StageStruck! conference film screenings set


The Great American Songbook Foundation will host two special film screening events as part of its StageStruck! Conference to honor the 100th anniversary of MGM. The celebration will feature participation by distinguished guests including Patricia Ward Kelly and Lorna Luft to shed light on the life and legacies of film icons Gene Kelly and Judy Garland.

The first event will take place May 14 and will highlight the enduring impact of Gene Kelly and his contributions to classic films like “Singin’ in the Rain.” The Songbook Foundation will welcome Patricia Ward Kelly, wife and official biographer of the legendary dancer, director, and choreographer. She will host a pre-screening presentation featuring behind-the-scenes stories about the production process of “Singin’ in the Rain” and Gene Kelly’s experience starring in and directing the film.

On May 15, the Songbook Foundation will welcome Luft, an esteemed actress and singer known for her versatile talents and rich family legacy in the entertainment industry. She will share memories of her mother, Judy Garland, and insights into her work and legacy, including her starring role in the film “Meet Me in St. Louis.” The screening event is part of a yearlong celebration of Judy Garland as a recent inductee to the Songbook Hall of Fame.

Both screenings will take place on the campus of the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, the home of the Great American Songbook Foundation. Free general admission tickets can be reserved online at or through the Center’s Fifth Third Bank Box Office at [email protected] or 317-843-3800.

“We are thrilled to explore and celebrate the rich legacy of MGM Musicals through these iconic films,” stated Christopher Lewis, executive director of the Great American Songbook Foundation. “With our special guest presenters, Patricia Ward Kelly and Lorna Luft, these screenings promise to be unforgettable experiences for fans of classic cinema and the American Songbook.”

Event Details

May 14 Screening

Location: The Tarkington

  • 5:45 p.m.: Lobby doors open | Patricia Ward Kelly available to meet & greet attendees
  • 6:15 p.m.: Prescreening presentation by Patricia Ward Kelly
  • 7 p.m.: Screening begins
  • 8:45 p.m.: Post screening Q&A with Patricia Ward Kelly

May 15 Screening

Location: Palladium

  • 5:45 p.m.: Lobby doors open
  • 6:15 p.m.: Prescreening Q&A and discussion with Lorna Luft
  • 7:00 p.m.: Screening begins

These free public events are hosted in conjunction with the StageStruck! Conference taking place May 15-17. Nostalgia and the Hollywood Musical is the theme for this international academic conference. Hosted by the Great American Songbook Foundation in partnership with the University of Sheffield (U.K.), the conference attracts scholars and students from around the world, with sessions hosted in a hybrid format offering interactive online participation as well as on-site attendance. More information can be found at

In addition to the screening and discussions with industry guests, attendees will have the opportunity to view treasured artifacts from the Songbook Library & Archives and browse newly published books authored by visiting conference presenters exploring the evolution of Hollywood.