Archive of Events

Why Can’t Stop the Serenity, Part V

(Moon, who has been running Denver's CSTS since the beginning tells us why.)

I've been asked many times over the last nine years, why I organize the Denver CSTS screenings. My stock answer is something along the lines of, "I'm a Browncoat," "It's for Joss' birthday," or "Equality Now is a wonderful charity that fights for the rights of women and girls all over the world!" While these statements are true and I always say them with a smile, it's only part of the story that drives me to continue working with CSTS and Equality Now. Personally, I do it for my mother, the strongest and bravest woman I've ever known.

My mother, Sim Chae Yop, was born 1943 in a small fishing village in what we now call South Korea. Back then it was part of the Japanese Empire and life was far from easy under military rule. As the eldest daughter of a large family including 11 siblings, my mother's daily life was consumed with the procurement of food for her brothers and sisters.

At the age of four, she learned to dive off the small row boat her family owned to harvest mussels and scallops from the ocean floor. She spent days hiking the mountains near her home, foraging for fruit and trapping small animals, sometimes with a sibling strapped to her back. She once told me, "The wars were bad, but starving and sickness were worse." She would lose three brothers and four sisters to starvation and disease before she reached adulthood. Two other brothers died during the Korean War and Vietnam.

My mother was never allowed to attend school and to this day is fluent in three languages, Korean, English and Cantonese, but illiterate in all. This never hindered her ability to do math, especially when it came to money. After the Korean War my mother began cooking for a local café and socked away every cent she made. This allowed her to move to Seoul when she turned seventeen, where she worked at a local bar, for the next ten years, that was popular with US servicemen. That's where she met my father, George Tarr, a Sergeant in the US Air Force.

Within a year she would have me, marry my father, and move to the US. As the wife of a serviceman life was hard in the States. My father was often away, stationed in other countries while we were left on various bases around the US. In all we lived in five states and three countries before my dad retired when I was twelve. She didn't drive, had three young children, and couldn't formally work, so she began selling Tupperware and teaching the other wives how to cook Korean food to make extra money. In 1976 she became a US Citizen after passing her citizen test. To this day, it is still her proudest moment and the certificate hangs on her dining room wall.

After my dad retired we moved back to Colorado. We had previously lived there for a year on Lowery Air Force Base and my parents had loved the Denver/Aurora area. Mother said the mountains reminded her of home and there was a large Korean population. My mother went to work at Red Lobster as a prep-cook, worked her way up to Kitchen Manager and retired after twenty-five years. She now spends her days cooking for family, shopping and watching Korean soap operas. A well deserved break, I think.

When I look back over my life, I count myself lucky. I was raised in comfort, with love and support. I never went to bed hungry or scared. I never experienced war, gunshots, nor bombings. I was given a first class education, had first rate medical care and access to a legal system that many around the world will never have. I organize our local screening for the little girl that survived a public stoning for throwing a pot at a Chinese soldier who was ransacking her home. That little girl, is my mom.

"Your action makes a difference. Raise your voice to stop human rights abuses against women and girls." This quote is from Equality Now's website. This is why the CSTS screenings are so important to me. I know first hand that there is suffering, especially for women and children in countries outside the US. Equality Now is dedicated to helping and raising awareness and so am I. Every person in our theater's seats, is a voice saying, "It’s not right! I've got your back!" Every dollar we raise is a middle finger in the face of a corrupt government, dictator, or warlord.

In the end, everyone has their own reasons for why Can't Stop The Serenity is important to them. Why they run them year after year, attend them, spend money out of their own pocket to fund them. The reasons why aren't important in the grand scheme, the end results matter the most. Providing a voice and aid to those that don't have it, that's what really matters. The fact that this issue is close to Joss Whedon's heart, is just chocolatey icing on the protein cake.

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CSTS In the Southern U.S.

On Saturday Aug 23, the SRF Browncoats are hosting a screening at the Hurricane Bar & Grill in Miami Springs, Florida. There will be raffles, Dr. Horrible, Serenity and a local fan group will be hosting a Firefly themed Wheel of Fortune Game. The Hurricane has a full menu and bar. There is no admission for entry but hey - this is a fundraiser, so donations will be gladly accepted in cash, checks, paypal and credit cards. There will be special gifts for all who donate $25.00 or more.Even more details here.

On Sunday, the North Texas Browncoats are back with Can't Stop The Music, an evening of awesome live music, burlesque and a showing of Dr. Horrible. The fun starts with Dr. Horrible at 6:00 with the last musicians starting at 12:30. Cover is only $5.00 at the door. That's less than $1.00 per band!

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Nine Events in only Four Days

Minneapolis is never content to do a screening like most other cities. Instead, for many years now, they have three screenings in a row. Everything starts on Thursday Aug 14 with Dr. Horrible at 7:45 and Serenity at 9:35. On both Friday and Saturday the events starts later - with Serenity being shown at 11:30 both nights. Please note that this is a cash only event so bring lots! Which screening will you attend?

