The Tull Family Theater is honored to be one of only 37 art house cinemas nationwide selected to tailor Science on Screen®, a STEM-based speaker-and-film series, to Western Pennsylvania. Science on Screen is an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre, in partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

As the Coolidge Corner Theatre explains, “Each film is used as a jumping off point for the speaker to reveal current scientific research or technological advances, providing the perfect combination of entertainment and enlightenment—even for the most science-phobic culture vulture!”

At The Tull Family Theater, speakers and panels will give 15- to 20-minute presentations and take questions from the audience before each screening.

  • Thursday, February 20, 7:30 pm

  • Sunday, March 1, 12:00 pm

Ann Berger
Richard Jacob, PhD

Fantastic Fungi

Not Rated | 1h 21min | Documentary
Director: Louie Schwartzberg
Stars: Eugenia Bone, Paul Stamets, Mary P. Cosimano

This year’s series kicks off with the eye-popping, mind-bending Fantastic Fungi. The film provides an incredible time-lapse journey into the mysterious and medicinal world of mushrooms and their kin, capturing their ability to heal, sustain and regenerate life.

Speakers:

Ann Berger, Vice President and Education Chair of the Western Pennsylvania Mushroom Club, shares the magic and lure of local mushrooms.

Berger, a member of the WPMC Board since 2014, is an official WPMC Identifier, assisting in mushroom identification at monthly meetings and at the annual Lincoff Foray. She will share some of her widely published mushroom photography in her 15-minute presentation, and call upon her experiences on Mushroom Education Day. In the last year alone, Berger led walks at Sewickley Heights Borough Park, the Audubon Greenway and Devil’s Hollow.

Scientist and Past President Richard Jacob, PhD identifies and quantifies proteins and peptides. His work has taken him from his hometown of Cambridge, England, to Germany and the U.S. After finding morels growing in his Pittsburgh backyard, he joined the Western Pennsylvania Mushroom Club to learn more.
This new hobby complements his cooking and photography hobbies. Recently, Jacob used his scientific background to pioneer the club’s DNA barcoding project. Past president of the club, Jacob will introduce the March 1 Fantastic Fungi screening.

Fantastic Fungi promises not to disappoint. Simply put by the Hollywood Reporter: “Eye-opening eye candy.”

“One of the year’s most mind-blowing, soul-cleansing and yes, immensely entertaining triumphs,” raves Ebert.com.

This “delightfully kooky documentary, Fantastic Fungi, offers nothing less than a model for planetary survival,” declares the New York Times.


  • Tuesday, March 3, 7:30 pm

Dr. Brian Wargo

A Birder’s Guide to Everything

PG-13 | 1h 26min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Director: Rob Meyer
Stars: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Ben Kingsley, Daniela Lavender

David Portnoy, a fifteen-year-old birding fanatic, thinks that he’s made the discovery of a lifetime. So, on the eve of his father’s remarriage, he escapes on an epic road trip with his best friends to solidify their place in birding history.

Speaker: Dr. Brian Wargo, author and president of the Allegheny Plateau Audubon Society, is an official counter at The Allegheny Front straddling Bedford and Somerset counties, the Audubon Society’s western-most migration counting point in Pennsylvania. Wargo will discuss comeback successes like the recovery of the bald eagle and peregrine falcon. He also analyzes data from 88 hawk sites in the eastern U.S to compile a State of the Raptors report for Hawk Migration Studies. A director on the board of the Hawk Migration Association of America and an advocate for citizen science, he has created a Junior Hawkwatcher Program, which is available through the association. His book Bird!: An Exploration of Hawkwatching explains why people “get sucked into staring at the sky for hours on end.” When not outdoors, Wargo is teaching physics.

“You don’t have to be a birder to enjoy it. The movie shows that seeking the rare and elusive is often more than just a physical quest; it also is a spiritual journey that changes the seeker.” Guardian

“The trek through the serene, beautiful woods highlights the banter between the quartet as truths are unveiled and friendships strengthened. The young actors shine revealing lights on their characters.” Chicago Tribune


  • Thursday, April 16, 9:00 am & 11:00 am

Dream Big: Engineering Our World

G | 42min | Documentary
Narrated by: Jeff Bridges

“Meet the next generation of dreamers, who will shape our future, powered only by imagination.” DREAM BIG celebrates the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels big and small, and shows how engineers push the limits of innovation in unexpected and amazing ways.

Engineering Fair: An Engineering Fair presented alongside the film will have professors and working engineers from different types of industries explain their specialties and answer students’ questions.

Admission to both events is free, but RSVPs are requested at hello@thetullfamilytheater.org or by calling 412.259.8542. The Theater anticipates working with a number of larger groups and appreciates your cooperation with registration to ensure that no patrons are disappointed.

“STEM-themed docu will inspire kids to become engineers.” Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media

“The film proves a rousing, and ravishing, call-to-engineering-arms for future generations, and should receive a welcome reception from its young target audience.” Nick Schager, Variety

“A visual and informational delight. It travels the world and explores how engineering not only improves everyday lives but also makes us all safer.” Michael Heaton, Cleveland Plain Dealer

“An uncomplicated look at a complex subject that gets information across without talking down to its predominately young audience.” Linda Barnard, Toronto Star


  • Thursday, April 30, 7:30 pm

Keep the Change

NR | 1h 34min | Comedy, Romance
Starring: Samantha Elisofon, Brandon Polansky, Jessica Walter

Keep the Change, winner for best picture at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, follows the developing romantic relationship between two individuals with autism, offering a refreshingly honest portrait of a community seldom depicted on the big screen.

Panel DiscussionAlongside the film is a panel discussion of social issues and dating for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Already confirmed are representatives from support organizations, including the parent of a young man with ASD, a board-certified behavior analyst and co-founder of a free recreational program for those with autism:

  • Artist and writer David Matthews, star of the 2015 film Aspie Seeks Love, which shares his experiences in the world of dating
  • Senior Manager Field Development Laura McCurdy of the Western PA Chapter of Autism Speaks
  • Parent of an 24-year-old ASD son Carrie Todd, who serves as Director of Planning and Development for the Autism Society of Pittsburgh
  • Education Consultant Dr. Rachel Schwartz of The Watson Institute, a Board-certified behavior analyst
  • Founding board member of the free recreational program PALS, author and director of the Autism Caring Center Kelly Cain.

“This gently humorous, fiercely honest indie film is a step forward in the quest for a move inclusive Hollywood, which seems to be one of the themes of the cultural moment.” – Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic

“A heartwarming, compassionate story with compelling performances elevating the already-fresh and funny material.” – Brigid Preseckym FF2 Media

“Keep the Change” isn’t a film for cynics, but romantics will find plenty to warm their hearts here. – Kimbers Myers, Los Angeles Times

“Keep the Change may be a breakthrough in its focus on real people with intellectual disabilities, but it’s especially commendable for providing positive examples of how the nondisabled can create inclusive environments for all.” – Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader