Reef Tuesdays, as the new, seven-week series is known, kicks off July 5 with a screening of “Turtle: The Incredible Journey,” a celebrated 80-minute documentary from 2009 that earned high marks from viewers and critics alike, but is said to have been hampered by distribution woes which unfortunately kept it from being viewed by the wider audience it deserved. Narrated by esteemed British actress Miranda Richardson and featuring breathtaking underwater cinematography, it has been hailed as an unusually “poetic” non-fiction film that boasts a keen sense of dramatic tension. Its emotional and inspirational storyline about the 25-year saga of a Florida-born loggerhead turtle that swims the entire North Atlantic to Africa before returning to her birthplace to lay eggs makes it ideal for inquisitive children, while still appealing to adults.

Chris Hines, executive director of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, says this film, as well as the others in the new weekly series, have all been featured at the organization’s annual festival at one time or another.

“These are ‘fan favorites,’” Hines says. “We’ll show films from this past year and ones that stretch back as long as six years ago, but which are still stunning pieces of work. We sought films that could be relevant to coastal Georgia and that we could connect to Gray’s Reef during the introduction and the post-film Q&A. Film topics range from turtles, dolphins, sharks and lionfish to plastic art, pirates, lighthouses, friendship and ocean stewardship. The goal of our annual festival and this film series is the same: to combine art, education and enjoyment to inspire conservation.”

“We are all deeply connected to the ocean,” Hines says. “By taking pride and recognizing the important of the ocean and special places such as Gray’s Reef, we hope to instill a sense of ocean stewardship in our community and visitors. The ocean gives us 50 percent of all oxygen on Earth and we are all connected through watersheds to the ocean. From the amount of water we use, to our fertilizers, food choices and recycling, many of our decisions affect the ocean.

“Gray’s Reef is an amazing underwater park and one of only 14 national marine sanctuaries throughout the U.S. We want folks to see, understand and take pride in their national marine sanctuary. Gray’s Reef is 16 miles offshore, so many people may not have the opportunity to visit the sanctuary for fishing or diving. Therefore, bringing Gray’s Reef to the community in multiple ways is very important for us.”

To that end, Hines feels movies provide an ideal method with which to impart his organization’s message.

“Film is an incredible medium to showcase our underwater world,” he explains. “We have heard countless times that people had no idea what kinds of amazing marine life thrive just off the Georgia coast. Through film and images, we are able to make that human connection to the underwater world that is so vital.”

The complete schedule of Gray’s Reef Tuesdays includes “National Geographic’s Secret Life of Predators” on July 12, “Winter, the Dolphin That Can” on July 19, “Guy Harvey Expeditions: Sharks and Lionfish” on July 26, a double-bill of “True Tales of Pirates” and “Lighthouses of the Southeast” on Aug. 2, plus several more to be announced. Each Tuesday event includes live discussions with experts in the field of ocean life, and in some cases, special appearances by the filmmakers themselves.

“Most of the films we chose all have a connection to Georgia,” Hines says. “For example, At the opening evening on July 5, we feature the amazing loggerhead sea turtle, and Tybee is home to many of these loggerheads every summer. Then, the films from National Geographic and Guy Harvey stress the need to balance ocean conservation with recreational and commercial activities such as fishing and diving. The critters and footage from National Geographic is absolutely mindblowing, and I look forward to seeing it on the big screen!

“‘Winter, the Dolphin That Can’ features a dolphin that’s rescued and fitted with a prosthetic tail in Florida. It shows the incredible perseverance and intelligence of bottlenose dolphins, which are a common sight around Tybee and throughout coastal Georgia’s significant amount of rivers, marsh and estuaries. The films range widely by topic area, but all feature important messages in an entertaining format.”

Hines encourages adult viewers to bring their young ones to these films, and stresses that all the featured selections are “family friendly.” Plus, the low admission cost of just $5 per person (which is a suggested donation, and will be divided between Gray’s Reef and the theater) makes it an extremely affordable night out, and all for a great cause. Concessions available for purchase include beer, wine, soft drinks, hot popcorn and a variety of candies.

Planning for this series has been in the works for a few months now, and Hines has nothing but praise for their chosen location.

“Tybee Post Theater is an outstanding venue and partner for us,” he says. “The historic theater is now beautifully restored. It has commercial class video projection equipment, great concessions and theater seating for 200. It is perfectly located on Tybee Island to attract a nice mix of locals and tourists as they enjoy the ocean.

“We hope to encourage locals and tourists alike to appreciate our offshore natural resources and protected places such as Gray’s Reef. If the series is successful this year, we hope turn this into an annual event that benefits our great community and the ocean!”

IF YOU GO
What: “Gray’s Reef Tuesdays,” an ocean-themed film series

When: 7 p.m. Tuesdays from July 5-Aug. 16

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $5 suggested donation

Info: www.graysreefNMSF.org, www.tybeeposttheater.org

Nationally touring comedian Collin Moulton hosts monthly show at Tybee Post

Nationally touring comedian Collin Moulton hosts monthly show at Tybee Post

By Linda Sickler, SMN

Collin Moulton is ready to spend more time at home.