Portland also feels that one screening is never enough, so they are holding 2 screenings in one day, Aug. 16th. Both the afternoon and the evening events feature Dr. Horrible and Serenity as well as raffles with awesome prizes. Tickets can be bought online.

Browncoats all recognize the importance of Shindigs so Pittsburgh is starting their screening not at the theater but up the street at Fredo's Market Deli from 3-5. Popular musician Sean Faust will entertain the masses while fans eat great food and play trivia for prizes. Then it's over to the Hollywood Theatre for games, raffles and Serenity. The theater is cash only and tickets for the screening will be available at the box office starting at 5:00. After the screening, the Hollywood will be showing Cabin in The Woods but please note that this is not part of the CSTS event.

On Sunday the North Texas Browncoats hold the last screening of the weekend. This is always a great time but if you don't have your ticket already, it's too late - it is sold out! There will be not one but two evil laugh competitions, a costume contest, raffles and a live auction. Dr. Horrible will start the proceedings and of course, Serenity will be the centerpiece.

Up in Nova Scotia, Halifax will hold an Affiliate event showing Seasons 4-6 of the Guild. Missed the earlier event with Seasons 1-3? Catch them on Netflix before you head over on Friday.

Melbourne's Affiliate event is a night of trivia. Well, more than that. This is "Battle of the Geeks"! Think you and your friends know your trivia? Be prepared to prove it! Doors open at 7 with trivia running from 8 - 10:30. Tickets available for purchase at the door.

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Why Can’t Stop The Serenity, Part IV

Peepiecheep answers the question.

On July 6th this year, a team of dedicated volunteers ran a Can't Stop the Serenity event in Leicester, UK. It was the first time since 2008 that an event had been held in the city. Last time we raised over $300 for Equality Now, this year we raised 4 times as much, both for EN and for our local women's aid charity. It's hard work, and it takes up a lot of our spare time, but it's worth it.

Why? Because equality matters.

Equality, and the fight to achieve it for all, is important. For every woman who cannot fight, who finds her life and her choices dictated for her; for every girl who has been denied an education due to her gender; for every pre-teen who has been married off to a man three times her age; for every victim of rape and violence and oppression; we will help fight for them.

In the words of Captain Malcolm Reynolds, "Somebody has to speak for these people", and this year, Leicester helped be their voice.

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Raleigh is Already a Hit

Can't Stop The Serenity is still flying in Raleigh, North Carolina where it looks to be a sold out event for the 5th year running, on Sunday July 27.

This is their 9th year so you know they are doing something right! Those lucky enough to have a ticket are urged to come early and have food and drink with your fellow Browncoats before the raffle and costume contest get underway. Yes, costumes! Dust off your duds and come dressed as an inhabitant of the 'Verse. Following the raffle and contest will be a showing of the big damn movie, Serenity.

But before you head over, if you don't have a ticket, be sure to check the website to see if any are left.

UPDATE: Raleigh is sold out!

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Make a Weekend of It

As temperatures rise in North America, cities in Canada and the United States are adding to the heat. (Luckily all events are air-conditioned!)

On Friday night Halifax, Nova Scotia is showing Seasons 1-3 of the Guild. Tickets are only $5.00 and attendees will have their names added to the door prize draw at the main event in September - bonus chances to win some great stuff! Concessions will be available.

Down the coast Can't Stop the Serenity is returning to Washington, D.C. on Saturday with doors opening at 11:00 AM.
This year's event includes Serenity & Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog, a costume contest for best dressed Firefly/Serenity character & a second costume contest for best dressed as any character from any Joss Whedon production. There will also be raffles, door prizes, and a silent auction!
In what may be a first for any CSTS event, Washington is hosting a small ensemble from the Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra who will perform several musical pieces arranged just for the show! It will be one of the Orchestra's first ever small ensemble performances. As of July 15th, all tickets were sold for this event.

Crossing over to the U.S. West Coast, Seattle is putting on not one but two screenings of Serenity on Saturday.
The afternoon show will have rounds of their very own homemade GeekBingo to entertain the audience, and the evening "Special Hell" show will feature Vixy & Tony as preshow enterainment. The "Special Hell" version includes Hecklevision texting-to-screen, so that witty comment you've always wanted to make when Mal shows up in a dress can now be politely shared with the whole theater (this is Seattle, after all).

There will be a costume contest for each screening and a ful menu and bar at the dinner theatre so why not go for both screenings?

Sunday, July 20 is the day that Philadelphia hosts a Serenity screening at the Rotunda. Tickets are only $10.00 in advance, $15.00 at the door but judging by last year when they sold out before the day - it's best to get your tickets now! Musician Sean Faust will be performing at this event and rumour has it there will also be ice planets for sale.

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