The 23rd Annual International Buster Keaton Convention
October 6, 7 and 8, 2017

Tentative Schedule
(subject to change)
As we get more information, we will update this schedule, so check back often!

8-9:30 a.m.

Convention Registration, Opening Reception and Announcements

Muskegon Convention & Visitor’s Bureau (Train Depot)
610 W. Western Avenue

10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Choice of Programming

1) Walking Tour of Bluffton Actors’ Colony
Muskegon historian Ron Pesch will again be conducting his incredible walking tour of The Actor’s Colony at Bluffton, focusing on many of Buster’s childhood haunts! See Jingles’ Jungle, the former summer home of Joe, Myra, Louise, Jingles, and Buster Keaton, as well as that of Keaton costar Big Joe Roberts. Followed by a baseball game on the same ball field where Buster played as a child.


2) Muskegon Museum of Art, 296 West Webster Ave.

10-10:05 a.m.
Recap of announcements for late attendees

10:05-10:15 a.m.
Opening Montage by Jack Dragga

10:15-10:45 a.m.
Big Joe
Nina Roberts will enlighten us about her grandfather, Big Joe Roberts, a Muskegon & vaudeville pal imported to Hollywood in 1920 by Buster Keaton, when Keaton began creating his own two-reel films.

11 a.m.-Noon
The Great BK Mystery or WTF is Wir Schalten um auf Hollywood.
Historian and documentary filmmaker Jack Dragga will screen a special documentary about a mystery Keaton film.

Noon -12:45 p.m.
The Buster Keaton Research Papers: Educational Shorts
Historian and author David Macleod continues his series of in-depth looks at Buster’s screen career. This year, he’ll be focusing on Buster’s Educational short subjects. As always, David provides tantalizing new details about the films, along with a wealth of fascinating information about their production, the casts, critical reception, and many other surprises.

1-3 p.m.
Lunch (on your own)

3-3:45 p.m.
Keaton and Lane at the Cinema: When the Walls Fell
Historian, film preservationist and author David B. Pearson will give a special presentation on Lupino Lane, a comedian Pearson insists has nothing whatsoever to do with Buster Keaton.

3:45-4:30 p.m.
Buster’s 1963 State Fair Tour
Historian Lea Stans will be joining us for the first time. She will discuss details of Buster’s 1963 State Fair tour. An accomplished author and historian, her writings at her blog, Silent-Ology, are always informative, insightful and entertaining, and we’re delighted to have her with us!

4:30-5 p.m.
The Super Duper Over the Top Fiendishly Difficult Keaton Kwiz Game Show!
Join your host, Dean Vanderkolk, and his lovely assistant Paul Gierucki as they quiz three randomly selected studio audience members on their knowledge of all things Buster for a chance to win “valuable” prizes, and even more important, bragging rights.

5-7 p.m.

Dinner (on your own)

7-8:15 p.m.
When You Fall Down
This year we are honored to present the world premiere of When You Fall Down, an original musical by James Dangerfield. This brand-new one-man show recreates Buster’s story from his first moviemaking experience in 1917 to his signing by MGM 11 years later. We join Buster on seven separate days (or “one week”) from this period, following his personal trials and professional triumphs. With scripted scenes, slapstick, songs, and a soft-shoe shuffle, the show is a theatrical tribute to the Great Stone Face — a man who always got back on his feet, no matter how many times he fell down. James travels from England to debut his work live on our stage.

8:15-10 p.m.
To Be Funny: 100 Years of Buster Keaton
A centennial documentary, directed by Jess Roseboom,celebrating 100 years since Buster Keaton first stepped in front of the camera and got hit with a sack of flour, plus a look at his loyal followers. If you attended the convention when this documentary team was filming, you may find yourself on the big screen. The film will be introduced by producers Jess Roseboom and Gavin Rosenberg.

10 p.m.
Evening adjourned

9 a.m.-Noon
Muskegon Museum of Art, 296 West Webster Ave.

9-9:45 a.m.
The Keaton All-Stars
Host: Alek Lev, producer and co-host of the upcoming Damfinos podcast Talking Buster Keaton.
Roundtable discussion with many of the weekend’s presenters, including Ron Pesch, David Macleod, Lea Stans, James Dangerfield, Jess Roseboom and Gavin Rosenberg as they tell us the stories behind the stories — and discuss their past and future projects.

