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Independent film 'Bleacher Boys' to be shown at APSU

The Austin Peay State University Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts, in partnership with the Customs House Museum, will present the independent documentary film Bleacher Boys at 2 p.m., April 3 in the Clement Auditorium on the APSU campus. Following the film, audience members will be able to ask questions of the director, Karen Hunter. This event, which is part of The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers, is free for Austin Peay students and the general public.
The Austin Peay State University Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts, in partnership with the Customs House Museum, will present the independent documentary film “Bleacher Boys” at 2 p.m., April 3 in the Clement Auditorium on the APSU campus. Following the film, audience members will be able to ask questions of the director, Karen Hunter. This event, which is part of The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers, is free for Austin Peay students and the general public.

“Bleacher Boys” is a story of five men who shared a common dream as boys: the dream of growing up and playing Major League Baseball. Five men, each of whose dreams were dashed at an early age due to blindness. Five men, whose stories differ in detail, yet share that one common element. Their stories unfold in chapters like the innings of a baseball game with them sitting in the bleachers. Each inning becomes a chapter from their lives as they relate the hardships of overcoming the painful reality of never seeing again, to the struggle to create a new dream. All are masterful storytellers whose tales become easy for us to identify with and whose perseverance we can admire. The lineup includes:

• Ed Lucas, now a reporter for the New York Yankees. Ed lost his sight after being inspired by Bobby Thompson's famous home run “heard 'round the world” in 1959. He and his friends were so excited that they took to the streets to play a pickup game of baseball and a line drive hit him between the eyes rendering him blind. His dream was shattered, but he never lost his love for the game.
• Pat Cannon, who lost his sight more gradually as he, nonetheless, continued the struggle to keep his dream alive.
• Neal Freeling, who was born without sight but fell in love with baseball announcer Mel Allen's voice as his words brought the game to life. These radio voices became Neil's “friends” since the boys in his neighborhood shunned him. The game of baseball became his true pastime.
• Craig Lynch, who has never seen a baseball field in his life, but who now sits in the bleachers at Wrigley Field reporting on games for the Chicago Cubs he cannot see.
• Paul Parravano, known as the MIT King and honored for his remarkable contributions to this prestigious university. His love of baseball motivated him to achieve greatness.

The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers is a program of the Southern Arts Federation, a not-for-profit regional arts organization making a positive difference in the arts throughout the South since 1975. The Southern Arts Federation is supported by funding and programming partnerships with the National Endowment for the Arts and the state arts agencies of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Special support for Southern Circuit is provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. For more information on the Southern Arts Federation and its programs visit www.southarts.org.

The Austin Peay State University Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts seeks to inspire an appreciation for the creative arts in APSU students and the citizens of the Montgomery County region through innovative programming, strategic partnerships and community outreach. For more information on the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts, visit www.apsu.edu/creativearts.

The Customs House Museum and Cultural Center is located in downtown historic Clarksville. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Admission fees are $5 adults, $4 senior citizens, $2 college I.D., $1 ages 6 to 18. Children under 6 are free. The museum is free on Sundays. -- Charles Booth