From 2011-2013 there was a rash of tuba thefts that occurred from high schools across southern California. Reporters focused on who the thieves were and wondered why they did this. Alison is hard of hearing, so she was more interested in the ways the thefts changed the sounds of the bands and impacted the students. She decided she would make a film called The Tuba Thieves, but this is not a mystery that focuses on the thieves and there aren’t many tubas in the film. Instead The Tuba Thieves asks what it means to listen.
In The Tuba Thieves, access to sound is the main character. Alison wears hearing aids and lip read and sound for her can be overlapping, disorienting, comical and psychedelic. It’s full of mis-communications. Making sense of the film is the film.