Serenity in the Desert returns

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Serenity in the DesertOn Sunday, Sept. 17, Serenity in the Desert returns at the Studio Movie Grill at 15515 N. Hayden Road in Scottsdale. The Arizona Browncoats event, which raises funds for charitable causes,

The event includes a screening of Serenity, the big-screen Firefly sequel, with proceeds benefiting Kids Need to Read, as well as Dr. Horrible’s Sing A Long Blog.

If you missed the window for the Valley event, you can still get in on Tucson’s Oct. 1 event at The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. That event will benefit The Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona.

I asked event organizer and blog-friend Lori Cothrun-Wheeler to share what Serenity in the Desert means, how it got started and why it endures so long after the Whedonverse space-western’s glory days.

Q: What is Serenity in the Desert?

A: Serenity in the Desert is the Arizona local (Phoenix and Tucson) screening event of Dr. Horrible’s Sing A Long Blog and the film Serenity, both by Joss Whedon. This is our second successful year with this rebranded identity of an event that we have been hosting for 12 years now.

Q: When did it start and why?

A: The event was rebranded last year from the past Can’t Stop the Serenity (CSTS) events. In the past CSTS was a global community that was created to assist Browncoats all around the world host events for charity. While it was incredible to be a part of, eventually The Arizona Browncoats grew out of the need to be branded a global event and wanted more creative control over the event with local flair. CSTS is still hosting events in other states and we appreciate all of their hard work over the years. Arizona is proud to have been part since year one.

Q: What keeps it going?

A: The fans. The Arizona Browncoats are such a passionate group. The love of Firefly/Serenity (and all things Joss Whedon) brought us together, but the family we have created and passion for charitable events keeps us together. It is amazing that at a convention or online you can say “Browncoat” and you are immediately in this club together. There is this deep understanding of kindred spirits. To us, Firefly is more than a space-western; it is a foundation for friendship.

Q: Who’s your favorite Firefly character?

A: Oh, darn you! It is so hard to choose because each characters brings some incredible traits to the table. So I’d say on a day to day basis, I most relate to Zoe. I am a loyal second-in-command with my employer and I’m a tough cookie. While my husband is nowhere near a pilot, he exhibits some of the quirky characteristics of Wash.

Anything else you’d like to get out there? The Arizona Browncoats are incredibly proud of the work they do and over the course of twelve years, we have donated over $84,000 to charity! This year we have chosen Kids Need to Read to receive the funds raised in Phoenix and The Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona for our Tucson screening. We like to hang out in person and online and the best way to connect is through Facebook.

Click here for more information about Serenity in the Desert events.

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Jayson Peters

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