The staged reading of the future 35-minute short film called “Tolerance” is slated for Wednesday, May 25, at 7:30 p.m. at Beowulf Alley Theatre, 11 S. 6th Ave. in downtown Tucson.
Tickets are free but reservations are encouraged and can be made by calling 360-0565 or sending a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Northwest resident Randall Heller is the producer and author of the film.
“‘Tolerance’ is a political satire that deals with human and civil rights issues including racial and social injustice, intolerance, hate, bigotry and violence. Ultimately, the message of the film is unity through diversity achieved by non-violent interaction and cooperation,” said Heller, who resides in the Catalina/SaddleBrooke area.
“Besides being a conduit for the compelling issues of our time,” continued Heller, “‘Tolerance’ is also a silly, sophomoric project that pays homage to the films of Mel Brooks and to ‘Airplane’ and ‘Rocky and Bullwinkle’, along with a little Abbot and Costello.”
The film tells the story of an old Arizona cowboy who yearns for the way things used to be, said Heller. As the cowboy recalls, the people in the Old West town in which he grew up were tolerant and respectful; they stood up for what was right and what was just. Suddenly, the cowboy is magically transported from present day Tucson to the Old West town he remembers. He meets up with an old friend, Igor the hunchback, and convinces Igor to accompany him as he reacquaints himself with his hometown and with what he thinks used to be.”
“During their daylong travels,” said Heller, “the old cowboy and Igor encounter a Mardi Gras parade, a potential high noon fight between a gunslinger and a Samurai that ends with a game of rock, paper and scissors, a rudimentary game of baseball where the question is asked, Who’s on First?; and a visit to the Last Shot Dry Mouth Saloon, where motorcycle gang bikers are discussing philosophy and Flatulence Jack makes an appearance. They finally end up at the Mayor’s office, where the Black, Jewish and gay mayor (the trifecta of hate) is playing chess with the Hispanic sheriff.
“There’s a lot more,” said Heller, “but why spoil all the fun?”
Heller has been working on the project for more than a year. He decided to produce the project as a staged reading, using more than 20 local actors in a live theater venue to work out potential kinks in the script as well as generate interest in the project.