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Français : Woody Allen au festival de Cannes.

Français : Woody Allen au festival de Cannes. (Photo credit: Georges Biard via Wikipedia)

Magic in the Moonlight by Woody Allen is set in the south of France during the 1920s and stars Colin Firth as a gentleman who is trying to expose Emma Stone's character, who is a clairvoyant, as a fake.

Woody is very prolific in his filmmaking, writing and directing one or more a year for decades.  Below in this conversation with Charlie Rose interview you can hear Emma and Colin talk some about Woody's style of directing and why an actor might like to work with him, or not.

English: Image:Villianc.svg (Vector version of...

Image credit: Wikipedia)

Villians have always played an important part in our stories as they are often intriguing, have great development, and create tension in the narrative.  Where would we be without someone to root against?  

Sometimes though, they have just enough redeeming qualities that we might like them, or even be rooting for them.  Even those we know of in real life.  Why is that?

Watch their conversation below.

Michel de Montaigne wrote of his condition tha...

Michel de Montaigne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What inspired Shakespeare? Did he have a muse in the form of the writings of Montaigne?  Stephen Greenblatt thinks so and that is the subject of his interview with Charlie Rose where they discuss his book Shakespeare's Montaigne. A book about William Shakespeare and his reading of Montaigne.

Michel de Montaigne was a French nobleman that Shakespeare never met, although they lived during the same times. There is some evidence that he read Montaigne's essays and drew  influence for some of the characters in his plays after what he read.  

Born in France at Château de Montaigne in the year 1533 Montaigne was sent to live with a peasant family until he was three years old in order for him to understand what that life is like.  After returning to his parents his tutor, servants, and anyone else that talked to him were instructed to only speak with him in Latin. In this way Latin became his first language

Château de Montaigne, Montaigne's family home

Château de Montaigne, Montaigne's family home (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By thirteen years of age he had graduated from Collège de Guyenne and began to study law. Nearing his forties, with a career in law and as a statesman behind him, he retired. That's when he began to write his essays. Setting himself up in a room of a tower in the family's chateau (which is reminiscent of the Biltmore Estate here in the Carolinas) he began to write. He wrote deeply personal and transparent accounts of himself, the people he knew, and the human condition.

Is this what inspired Shakespeare?  Listen to the conversation below and see what you think.
English: Claudia McNeil in A Raisin in the Sun...

Claudia McNeil in A Raisin in the Sun - trailer (cropped screenshot) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Raisin in the Sun is one of the great American plays and was written by Lorraine Hansberry  when she was in her late 20s. 

Comprised of an ensemble cast where every actor contributes significantly to outcome of the performance. All of the main characters are well developed and each has a story to tell from their own perspective. It is amazing how Lorraine had the experience, much less the wisdom, to craft such an inspiring story of the human condition at such a young age.  Sadly she died in 1965 at the age of 34.

If you've never seen this play I urge you to try to whether it be at a community theatre, college, or even on film.  There are frequent productions of it running in every part of the  country.  It is currently playing on Broadway in a new revival at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre where it was first performed in 1959.  

This  production stars Denzel Washington, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Anika Noni Rose, and Sophie Okenedo.  In their conversation with Charlie Rose below they discuss what it's like to perform the play and what each character means to them.


(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are a writer or filmmaker who would like to learn more about writing and share some comaraderie with like minded folks this is the class for you. Beginning February 5th and continuing every Wednesday at Jade Castle Studios in Greenville, South Carolina.

The instructor will be John Norwood who graduated from  the University of Southern California with a Master of Fine Arts in Cinema-Television.  

Starting Wednesday Feburary 5th at Jade Castle Studios.
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

More information at:
John Mellencamp (singer, songwriter, and guita...

John Mellencamp (Public domain photo by Peter Rimar. via Wikipedia)

What do you get when you put John Mellencamp and Stephen King together then add T-Bone Burnett for good measure?  A musical called Ghost Brothers of Darkland County.  

Conceived by John who enlisted the help of Stephen King as the writer, it's a southern gothic musical about a sibling rivalry that turns to tragedy.  John wrote all the songs for the musical.  After more that 10 years of collaboration they brought on T-Bone Burnett (music producer of O Brother, Where Art Thou? and many others) to help pull it all together.

The musical will have shows coming this October and November in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, and Iowa.  In addition it will be released as a digital and hardcover book.  The soundtrack which is available on iTunes includes Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Kris Kristofferson, Sheryl Crow, Dave Alvin, Phil Alvin, Taj Mahal, Ryan Bingham, Roseanne Cash, and John Mellencamp with Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz.   

See the promotional video for the musical below.


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At the Carolina Theatre in Durham, NC

Robert Filion - Carolina Theatre.jpg

The Tony Awards

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Neil Patrick Harris - CBS Comedies Premiere Pa...

Neil Patrick Harris (Image by Kristin Dos Santos via Wikipedia)

Last Sunday, The Tony Awards, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris put on a show.  And who better to put on a show than the top Broadway actors of the day.

And the winner please...
  • Best Play - War Horse
  • Best Musical - The Book of Mormon
  • Best Original Score - The Book of Mormon
  • Best Revival of a Play - The Normal Heart
  • Best Revival of a Musical - Anything Goes
  • Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play - Mark Rylance in Jerusalem
  • Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play - Frances McDormand in Good People
  • Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical - Norbert Leo Butz in Catch Me If You Can
  • Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical - Sutton Foster in Anything Goes
  • Best Direction of a Play - Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris for War Horse
  • Best Direction of a Musical - Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker for The Book of Mormon
  • Best Choreography - Kathleen Marshall for Anything Goes
  • and the list goes on...

VFS Acting for Film & Television Monologue Com...

Image by vancouverfilmschool via Flickr

Johnny Rambler Productions is holding a workshop for writers and actors in Charlotte, NC this weekend.

Who is this for and what will I get?
  • For writers and actors at any stage of craft
  • Writing exercises on preparing a personal monologue
  • Critique, discussion, and edit suggestions
  • Writers can sharpen character and story development skills
  • Actors gain understanding of emotional and story elements of a character and have a  personl monologue for auditioning.

Workshop A
Saturday, May 21st - 9:00 am to 12:30 pm
Sunday, May 22nd - 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm

Workshop B
Saturday, May 21st - 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm
Sunday, May 22nd - 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm

The Actors Lab
136 36th Street
Charlotte, NC 28205


More Info:


Public Domain Image via Wikipedia

The Magnolia Arts Center in Greenville, NC is accepting scripts for it's Sixth Annual Ten Minute Play Contest.  Entries will be accepted until  August 31st.

Open to playwrights of all ages.

Submit original unpublished plays to:the Magnolia Arts Center.

Rules and Submission Guidelines: