Announcement: Big Damn Shindig for Equality Now, November 21st!

Alamo shindigWe are so thrilled to be able to make this announcement! Last week we were contacted by a wonderful geek girl at the new Alamo Drafthouse in Richardson, asking about hosting our CSTS event. I told her that while we’d already had our big event in August, there was nothing stopping us from holding a second screening outside the official CSTS season, and the Big Damn Shindig was born! It’s going to work like a mini CSTS event. We’ll have a costume contest and a trivia contest, followed by a screening of Serenity and a small raffle. Here’s a rundown of the schedule:

  6:00 – Doors open for guests – raffle items in the lobby!
  6:30 – Preshow in theater begins/ theater seating begins
  7:00 – Trivia contest/costume contest begin
  7:45 – Serenity
  9:45 (ish) – movie ends/ raffle drawings
10:20 – event ends


The movie start time is approximate, depending on how long the contests take. I know it’s a Thursday and traffic will be a factor, but do try to arrive early to mingle, check out the swag, and find your seat! And remember, the Alamo Drafthouse has a famous (and awesome!) no phoning policy during the movie, they’re big believers in the Special Hell. 😉

As always, donations are welcome to help make this event a success. We have a few items left over from August to put into the raffle, and the AD is generously throwing in some swag of their own, but we can always find a use for geeky stuff. Cash donations can be made here on the blog, or if you have an item to donate at the event, please try to bring it before 6:00. Tickets will be on sale soon at the Alamo’s website, I’ll post a link as soon as they’re up.

So mark your calendars and tell all your friends! We’re beyond excited to be hosting our first ever off-season charity event for Equality Now. I think this is the start of a beautiful and long-lasting relationship between the NTBs and the Alamo Drafthouse, and we’re extremely grateful for their enthusiasm and support!


Here it is folks – proof of the claim!

No claim holds water without substantiation, especially one to a world record – so here it is at last! Here are 143 proud Browncoats, counting off and claiming the world title for “most participants in a Hero of Canton Sing-along” at North Texas’ 2013 Can’t Stop the Serenity shindig! Thanks again to everyone who came and sang, and especially to our fearless leader, local musician and supporter Matthew Broyles, who adapted with speedy aplomb when it turned out his lyrics were missing a verse.  😉

Thank you North Texas!!

This year’s CSTS events were an unqualified success, thanks to the endless dedication of everyone involved! Between the main event and the music showcase, North Texas raised  $7047.35 for Equality Now, and broke the world record for a Hero of Canton sing-along, with at least 144 enthusiastic (and may I say not melodically incompetent ;)) singers.

Way to go guys!!

Personally I’ve recovered from the show, but am still working to get the rest of my life back in its groove. A claim to having broken a world record needs supporting documentation, and I promise I’ll post that video as soon as I can get with our videographer. In the mean time, if you have photos or video from the events (or past events!) you’d like to share, you can email them to, or post them directly to the Facebook group. Hopefully we’ll be able to get a gallery up here on the website within the next few weeks.

Thanks so much to everyone who came out, and to our dauntless host of performers, volunteers, donors, and supporters! None of this would be possible without every one of you, showing up and keeping the signal strong year after year. ♥

Here’s our official donation confirmation (below the calendar). Wanna hear something as mind-blowing as it is inspirational as it is humbling?

2013 marked the eighth annual CSTS event season. In that time North Texas Browncoats have raised more than $41,000.00, and the global events have raised over $840,000.00 for Equality Now and other charities. If the global events don’t break $1,000,000 next year, they certainly will for the 10th anniversary in 2015.

The stunning thing is, those figures aren’t subsidized in any way. There are no grants, no paid employees, no PR machine. Just some generous sponsors, and folks across the world coming together once a year to watch a movie, have a good time, maybe don a cunning hat, and make a stand in the name of what’s right. We come from all walks of life and all belief systems. We’re regular people, trying to do good works because they need doing. And ladies and gentlemen, we are a force to be reckoned with.

This was on the front of your programs this year, but I’m putting it here again because it speaks to me so:

“Everyone here might well think of themselves as an agent of
change. I’ll say to you all, from the bottom of my heart:
you’re missing the point. You are not agents of change.

You are change.

There is no world but what we see, no history but
a compendium of perspectives. How you see
the world will be the world or will become the world.
If we see it with fear and hate… Fear and hate will manifest.
If we look beyond, if we dream the next text, it will be written.
We do not pass through this life, it passes through us.
You are not just existing: you are happening, you are an event.
You are changing everything.”
-Joss Whedon


See you next year!

Final pre-show update



All tickets and merchandise are now offline. However the Lakewood’s enormous capacity leaves us in no danger of selling out – tickets will be $18 at the door on Sunday, starting at noon. Pre-orders will be available for pick up at the event, all you need to do is provide the name on the order. See you all there!!


One more week!

It’s time to batten down the hatches and begin final preparations for this year’s CSTS, so this will likely be the last update before the event. You guys have come through like big damn heroes and we’re already in the black, with one week to go and all expenses covered! We also have a nice little pile of swag for raffles and prizes – enormous thanks to everyone who pre-ordered and donated!

A few last minute reminders:

  • Tickets and t-shirts will remain available online until Friday, August 9th. They’ll also be available starting at noon on the day of the event, but t-shirt quantities are extremely limited and pre-ordering is still highly encouraged for anyone who doesn’t want to miss their chance.
  • This venue does not serve food and we’re going to be there all day, so we’re taking a lunch break in the middle of the show. There are several places to get some grub within easy walking distance of the theater, and there will be printed maps included in the programs. For anyone who wants to plan early, the food map is also here. Packed lunches and take out are also welcome, we only ask that you be respectful of the theater and clean up any trash you bring in.
  • Once again, we’re always very grateful for donations, but knowing what we have to work with ahead of time is immensely helpful in our planning. If you plan to bring something for the raffle, we encourage you to let us know at

That’s about it! We’re very excited about this year’s show, and can’t wait to see you all next week! Have a good one, we’ll see you soon!


CSTS is Almost Here! (Part II: CSTM Details!)

Can’t Stop the Music:

We have a final, and really exciting lineup for this year’s Can’t Stop the Music Showcase! We have some returning alumni, and three brand new (to us) bands coming together for a show unlike any we’ve ever had. We’ll be starting with the first two seasons of The Guild around 4:30, followed by an encore screening of Dr. Horrible at 7:00. At 8:00, we once again have the amazing Velvet Kittens Burlesque of Le Cabaret Burlesque, followed by live music all night long!

Can’t Stop the Music will be Sunday, August 18th at
The Grotto (map)
517 University Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76107
$5 cover at the door, all proceeds go to Equality Now


4:30  The Guild
7:00  Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
8:00  The Velvet Kittens
9:30  The Matthew Show
10:30  Solo Sol
11:30  Siberian Traps
12:30  Fou

The Velvet Kittens: This incredible ensemble cast features classically trained and professional dancers, singers, actors and comedians in a full-length variety show influenced by the genres of vaudeville, cabaret, burlesque, and theatrical musicals. The Velvet Kittens of Le Cabaret Burlesque’s Variety Shows take you on a comical-dancical-musical journey that’s unlike anything else in Dallas-Fort Worth!  Fasten your seatbelts…it’s going to be a hysterical, titillating, & wild ride! These ladies are avid supporters of Equality Now, and this will be their fifth year in a row to perform for the benefit. We’re extremely grateful for their unswerving enthusiasm and support!

The Matthew Show: Born and raised in rural Texas, Matthew’s musical career spans nearly two decades, roving from Texas to New York City and back again. Matthew has released three solo albums to wide critical acclaim, and his songs have been featured on the PBS series Roadtrip Nation, and on NPR’s All Songs Considered. Matthew is another avid Browncoat and proud supporter of Equality Now; this year marks his third Can’t Stop the Music performance. Matthew has also graciously agreed to lead us in our record breaking Hero of Canton Sing-Along attempt, because he’s just that awesome!

Solo Sol: “Dreamy vocals, swirling guitar and a fusion of haunting and hopeful lyrics create the atmospheric sound of Solo Sol. Labeling the music with a specific genre makes for a fun challenge but if you’re up for it, you can imagine a house party with a 60’s psychedelic pop vibe and guests like Mazzy Star, Mojave 3, Yo La Tengo, Belle & Sebastian, and Cowboy Junkies creating the feel and tone one band member calls ‘space folk.'”
In 2011, Sarah contacted me in response to a call for musicians for the CSTM show. We’ve been trying ever since, but due to scheduling conflicts and life events, this is the first time Solo Sol has been able to play for us –  we’re thrilled beyond words to finally have them!

Siberian Traps: “An Ennio Morricone soundtrack played by R.E.M., produced by Neil Young, in praise of the universe: a whole new genre I’d call Spirit Rock. It is music both spirited and of the spirit. You stomp your feet and you hum along; but if your self-same soul isn’t swinging along, too, then you’re not paying close enough attention. (Mr. Reeves is capable of crafting lyrics that mean something the first time, something else the tenth time, and something entirely new the ten thousandth.) This is sincere music, removed of any scene, brave enough to say what it means in a culture that’s afraid to mean anything.” – Wade Lipham

Fou: ‘”Don’t You Know?’ hearkens back to the mood-heavy alt-rock of the ’90s, reminding heavily of Spiritualized’s drone-friendly and reverb-heavy vein of spaced-out rock. Fou are more subdued and not as intricately involved, but their knack for ethereal dream-pop hooks puts them in a similarly atmospheric realm. The shrill guitar tone during the main bridge is haunting and chilling, and certainly the most idiosyncratic element of the song. Fou always sound cerebral and organized, with melancholy being expressed beautifully over shimmering melodies. I’m very impressed by both ‘Don’t You Know?’ and ‘Colour Me In’. Fou’s eventual full-length should be a treat.” – Mike Mineo, Obscure Sound

A huge thanks to all of our wonderful performers!!

CSTS is Almost Here! (Part I)

Can’t Stop the Serenity:

Just a quick reminder that CSTS will be here before we know it! Ticket sales have picked up quite a bit, but we still need about 50 more people if we’re going to break that sing-along record, so bring all your friends! We have our rent covered, but pre-sales (and donations!) are still important so that we can have plenty of cool swag for raffles and prizes; we urge those who haven’t yet to order as soon as possible! Tickets will remain on sale through the website until Friday, August 9th, and will be available at the door the day of the event.

Our T-shirt pre-order deadline is coming up fast! Orders placed before Midnight, this Sunday (July 28th) are guaranteed to be filled. However, shirt sales are still down from past years, and there will likely be very few (if any) extra shirts ordered for the event. Don’t miss your chance at a 2013 t-shirt, order now! We do understand that pay schedule is a factor for many people, so if anyone wants a shirt but is unable to order by the deadline, just let me know what you’d like at, and I’ll take your word as a Browncoat that you’ll pay at pick-up.

Once more, this year’s screening event will be
Sunday, August 11th
Lakewood Theater (map)
1825 Abrams Parkway
Dallas, TX 75214
Doors open at noon

This year’s North Texas Can’t Stop the Serenity events are lovingly dedicated to the memory of Alanna Gallagher, one of our crew. Rest in peace little Albatross; may we all find serenity in your wake.

Alanna at archery class


Can’t Stop the Serenity is just four weeks away!

Hello fellow Browncoats!

This year’s event is shaping up to be a uniquely fun experience. Our beautiful new venue offers the most relaxed environment we’ve ever had, as well as more flexibility in pacing than any mainstream theater would be able to provide. With this in mind, we’ve designed a show that we hope will fit everyone’s schedule. It’ll be just us in the building for the entire day, and our timeline of events includes a generous break in the middle for lunch.

In years past, we’ve been limited to a set arrival time for everyone, and a single menu from which to order over the course of a long day. We’ve also always had a food and beverage sales minimum we’ve been contracted to meet, with any unmet minimum coming directly out of the charity proceeds. This year we’ll be able to admit guests as they arrive – meaning if you really only want to see Serenity, you may choose to arrive in the middle of the day and we’ll have someone on the door.

We also have not just one but several nearby places to grab lunch during the break. The variety of options should fit any budget, and those wanting to do take out or packed lunches are welcome to bring food into the theater. Although we’ve had to raise the ticket prices a bit to cover the increased rent, we hope that this arrangement will result in savings for those who’d rather not pay $10 for a burger, as well as limiting the overall cost of the event by eliminating the food and beverage minimums. The Lakewood will also have popcorn and nachos available for munchies, and two bars serving beverages. They’ve been incredibly generous to us, giving us an incredible discount on rent for the charity, and we want them to want us back next year, so we do encourage you to support the theater as much as possible!

Here’s our official schedule for this year’s event:
12:00 Doors open
1:00 Opening remarks/first contest
1:30 Dr. Horrible
2:15 Evil laugh contest

2:30 LUNCH BREAK (see map)

3:45 Costume contest
4:00 Hero of Canton (record breaking attempt!)
4:30 Serenity
6:30 Raffle
7:00 Auctions

All times are subject to a little variation! Once the show starts we’ll just flow with it, but we’ll do our best to start the films on schedule. It might be prudent to be a little early if you don’t want to miss the beginning of the movies.

We do still encourage you to pre-order your tickets and t-shirts if at all possible. While we have no service minimums to meet this year, we do have quite a bit more rent to pay, and we have to make sure we have that before we can buy any cool merchandise for raffle or auction. Pre-sales are increasing as we get closer, but time to order swag over the internet is rapidly running out. And as always, if you have an item for donation, please let us know ahead of time, it helps immensely in deciding how best to use it. The deadline for pre-ordering t-shirts is Sunday July 28th! Due to low sales this year, it’s looking unlikely that we’ll be printing any extra shirts to be sold at the event, so order now and don’t miss out!

CSTS screening event
Sunday, August 11th
Lakewood Theater (map)
1825 Abrams Parkway
Dallas, TX 75214

Music Showcase
Sunday, August 18th
The Grotto (map)
517 University Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76107

No doubt most of you are aware of the murder of six year old Alanna Gallagher earlier this month. What you may not be aware of is that Alanna was one of our own; her family have been among our most loyal CSTS supporters during my tenure as organizer. The Gallaghers are part of our Browncoat family, enduring something that no family should ever have to go through. We extend our deepest condolences to them, and ask that you keep them in your thoughts and prayers during this incredibly difficult time.

Thanks for your continued support!
Your CSTS team,

Six weeks away!

The time is almost here! We are hard at work planning and organizing this year’s event and it will be here before any of us know it. We are again having two events this year: the screenings, raffles and auctions will be on Sunday, August 11th, with the Music Showcase the very next weekend on Sunday, August 18th, at The Grotto in Fort Worth. We are still looking for acts to fill out the schedule for the showcase, so if you know anyone you think would be interested in performing please feel free to have them contact us.

CSTS screening event
Sunday, August 11th
Lakewood Theater
1825 Abrams Parkway
Dallas, TX 75214

Music Showcase
Sunday, August 18th
The Grotto
517 University Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76107

Final screening schedule and showcase lineup TBA shortly!

Remember tickets and t-shirts are already on sale! We depend on pre-sales for things like rent, shirt printing, and raffle items, so please pre-order if you can! Sales thus far have been relatively low this year, so there’s also a good chance shirt selection will be extremely limited on the day of the event. And if you plan on donating something for the auction or raffle, please let us know as soon as possible. Of course we will always accept items on the day of the event, but it helps us with planning if we know what we are going to have beforehand.

We have a tentative schedule set for the event. We are looking at opening the doors of the theater at 12:30, starting Dr. Horrible at 2:15, and Serenity at 6:00. Our new venue offers the most freedom we’ve ever had in planning our activities, and we’re looking at some fun new ideas! One thing we know for certain though: The California Browncoats claim the current world record for the most participants in a Hero of Canton sing-along, with 129 enthusiastic singers. They’ve issued a friendly challenge to any CSTS group to try and break that record. Say it with me now: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!!

Several times a year, I run into Browncoats who still have never heard of Can’t Stop the Serenity. We encourage you to help those folks out! Tell your friends, tell your comic book stores, your forums, anyone you see in a Firefly t-shirt (that’s usually how this conversation starts.) It gives them information they didn’t know they wanted, gives you a chance to meet a fellow Browncoat, and best of all it helps support Equality Now.

Thank you,
Your CSTS team.

How important to you is a traditional movie theater setting for our CSTS events?

Would you be interested in a different type of venue that might afford more opportunity for contests, games, and general freedom of movement? We would still screen Serenity of course, but in a different kind of venue we’d most likely have to show it on a much smaller screen than those afforded by a movie theater.