9:45-10 a.m.

10-10:45 a.m.
A Versatile Comedienne: Anne Cornwall
Joanna E. Rapf, professor of English and Film & Video Studies at the University of Oklahoma, focuses on Buster’s leading lady from College.

10:45 a.m.-Noon
Growing Up Keaton
 Melissa Talmadge Cox, Buster’s granddaughter, will share tales of growing up with Grandpa Buster, including never-before-seen color photographs depicting life at his Woodland Hills home. The photos were taken by her father, James Talmadge, who worked in the photography department at 20th Century-Fox. A tireless champion of her grandfather’s legacy, Melissa is kind enough to share her precious family memories with us. And we’re thrilled to announce that her mother Barbara Talmadge will join her to answer questions about Buster.

Noon-2 p.m.
Lunch (on your own)

2-3 p.m.
Rare Keaton
Noted historian, award-winning director and film preservationist Paul E. Gierucki will again be presenting screenings of rare, forgotten and long-unseen Buster Keaton film and television appearances. Always a delight, Paul manages to find the most jaw-dropping, entertaining surprises out there. Not to be missed.

3 p.m.

3:15-4 p.m.
Keaton the Conjurer
Illusion genius and internationally acclaimed master magician Ben Robinsonwill present a live magic show that includes an entertaining look at Buster’s use of the conjurer’s illusionary tricks. A world-class performer, Ben has been a consultant for the Museum of the Moving Image’s Magicians on Screen series, has performed live in six different countries, and will dazzle us with his extraordinary skills, including live recreations of some of Buster’s most baffling illusions!

4-5 p.m.
The Celebrated Keaton Auction
Auctioneer: David Macleod
A longstanding tradition of our convention, the auction features an amazing assortment of Keaton-related gems and relics. Past auctions have featured wonderful treasures, including rare photographs, original artwork, original movie posters, production documents, props, unique jewelry, hard-to-find books and magazines. Occasionally, there have even been items owned by Buster himself. Once again, there will be wonderful items in all price ranges to see, touch, and perhaps — if you are lucky (or determined) — something amazing to take home.

6-8 p.m.
Frauenthal Gallery, Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts, 425 W Western Ave.
Roaring Twenties Banquet
(Included in your registration)
Each year, we put on our finest frocks and duds (vintage or reproduction `20s attire, if you like) for our gala banquet, prior to screenings at the glorious Frauenthal theater.

8-10:30 p.m.
Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts, 425 W Western Ave.
The General and The Butcher Boy
The International Buster Keaton Society celebrates the 100th anniversary of Buster's debut in motion pictures. Buster Keaton's masterpiece The General (1926) is considered by many to be one of the greatest films of all time. The story of a Southern railway engineer who has only two loves in his life — his locomotive and the beautiful Annabelle Lee, the film is a rollicking, epic comedy featuring what many consider to be the greatest comic chase in the history of film. Also screening will be Keaton's first film appearance, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle's short, The Butcher Boy. Made 100 years ago, in 1917, this short is a blistering funny knockabout comedy with some of the most energetic and wild slapstick ever captured on film. Both films will be accompanied by internationally recognized silent film organist Dennis Scott,who will perform on the Frauenthal’s Barton Theater Organ. Enjoy these classics as they were meant to be seen, on the big screen in a gloriously restored 1920s movie palace with live music.

10:30 p.m.- Midnight
The Speakeasy
After the show, we take to the Frauenthal’s stage for a private celebration featuring a healthy dose of live music, fun, libation and frolic! Join us as we party like it’s 1927!


10-10:15 a.m.
A Tribute to David Shepard
Nick Ciccone presents a tribute to and remembrance of noted film historian David Shepard, recipient of the 1995 Buster Award, the first presented as a collaboration between the International Buster Keaton Society and the Iola Keaton Celebration.

10:15-11:30 a.m.
The Keaton All-Stars, Part II
Host: Alek Lev, producer and co-host of the upcoming Damfinos podcast Talking Buster Keaton.
Roundtable discussion with many of the weekend’s presenters including Joanna E. Rapf, Melissa Talmadge Cox, Nina Roberts, Ben Robinson and David B. Pearson as they tell us the stories behind the stories — and discuss their past and future projects.




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