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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Fox goes Bohemian with premiere of RENT LIVE January 27

Brandon Victor Dixon

Cast includes Donna Reed Alumnus

Brandon Victor Dixon, a 1999 Donna Reed scholarship finalist in musical theater, will appear in the role of Tom Collins on FOX's live television adaptation of “Rent” which airs January 27, 2019 at 10/9c.

Dixon, who played Tom Collins in the 2011 Off-Broadway revival of “Rent,” is best known for his performances in the original Broadway companies of The Color Purple, Motown, and Shuffle Along, and as the first Aaron Burr replacement in Broadway’s Hamilton. Earlier this year, TV audiences discovered just how talented he is when he turned in an Emmy-nominated performance as Judas Iscariot in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, alongside Sara Bareilles and John Legend.

The groundbreaking, Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical is a re-imagining of Puccini's "La Boheme," and set in New York City's gritty East Village. "Rent" tells the unforgettable story of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams during a time of great social and political turmoil.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Jared Grimes joins cast of NBC series "Manifest"

Jared Grimes as Adrian

Recurring role as Adrian

Jared Grimes, 2001 Donna Reed Foundation national scholarship recipient in dance, has joined the cast of the NBC series “Manifest” in a recurring role.

His first appearance was in last week’s mid-season premiere, “Crosswinds,” and he will next appear in the Feb. 4 episode. He plays Adrian, an entrepreneur whose life was disrupted by the events that set the series in motion. Now, he is trying to make sense of things. The show revolves around the crew and passengers of a plane that disappeared under mysterious circumstances for five years.

Grimes has previously appeared on such shows as “Boardwalk Empire” and “Fringe,” and has extensive stage experience including such Broadway productions as “After Midnight” and “Holler If You Hear Me” and the Radio City Music Hall production of “The New York Spring Spectacular.”

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Blumhouse Finally Hires a Woman Director: Sophia Takal’s All-Female Horror Movie

Sophia Takal

Addition to Hulu's "Into the Dark" series brings a new all-female horror movie to a national audience.

With all the horror movies Blumhouse has released, they’ve never had a female director for a horror film. Until now. Sophia Takal, director of the amazing indie horror film Always Shine, will become the first female Blumhouse director with New Year New You, a feature-length entry in the Blumhouse/Hulu anthology series, Into the Dark. The 85-minute feature will premiere on Hulu on December 28.

The plot centers on a group of old high school friends who reunite in a house for New Year’s Eve, where they’re forced to confront traumas from their past.

Takal’s previous features have followed the traditional route of arriving on the festival circuit and searching for distribution. “Green,” in which Takal starred opposite her husband Lawrence Michael Levine, premiered at SXSW in 2011; “Always Shine,” a tense thriller starring Mackenzie Davis and Catlin FitzGerald premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2016.

Takal was a Donna Reed National Scholarship finalist in acting in 2003.

Close Shave! Check Out Santino Fontana as Dorothy Michaels in Tootsie

Santino Fontana

New Dorothy has Donna Reed Foundation connection

Tootsie, the new musical based on the acclaimed 1982 film comedy classic starring Dustin Hoffman, is heading to the Great White Way this spring. The story follows talented but difficult actor Michael Dorsey, played by Tony nominee Santino Fontana, who struggles to find work until an audacious, desperate stunt lands him the role of a lifetime. Enjoy the fun shot above. The production is scheduled to open on Broadway on April 23, 2019, at the Marquis Theatre.

Best known for his role as (original) Greg on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Fontana is a Tony-nominated theater actor, for his performance in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Fontana was a Donna Reed Scholarship national finalist in 2000.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Memorial service for casting director Eddie Foy III

Eddie Foy III

Set for December 13 at Donna Reed Theatre

A celebration of the life of Eddie Foy III will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 13, at the Donna Reed Theater in Denison. Foy’s life will be celebrated through videos and photo montages set to music. Everyone is invited.

Foy, an award-winning Hollywood casting director, who worked on such classic series as Happy Days, Cheers, M*A*S*H and The Monkees, and was a third-generation member of the legendary Foy show business clan, died November 3 from a fall at his home in Denison, IA. He was 83.

We loved him because of his connection with “The Donna Reed Show,” which starred the Denison native by the same name. His work for the Donna Reed Foundation will be sorely missed.

“It’s a Wonderful Life” to be screened with Spanish subtitles

Sunday, December 16 at 3 p.m. at Donna Reed Theatre

Every December for the last 20 years or so, the Donna Reed Center for Performing Arts in Denison has hosted a free screening of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the 1946 holiday classic that features the theater’s famous namesake.

Over those same 20 years, Denison has changed. Hispanic immigrants have arrived, initially drawn to jobs at the meatpacking plants, and now make up almost half of the western Iowa town’s population of 8,500.

So this year, for the first time, the theater is hosting a screening of the Christmas movie with Spanish subtitles at 3 p.m.on Dec. 16. The movie will be screened at 7 p.m. without subtitles. Folks can see “Que bello es vivir” or “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Read the entire Des Moines Register article.

From Kansas to Los Angeles - Talking with Voice Actress Kari Wahlgren

Kari Wahlgren

An interview by Taimur Dar, Digital Media Producer and Marketing Expert for the Beat.

One of the most prolific talents in the animation industry, Kari Wahlgren has worked on some of the biggest properties not only dubbing anime but Western animation as well such as Marvel and DC Comics animation, Ricky and Morty on Adult Swim, and so much more. Much like Clark Kent, Wahlgren has certainly come a long way from her humble town in Kansas. Read about her voiceover journey and delve into some of her past projects and roles in this interview. Plus learn about her decidedly unique take on the classic character Tinker Bell in possibly one of the craziest interpretations of the Peter Pan story.

Walgren is a University of Kansas graduate and a 1995 Donna Reed Foundation National Scholar (acting/vocal) from Hoisington, KS.
Read the entire interview.