Wagner Media Group presents a reading of its latest film project, "For the Love of Ivy," Sunday, January 17th, at the Big Idea Theatre, 1616 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento at 2 pm. "For the Love of Ivy" is a bi-racial love story, told in flashbacks, that begins a few days prior to the arrest of Rosa Parks on December 1st, 1955. The central character, Ivy, is a young black maid who has impressed Tyler Madison and his wife, June, who have just moved to a small Southern town from the more liberal North.
Author John Wagner has made his story very topical by framing it with scenes of President Obama being sworn into office in the beginning and the end. We see Ivy as an elderly woman who can’t believe what she’s seeing. The rest of the script makes one realize why she feels this way.
After his wife dies unexpectedly in childbirth, Madison helps Ivy learn to read and write, and, in the process falls in love with her. Their relationship becomes sexual...and dangerous....since sleeping with a "colored" woman was against the law in most of the Southern states then.
Word leaks out to the residents of their small town, creating a firestorm of disgust and hatred. Eventually, Tyler and an unlikely ally find justice for Ivy, who has nearly recovered from a life-threatening assault. Finally, Ivy asks Tyler to come with her to Montgomery, Ala., to "meet this Rosa Parks."
Wagner has assembled an experienced cast of local actors for this project including film actors like Bonnie Antonini, who appeared in the TV show Trauma as Nurse Rodgers. Other local actors include Raul Bustamante, Charmaine Jackson, Gary Agid, Mark Hoffman, Kelley Ogden, Mark Halverson and Ann Tracy.
“I’ve found that African-American actresses are often overlooked for their talent," Wagner said when asked about writing "For the Love of Ivy."
“These women," he says, "have a unique ability to provide compelling performances on screen. I also tapped into the local African-American community by working with Suzanne Brooks (http://www.naymz.com/suzanne_brooks_1836150). I plan to produce this with the financial assistance of several investors who I’m not at liberty to name just yet.”
Wagner is no stranger to film, having been an independent film producer since 1992. His feature-length films include "The Gourmet" (1998), "The Cheapest Movie" (2000), which premiered at the Crest, and "The Mafia Chronicles" (2009).