Stages: Three Days in Mexico - Britney Spears

with Judy Hoffman and Neda Ulaby

A laughing Britney Spears smiles at the camera.
Thursday, April 8, 2021, 7:00pm - 7:00pm

How to watch: Tune in on April 8 at 7pm Central time at You don’t need a Twitch account to watch the films or the discussion. If you would like to ask questions, you’ll need to sign up for a free Twitch account (you can also log in using your Facebook account). To ask questions during the discussion, simply type into Twitch’s chat window.

Director Judy Hoffman and cinematographer Albert Maysles (Gimme Shelter) give us behind the scenes access into the concert life of the then 20-year-old pop phenomenon Britney Spears. We are given a rare insider view of the apparatus producing her three-day 2002 "Dream Within a Dream" concert in Mexico City, leading us through a microcosmos of handlers and branders, bodyguards, hotel corridors, rehearsals, quiet moments with Britney, and the ever-present horde of hysterical fans.

Nearly twenty years later, Spears has remained in the news, her well-publicized fight against her father’s restrictive conservatorship prompting a Netflix documentary and the #freebritney hashtag. Join Judy Hoffman and NPR culture reporter Neda Ulaby for a conversation about Spears and the sometimes poisonous culture of celebrity. 

Judy Hoffman, Professor of Practice in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies, has worked in film and video since the 1970s. A longtime member of the Kartemquin collective, she worked with ethnographic filmmaker Jean Rouch and was active in the Alternative Television Movement. Her credits include numerous PBS series and political documentaries. A major focus of her work has been with the Kwakwaka'wakw First Nation of British Columbia, producing films and videotapes about the reclaiming of Native culture.

Neda Ulaby reports on arts, entertainment, and cultural trends for NPR’s Arts Desk. She has earned multiple fellowships at the Getty Arts Journalism Program at USC Annenberg as well as a fellowship at the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism to study youth culture. In addition, Ulaby's weekly podcast of NPR's best arts stories, Culturetopia, won a Gracie award from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation. Before coming to NPR, Ulaby worked as managing editor of Chicago's Windy City Times and co-hosted a local radio program, What's Coming Out at the Movies. Her film reviews and academic articles have been published across the country and internationally. Ulaby has taught classes in the humanities at the University of Chicago, Northeastern Illinois University, and high schools serving at-risk students.