July 6, 2017

DOCUTAH Presents Tuacahn: Miracle in Padre Canyon

Tuacahn Amphitheatre is more than a place for family entertainment. It is a driving force in the community; a place where lives are changed, friendships are made, and audiences come together for high quality family entertainment. This year, the DSU DOCUTAH International Documentary Film Festival joins with Tuacahn Amphitheatre to present a film intertwining the history of this unique place with a behind the scenes look at just how the production of[Text Wrapping Break]Shrek the Musical came together. The film, Tuacahn: Miracle in Padre Canyon, launches the 2017 DOCUTAH film festival at a gala event at Tuacahn on September 4th. The DOCUTAH festival runs from September 5 – 9 on the campus of Dixie State University in St. George, Utah.

The idea sprung from David Pugsley, a member of the Tuacahn board for six years, and his wife, Nanette. Dave and Nanette felt that Tuacahn was not only an important piece of the history of Southern Utah, but also a great story about the resource that the venue is and how it has impacted the lives of the community and the performers.

Kevin Smith, CEO of Tuacahn, gives great credit to David and Nanette Pugsley. “Their vision was instrumental in seeing how a documentary about Tuacahn, produced by DOCUTAH, was a perfect fit for two institutions dedicated to advancing the arts and education.”

“We approached Tuacahn’s artistic director, Scott Anderson, who told us if we wanted a great documentary, Phil Tuckett, the festival director of DOCUTAH, was the perfect person to speak to,” noted Pugsley.

Tuckett, who produced and wrote the film, felt that it was important not only to tell the history of Tuacahn, but also to allow viewers to understand how the complex productions staged at Tuacahn Amphitheatre are created, mounted and brought to life. The result is a feature length documentary.

“By going back in time to reveal the story of the creation of Tuacahn Center for the Arts and Tuacahn Amphitheatre, we demonstrate what the founders first envisioned—that Padre Canyon could be more than just landscape. We also bring the audience to the first audition for Shrek: The Musical and to opening night,” said Tuckett.

Any place an audition was held for Shrek, Tuckett and Director/Director of Photography Ben Braden, were there—Los Angeles, New York, Salt Lake City, Tuacahn– capturing the drama and documenting the evolution of the work. They worked closely with Anderson as sets were built, wardrobe designed, makeup created and rehearsals took place. “Ben and I have been working for several years to put together films which chronicle the history and culture of the Southwest, a group we call High Desert Chronicles. The history of Tuacahn is a perfect complement for that series of documentaries,” continued Tuckett.

“Once we got together with Phil on this project, we saw it as an opportunity for two great institutions to do something together, to bring something awesome to our area,” said Nanette. “It seemed like a perfect fit. Very few places are lucky enough to have Tuacahn and DOCUTAH.”

“We knew that DOCUTAH was the right venue to tell the Tuacahn story. Its mission fits with our mission, which is not only to entertain, but also to educate. Just as Tuacahn High School students can avail themselves of the knowledge working professionals bring to their campus, DSU students are always involved with the DOCUTAH Festival and in the production of the student films we produce each year,” said Tuckett.

Information about the Gala and Screening on September 4 can be found on the DOCUTAH Website. Tickets for the Gala and film can be reserved through the Tuacahn Website at www.tuacahn.org/DOCUTAH. Information about the DOCUTAH International Documentary Film Festival will be on the DOCUTAH Website in July. Tickets may be purchased through the DSU Box office in mid-July. A link can be found on the DOCUTAH Website at docutah.com.


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