While he performs regularly in such entertainment hot spots as Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New York City, he has started doing “Collin’s Barefoot Comedy Club”once a month at the Tybee Post Theater.

“I moved to Wilmington Island in August and I have little kids,” Moulton says. “The more things I can do at home, the better.

“When I’m home, I’m home, but the kids wanted to see me live. When you’re a comedian, your neighbors and dentist all want to see you do comedy.”

A regular at the Brad Garrett Comedy Club in Las Vegas, Moulton did a successful solo show at the Tybee Post in December. His comedy club premiered in May.

“It was super fun and family friendly,” Moulton says. “People brought their kids.”

The name of the club comes from Tybee tradition, Moulton says.

“It’s so cool living the lifestyle of the islands,” he says. “You want to feel like you’re there at the beach.”

In August, Moulton, his wife and kids moved to Wilmington Island.

“I very seldom wear shoes,” he says. “I wear flips-flops.”

While the comedy club reflects that casual style, it’s totally serious about comedy, he says.

“I have special guests opening for me for the next two episodes,” Moulton says. “On Aug. 1, I will start a podcast.

“The show will be half stand-up, half podcast. I will be doing 10 to 15 new minutes to open and then bringing in headliners from around the country who are super funny and can do family friendly comedy and have it be legit and funny.”

After 30 minutes of comedy from the headliner, Moulton will do an interactive podcast with the audience.

“Everywhere I go, the comedy clubs all have a special engagement with some famous podcaster and comedian,” he says. “When they do that, they come once every year or 18 months.

“My feeling was to have a terrestrial podcast, which is fixed in place,” Moulton says. “It will be dedicated to that theater once a month, and it’s also interactive.”

It will take time to develop a following for the podcast, but Moulton doesn’t doubt that it will happen.

“It’s in a destination place and is its own destination,” he says. “It will be on the Internet and people who want to go on vacation and see their favorite podcast can come to Tybee.”

A blogger as well as a podcaster, Moulton can be found online at collinlive.com and collinstuff.com.

With its constant stream of locals and tourists, Tybee Island is a perfect spot for entertainment, Moulton says.

“We’ll have an influx of new blood all over the summer,” he says. “The fact that it is in one of people’s favorite places in the world, the beach, was an added bonus.”

As a child, Moulton was taken to see Steve Martin in concert and it left a vivid impression. The first time he performed was at The Laugh Factory in Los Angeles.

For 15 years, Moulton has toured constantly, doing clubs, cruise ships, corporations and colleges.

After winning the Rocky Mountain Laff-Off, he was featured on Comedy Central’s “Best of the Improv” and was chosen one of the “Best in Fest” at the Montreal Comedy Festival.

During his career, Moulton has written for Ron White and with Alex Reymundo.

“I have so much work,” Moulton says. “The trick is to just balance it.

“One of the reasons I moved to Savannah is because the overhead is lower,” he says. “It makes more sense and I don’t have to scramble.”

Having the show on Tybee helps Moulton enjoy the things he loves.

“I love my family, I love my neighbors, I love the place I live,” he says. “Any way I can combine them is great.”

Today, Moulton couldn’t be happier.

“My lifestyle now is I’m immersed into Savannah so much,” he says. “I love it. I like being in the beach community and being a part of it. It feels really natural.”

Although he has the challenge of coming up with a different routine every month, Moulton is ready.

“I do so much crowd work, it is a new show each time,” he says. “My objective throughout the summer is that with lots of tourism, we can repeat, but mostly we’ll be keeping it fresh.

“I love the islands lifestyle — the people, the sweetness,” Moulton says. “I thought they were trying to trick me into staying, but now I find myself doing it.”

On June 26, Atlanta comedian Andrew George will headline. Bengt Washburn, who has appeared on “Conan,” will appear in August.

Moulton does his own booking.

“I’ve played all over the world,” he. “I’m really lucky in that I’ve never burned any bridges.

“I’ve done really well in comedy clubs, so I book my own comedy. I make my own relationships.

“If I trust you and you show up, that already puts me head and shoulders above the competition,” Moulton says. “These are all people that I like.”

Although he has been successful, Moulton still strives for something more.

“I’m growing as a comedian,” he says. “I’ve gotten good at colleges and I’ve started booking a lot of those shows.

“I’ve gotten good on cruise ships, but don’t go for long periods. I’ve been doing a lot of corporations the last couple of years.

“I have the best of all those worlds,” Moulton says. “My eggs aren’t in one basket.”

Moulton knows he’s on to something good with Collin’s Barefoot Comedy Club.

“Everybody needs to laugh,” he says. “I feel like you should leave wanting to laugh more.

“I talk about real stuff. There is nothing quite like stand-up and if you put it in places like Tybee Island, you can’t miss.

“There is nothing working against that show,” Moulton says. “There is no way to fail; it’s always going to be a good show.”

IF YOU GO

What: Collin’s Barefoot Comedy Club

When: 8 p.m. June 26; doors open at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $15 or $13.50 for members

Info: tybeeposttheater.showare.com, 912-472-4790