LUCID TALES PRODUCTIONS
2017 EQUITY IN THE ARTS GRANT WINNER
Lucid Tales Productions, a Chattanooga-based entertainment company, started in October 2016 by co-founders, Ben Banks and Caleb Thomas.
Banks and Thomas initially set out to create a comic book together, but after realizing Chattanooga is full of talented individuals with stories to share, the project turned into a larger idea to start an entertainment company that would help develop the arts in Chattanooga. Banks and Thomas aim to give artists of all levels a platform to express themselves, to craft their professions and to reach larger audiences. More than a theatre and production company, Lucid Tales wants to be on the forefront of raising Chattanooga up as a cultural and entertainment hub in the southeast.
All of Lucid Tales performances strive to show an honest portrayal of society and issues that arise within the community. Banks and Thomas believe that growing audience awareness of these issues will hopefully inspire creative solutions to these problems. Rather than providing answers to issues, Lucid Tales focuses on bringing people together through art to attempt to create positive change. It also hopes to inspire other theaters and companies to find new and more inclusive ways to create art for our diverse communities.
EQUITY IN THE ARTS ACTIVITY
In May 2017, Lucid Tales presented its debut theatrical production, a short play Unity, the first showcase in a series of stage productions known as Power Pieces. Held at the Chattanooga State Humanities Building, Unity featured local artists, the majority being Chattanooga State Theatre students, who study acting, singing, poetry and dance. The play addressed topics of relationships, communication and community. It showcased various scenes that explored the complexities of the relationships between husband/wife, mother/son, father/son, step-father/step-son, mother/daughter and friends. One scene depicted the effects and cycles of abusive relationships. Another scene showed the difference between voicing opinions within the community to create change versus protesting without reason. After the performance, Lucid Tales held a talkback session with the audience to address the situations and issues that were covered in the show.
Initially, Lucid Tales planned to debut Unity in February of 2017, but after learning about the Equity in the Arts grant program, Banks and Thomas decided to wait and apply as an effort to bring the show’s execution to a more professional level. After winning the grant, the company was able to pay the actors for their work. The grant interview process also allowed them to network with other production companies, Crackerjack Emporium and AMP, some of whose members also became involved as actors in the Unity production.
You can stream Unity in its entirety here:
Co-Directors: Caleb Thomas and Susan Pyle
Writers: Caleb Thomas, Susan Pyle, Jared Kane and Peyton West
Since the debut of the Unity Power Piece, Lucid Tales has received several invitations to take the play into schools and churches in order to empower the next generation through art. Banks and Thomas are currently focused on adapting Unity into a smaller, more accessible show for a younger audience. Thomas is also researching avenues to create a curriculum based on ideas in the Power Pieces to take into the school systems as a teaching artist.
Lucid Tales is working on creating a new Power Piece, aiming for a show date in December 2017.
Banks is working towards evolving Lucid Tales beyond theatre. Currently, he is:
• Working on a Lucid Vision Art Show set for July 7th at The Edney Building, incorporating art and poetry.
• Assembling a roster of local musicians to showcase at a live concert later in the summer.
• Creating a line of Lucid Tales merchandise to market at local concerts around the Chattanooga area, working with organizations like HipHop Cha and Soundcorps.
• Developing the film side of Lucid Tales to produce short films and music videos to debut later this year.
Visit lucidtalespro.com to learn more about the work of Lucid Tales and to stay updated on their upcoming projects.
MEET THE LUCID TALES STAFF
Caleb Thomas: Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer
Caleb, 21, originally from Richmond, VA, handles the theatrical aspects of Lucid Tales as well directing their efforts to teach artists and others how to express themselves through art. A graduate of Chattanooga State, Caleb received certification in acting.
Ben Banks: Co-Founder, Chief Technical Officer
A recent graduate of Chattanooga State’s Film and Media Technology Program, Ben, 24, a Chattanooga native, has always had a passion for story-telling, film serving as his favorite medium for expression. He handles all of Lucid Tale’s social media and marketing, hosting of their concert series, Lucid Tales Jams, art shows, Lucid Visions and will oversee their film division once it’s up and running.
Susan Pyle, Creative Director and Chief Administrative Officer
Susan, a Chattanooga State graduate, handles the majority of the administrative paperwork for the company and also directs set designs and stage management for their theatrical shows. She is dedicated to her craft of training local actors to express themselves and their stories to the highest of their abilities.
For information about the other 2017 Equity in the Arts grant recipients, click here.