Yes, this film is worthwhile — even for K-State loyalists.
“Jayhawkers,” written and directed by Kevin Willmott, tells the powerful fable of how a small group of unlikely allies modernized college sports and changed a small midwestern town — serving as a parallel to the Civil Rights movement that would transform an entire American society.
During his years at KU, hounded by the media and fans alike, Wilt Chamberlain created a second world in the black community of Kansas City jazz music and nightlife.
Naive to the notion of segregation, Chamberlain almost left Kansas without playing a game when he discovered that Lawrence was a world separated by black and white.
That bleak reality threatened to strain his relationship with Coach Phog Allen, but with the backing and support of a KU chancellor, Wilt’s presence helped to change a community.
Only one year removed the landmark “Brown vs. Board of Education” lawsuit in Topeka, the struggle for dignity and civil rights on the basketball court would bond a team and change a town forever.
Willmott, an associate professor in the Film Studies Department at the University of Kansas, brings this story to life.
Willmott grew up in Junction City and received a B.A. in drama at Marymount College in Salina. He attended graduate studies at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, receiving several writing awards and his M.F.A. in dramatic writing.
There will be a question and answer session with Willmott after the 7 p.m. screening on Saturday at the C.L. Hoover Opera House.
General admission tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students 18 and under. Tickets can be purchased at the door, by phone at (785) 238-3906 or online at jcoperahouse.org.
Also at the Opera House is the Wichita’s Tallgrass Film Association’s Tallgrass Film Festival at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
These short subject films span all genres and include 11 films from Kansas filmmakers, international shorts, and 2013 award-winners including the Audience Award winning short “Dotty” and the winner of the Kansas Best Short Film, “Full Service.”
Tickets are $5.
And if you are enjoying this week’s cold front, don’t miss seeing the Oscar winning film “Frozen” one last time before spring on a big screen.
The Union Program Council is showing the Disney animation blockbuster at 8 p.m. Friday for $2, as well as 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday and 8 p.m. Sunday for $3. K-State students and military receive a dollar off.
Here’s a look at other area events:
Meet the Music: Clarinet Students of Tod Kerstetter, 6:30 p.m.
Beach Museum of Art.
Growing and Cooking Springtime Vegetables, 7 p.m.
Learn to grow and use some of the super vegetables from the garden like broccoli, kale, spinach and more.
Pottorf Hall, CiCo Park.
K-State Theatre presents two one act operas: “Trial by Jury” by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan and “The Old Maid and the Thief” by Gian Carlo Menotti, 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
This evening of opera promises both a lighthearted satire and a twisted tale of morals and evil.
“Trial by Jury” is a comedic opera concerning a trial for a breach-of-promise marriage, and “The Old Maid and the Thief” is a radio opera following a small town woman and a tale of evil, womanly power. Directed by Reginald Pittman. For tickets, visit k-state.edu/mccain or call (785) 532-6428. Nichols Theatre.
Patricia Thompson, mezzo soprano with guest artists The Thundering Cats Big Band, 7:30 p.m.
All Faiths Chapel.
Stand Up Night hosted by Blair Kocher, 8:30 p.m.
Opening Reception for “Watercolor — Delicate Beauty From A Difficult Medium,” 5-8 p.m.
Featuring 17 watercolor painters, including Ralph Fontenot, Oscar Larmer, Margaret Buie, and Judy Wareham Lyon, all with Manhattan connections. There are also watercolor paintings, from private collections, by Dean Mitchell and Clayton Staples.
Paintings in other media by Christina Klein, Kathleen Shanahan and Nelson Smith; and a new series of work by Ann Carter are also on exhibit.
Also featuring ceramics by a dozen artists, including Bo Bedilion, Glenda Taylor, Mark Freeman, Bambi Freeman, Glenda Taylor, Carol Long, Fong Choo, Cathy Broski, Herrick Smith and Danny Meisinger.
The exhibit runs through April 26. Visit strecker-newlsongallery.com for information.
Flint Hills Festival of Wines — Wine Dinner and Live Auction, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
For the first time in Festival history, guests will enjoy a Dueling Wine Dinner as each course will offer guests the opportunity to sample the contrasting elements of wines from two very different regions of the world.
The fun continues as the Live Auction begins during dessert and guests get the opportunity to bid on some truly one-of-a-kind items.
McCain Performance Series: Danu, 7:30 p.m.
A high-energy celebration of the Emerald Isle, the music of Danú offers an authentic Irish experience. Using traditional instruments, flute, tin whistle, fiddle, button accordion and bouzouki, the music is clever and fun.
Danú mixes ancient Irish music with contemporary works to create an unforgettable evening. Hailing from historic County Waterford, Danú is one of the leading traditional Irish ensembles of today.
For tickets, visit k-state.edu/mccain or call (785) 532-6428.
Manhattan Arts Center presents “Harvey,” a play by Mary Chase, 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
This play is sponsored by Friends of Carole Setser, in memory of David Chastan, and in memory of Charlotte Edelman.
To reserve tickets, please call (785) 537-4420 or visit manhattanarts.org.
UPC Film: “Frozen,” 8 p.m. for $2. Also 7 and 9:45 p.m. Saturday and 8 p.m. Sunday for $3.
K-State Student Union Forum Hall.
The Yawpers with Joshua Jay, 9 p.m.
Aggie Central Station.
K-State After Hours: Comedian Mat Franco, 10:30 p.m.
Tubaphonium Festival and Bassoon Afternoon, McCain Music Wing. For information, visit www.k-state.edu/music.
29th Annual Flint Hills Home Show, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Visit www.flinthillsbuilders.com for show details. Cost: $5 at the door, $4 with a coupon from the shows website.
National Guard Armory.
Emporia State University Day, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Show your school pride by joining the Flint Hills Discovery Center for several special football-themed weekends, including meet-and-greets with local football celebrities. Discounted admission is available with current student ID.
Flint Hills Discovery Center.
Catch Amy, 4 p.m.
Flannigan’s Right Hook, 4 p.m.
Aggie Central Station.
Flint Hills Festival of Wines, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Featuring a variety of more than 200 wines and spirits from around the world as well as delicious appetizers from area restaurants. Throughout the event our large Silent Auction will feature over 90 fun and unique items for bidders.
A private tasting will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will feature a selection of highly rated and very desirable wines as well as gourmet catering to pair.
Hilton Garden Inn.
Jazz Brunch, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Bluestem Bistro.
Read to Dogs, 2-4 p.m.
Read to a certified therapy dog. The dogs have been trained to listen, and they help children relax while reading. Avid readers welcome also. No sign up required.
Manhattan Public Library Storytime Room.
KSU Concert Band, 3 p.m.
Jazz Trio, 6-8 p.m.