SAFTA Films and Birdhouse Theater Present…

Open Screen Night Featuring Locally Shot Film, Macbeth!



On Monday, November 24th, the Birdhouse Walk-In Theater and SAFTA Films will be proudly showing the film Macbeth, directed by Rob Simpson, as a part of their monthly Open Screen Nights. In support of local and regional filmmakers, The Birdhouse and SAFTA Films curate these screenings to provide a space for Knoxville artists to showcase their work for free to an audience. The screenings take place on the last Monday of every month at 7:45PM.

In this post-apocalyptic iteration of Shakespeare’s tragedy, shot completely in Knoxville and the surrounding areas, Macbeth is a powerful general in the king’s army who receives a vision that he will be king from a trio of witches. Taking destiny into his own hands he and his vicious wife, Lady Macbeth, plot the murder of their king. In the murders wake Macbeth and Lady Macbeth scramble to maintain a hold of their newfound throne. Facing rebellion on all sides, the tyrant Macbeth stops at nothing to silence all those who oppose his rule.

Director Rob Simpson majored in English literature at the University of Tennessee before going on to attend the New York Film Academy. After producing a number of short films in New York City, he moved back to Knoxville to work in film and television. Before Macbeth, he had produced and directed two other original versions of Shakespeare’s plays: Hamlet and Twelfth Night.

This screening will also showcase short films by Knoxville filmmakers John Fairstein, Mitch Moore, Cary Wolfe, Jacob Boyd, and Clinton Elmore.

Open Screen Nights take place at the Birdhouse Community Center in the Fourth and Gill Neighborhood in North Knoxville. The Walk-In Theater also holds screenings of popular movies every Monday night beginning at 8PM. All screenings are free and open to the public, though donations are always accepted. Free popcorn is provided.

If you are a filmmaker and would like to have your work featured at an Open Screen Night, the Birdhouse and SAFTA Films are accepting submissions for the 2015 season. Contact Blake Wahlert at and Vania Smrkovski at for more information on how to submit.

Sundress Academy for the Arts Reading Series Presents Maureen Thorson and Darius Stewart


Sundress Academy for the Arts is excited to present Maureen Thorson and Darius Stewart for the November award winning SAFTA reading series. The event will be held at The Birdhouse (800 N 4th Ave, Knoxville, TN 37917) at 3 PM on Sunday, November 9th.

Maureen Thorson is the author of two books of poetry, My Resignation (Shearsman 2014) and Applies to Oranges (Ugly Duckling 2011), as well as a number of chapbooks and pamphlets, most recently A Good Attitude (Flying Object 2014). She lives in Washington, DC, where she is the poetry editor for Open Letters Monthly.

Darius Stewart is the author of three chapbooks: The Terribly Beautiful (2006) and Sotto Voce (2008)—each of which were Editor’s Choice Selections in the Main Street Rag Poetry Chapbook Series—and The Ghost the Night Becomes (2014), winner of the 2013 Gertrude Press Poetry Chapbook Competition. He holds an honors B.A. in English from the University of Tennessee and an M.F.A. from the Michener Center for Writers, where he was a James A. Michener fellow in poetry. He is also a former fellow of the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets. His poems, reviews, and interviews have appeared in publications including Callaloo, Meridian, Lambda Book Report, CutBank, Cerise Press, The Seattle Review, Poet Lore, Best Gay Poetry 2008, two volumes of the Southern Poetry Anthology, and Verse Daily. He is a contributing editor for Grist and currently lives in Knoxville, TN.

The SAFTA Reading Series is an award-winning literary reading series that is held monthly at 3PM at The Birdhouse near The Old City in downtown Knoxville. Writers from all over the country are invited to visit and read from their work.