“Mister Rogers & Me” Phoenixville Screening “Homecoming” For Wagner Brothers

February 27th, 2012

Filmmakers Benjamin and Christofer Wagner will return to their adolescent stomping ground to screen their documentary, “Mister Rogers & Me,” at The Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, Sunday, March 11 at 4:30p.

A Q&A with the one-time residents will follow the screening. Both brothers attended nearby Tredyffrin-Easttown Middle and Conestoga Senior High Schools in the late-80s. Proceeds will benefit The Association for the Colonial Theatre.

“Mister Rogers & Me” is a moving, feature-length documentary in which The Wagner Bros seek to better understand Benjamin’s brief-but-impactful conversation with the television icon. It was a sunny, Indian Summer afternoon in 2001 when the recently-retired Rogers told the then MTV producer, “I feel so strongly that deep and simple is far more essential than shallow and complex.” Five years later, the brothers set out to make what would become “Mister Rogers & Me.”

As the brothers learn more about Mister Rogers “deep and simple” upbringing, values and process, their travels lead them to conversations with “Meet the Press” anchor (and Nantucket neighbor) Tim Russert; “Arthur” creator Marc Brown; NPR correspondent (and sometimes “Neighborhood” co-host) Susan Stamberg; “Neighborhood” puppeteer and Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood founder, Dr. Susan Linn; and many of Mister Rogers’ other real friends and neighbors.

“The film takes the narrative structure of a road trip, or Heroe’s Quest,” Wagner explains. “We were challenged to leave home and go out into the world to gain some knowledge, insight or vision, then return to share what we’ve learned. We couldn’t be more excited to return to The Main Line to share this movie with our friends and neighbors. It’s going to be a real homecoming.”

The events is the third in a series of events (including a forthcoming screening at The Nantucket Athenium on March 3) leading to the broadcast, DVD and on-demand release of “Mister Rogers & Me.” Complete details will be release in the coming days.

Opened in 1903, the Colonial Theater is the only theatre of its kind in Chester County. In its early days, the Colonial was home to live stage shows, vaudeville acts and musicals including appearances by Harry Houdini and Mary Pickford. It was featured in the 1958 science fiction classic, “The Blob,” starring Steve McQueen and filmed in and around Phoenixville. The Association for the Colonial Theatre’s mission is to restore the landmark Colonial Theatre and promote cultural, economic and civic life.

2 thoughts on ““Mister Rogers & Me” Phoenixville Screening “Homecoming” For Wagner Brothers”

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  • Benjamin Wagner first met “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” creator and star, Fred Rogers, at Rogers’ summer home on Nantucket, Massachusetts. His mother rented the cottage next door, so Mister Rogers really was his neighbor. On the afternoon of their first meeting, “America’s Favorite Neighbor” asked the young journalist about his job as an MTV News producer.  Wagner felt exposed and a tiny-bit embarrassed, a PBS mind in a jump-cut, sound-bit MTV world. Mister Rogers said warml ...
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