The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Photo of Rodney Allison and Family

UTC Theatre Alumnus Creates Documentary

NO INCIDENT, NO SERVICE: THE CHATTANOOGA SIT-INS OF 1960, a documentary by local filmmaker and UTC Theatre graduate Brian Cagle will become part of an upcoming exhibit and educational program for the Chattanooga Regional History Museum.

One Friday afternoon in February 1960 a small group of honor students from Howard High School staged an impromptu sit-in demonstration at a downtown lunch counter. The following Monday, 200 other students from Howard joined them, along with an increasing number of area white students, which grew into a counter-protest. By Wednesday, fire hoses were needed in order to quell what the Chattanooga Times would call "the most massive racial clash in the history of Chattanooga." This short documentary film combines interviews of participants with archival photos of the events, recently unearthed from the Times-Free Press archives.

Cagle received a grant from Allied Arts of Chattanooga and the Chattanooga Regional History Museum to direct and produce the documentary.

In 1995-96 Cagle was involved in a student exchange program with Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic where he studied European theatre practice with several of the most respected experimental companies in Central Europe.

Upon his return to UTC to finish his degree in 1997, Cagle directed an environmental staging of Eric Bogosian's SubUrbia. Soon after graduation he received an internship at the Barking Legs Theatre, an experimental and alternative performance venue in Chattanooga. He was awarded a young artist’s grant to write and stage a highly theatrical work from the writings of Antonin Artaud, and he subsequently staged and performed a variety of work at Barking Legs.

During a 1998-1999 residency in New York, Brian earned a prestigious internship with writer/director Richard Foreman.

Cagle also worked with the experimental musicians of the Shaking Ray Levis, participated in the organization of the 4 Bridges Arts Festival in Chattanooga, and served as founder and curator of the Free Film Club that screens hard to find classics, experimental work and the work of local and regional filmmakers.

In New York, Cagle was employed by education districts to conduct special programs using creative approaches, including group storytelling, to address the needs of students in an urban school system. For the past three years he has continued his work with young students in Chattanooga with grants from the federal Gear Up program, using and teaching filmmaking at inner-city public schools.

In 2001 Cagle directed a forty-five minute film, "Aftermarket" from his own screenplay. It was screened at the Downstream International Film Festival near Atlanta last summer. He is currently in production on his screenplay, "The Debt Professionals," which like "Aftermarket" deals with the effects of commerce on human relationships.

As a free-lance filmmaker Cagle has documented the creation of mandala sand painting by Tibetan monks visiting Chattanooga during spring 2002. He recently completed photography for a documentary about two local female physicians with an unusual practice.

Cagle will enroll in the MFA film program at Northwestern University in fall 2003.

For more information, check with the Chattanooga Regional History Museum at (423) 265-3247.