Seeing City Lights Anew 




In 2017 Staunton Music Festival staged a famous scene from Charlie Chaplin's City Lights, with music arranged by Zachary Wadsworth and mime by Happenstance Theater. In this Perspective, choreographer (and Chaplin double) Mark Jaster discusses how the project took shape, and video magic presents a split screen juxtaposition of the original silent film and the 2017 concert performance.






The Washington Post called Mark Jaster a “clown extraordinaire and one of the most graceful performers you will ever see on a stage.” Along with Sabrina Mandell, Jaster co-founded Happenstance Theater and his work (both solo and ensemble) has received numerous accolades, including a 2016 Helen Hayes Award.  Mark trained with 20th-century masters of mime Etienne Decroux and Marcel Marceau. He has served as teaching assistant to Mr. Marceau in a series of seminars and teaches frequently in Artist residencies, theatres, and academic programs. He was a presenter at the 2014 Mime & Movement Theatre Symposium at Ohio State. Mark’s long career of solo performances continues alongside his work with Happenstance Theater.





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VIDEO PERFORMANCE: Chaplin's City Lights, staged by Happenstance Theater

Happenstance Theater, led by Sabrina Mandell and Mark Jaster, join with SMF musicians to present a staged version of the "Flower Girl" scene from Chaplin's City Lights. With music arranged for piano and strings by Zachary Wadsworth and includes program notes.




VIDEO POSTCARD: Meet Happenstance Theater

For the 2017 August season, Staunton Music Festival was proud to partner with Happenstance Theater, an innovative (but also historically informed) performing group. Happenstance provided their visual artistry in numerous SMF performances.  In this Postcard, co-founders Sabrina Mandell and Mark Jaster recall those productions.  



VIDEO PERFORMANCE: A Happenstance Divertissement

Filmed in Staunton's famous Blackfriars Theater, this performance captures Happenstance's Divertissement, an original theater piece with roots in the commedia dell'arte tradition. Mark Jaster provides a short preface.