Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Jared Grimes to Perform During World Premiere of Ted Nash’s Transformation

Jared Grimes

The piece will be presented at Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2020

Jared Grimes, a 2001 Donna Reed national scholarship recipient in dance, will debut a new dance piece during the world premiere of Ted Nash’s Transformation at Jazz at Lincoln Center January 30–February 1, 2020.

Tony-winning star of stage and screen Glenn Close will read aloud several works.

Grimes made his choreography debut in Cirque Du Soleil's, Banana Shpeel off-broadway. He has choreographed the musical Holler If You Hear Me with Kenny Leon, 42nd Street at Drury Lane Chicago with Michael Heitzman, and The Scottsboro Boys with Joe Calarco at the Signature Theater in DC.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

‘Spirit Riding Free’ Christmas Special Teased in Delightful New Trailer

Kari Wahlgren

Kari Walgren voices part of Aunt Cora

DreamWorks Animation unveiled the heartwarming trailer for the holiday special of its Emmy Award-winning series Spirit Riding Free titled, DreamWorks Spirit of Christmas. In this episode, Kari Walgren (DreamWorks Archibald’s Next Big Thing) voices the parts of Aunt Cora.

Spirit Riding Free is a computer-animated series, produced by DreamWorks Animation Television and distributed by Netflix, based on the 2002 Oscar-nominated traditionally-animated film, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. The series was first released on Netflix on May 5, 2017.

Walgren, a University of Kansas graduate from Hoisington, KS, was a 1995 Donna Reed Scholarship recipient in Acting and Vocal.
Read the article and watch the trailer

Scholarship alumna appears in Pasadena Playhouse production

Sarah Utterback

2000 Donna Reed Foundation National Scholar in Musical Theatre

Sarah Utterback, a native of New Hampton, Ia, recently appeared in a Pasadena Playhouse production of A Kid Named Jake. The play addresses a couple’s struggle with their four-year-old son's gender identity when they realize he might be transgender. Alex and Greg struggle to figure out what's best for their son as they apply for him to go to a private kindergarten in New York City.

Utterback is most notable for her role as Nurse Olivia Harper on ABC's medical drama series Grey's Anatomy. She is also a film and theater producer.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Casting Announced for BLISS at The 5th Avenue Theatre

Jose Luaces

Includes Donna Reed Scholarship alumnus

Jose Luaces, a 2003 Donna Reed Finalist in Musical Theater and a native of Miami, FL, has been cast as a member of the ensemble for the upcoming production of BLISS at The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle.

Bliss is an electrifying new musical that tears up the rules on happy endings. In this fractured fairytale with an addictive pop-rock score, created at The 5th, four wildly distinctive royal sisters sneak out of their castle and discover an intoxicating world of fancy balls and dreamy princes-and a burning desire to be at the center of it all. In a world that demands they fit in, it will take a sister's love to remind them to stand out. Together they discover that chasing their bliss means leaving expectations behind.

Seneca Falls Celebrates "It's a Wonderful Life" Festival

December 13-15, 2019

December 13-15, 2019

Seneca Falls, NY has been taken over by the classic Christmas movie “It’s A Wonderful Life”! The annual festival has a long list of themed events all weekend. But what most people look forward to is meeting the actors from the movie themselves!

Four actors from the film — Karolyn Grimes (Zuzu), Jimmy Hawkins (Tommy), Jeanine Ann Roose (Violet), and Carol Coombs (Janie) — have come to town to sign autographs and meet fans. Six actors from the 1946 film are still living; five were child actors at the time.
Visit the festival site

Jackie Schmillen appearing in Des Moines Playhouse production

Jackie Schmillen

1998 Donna Reed Iowa Scholarship Recipient in Acting

Jackie Schmillen, CW Iowa (KCWI) morning show host, is back on stage at the Des Moines Playhouse in the family holiday classic, A Christmas Story: The Musical, playing the role of Ralphie Parker’s mother.

Set in the 1940s in Hohman, IN, the musical follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker and his quest for the Holy Grail of Christmas gifts: an Official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. Rebuffed at every turn with a similar echoing response ("You'll shoot your eye out!"), Ralphie plots numerous schemes to achieve his desperate desire for the coveted BB gun. All the iconic scenes from the movie are here: Ralphie's friend, Flick, getting his tongue stuck to the flagpole; his brother, Randy, getting dressed in his snowsuit; the bullies, Farkus and Dill; the leg lamp award; the bunny suit; the Bumpus hounds; and many others. We triple dog dare you to see this show!
Read a review

Friday, December 13, 2019

“Show Business, The Foy Way: Memoir of a Hollywood Casting Director”

Give a gift written by the casting director of The Donna Reed Show

In this candid autobiography, Eddie Foy III, grandson of Vaudevillian icon and son of a Broadway legend, takes you through the heartache and triumphs of his life. His illustrious career as a Hollywood casting director spanned more than four decades, which he honestly recounts with his behind the scenes anecdotes and humorous insight. No topic is off-topic as Eddie covers his relationships with the Hollywood elite and divulges his own pains, both personally and professionally. "Show Business, The Foy Way: Memoir of a Hollywood Casting Director" illustrates one man's journey: at times dark and gritty and other times joyous and magical.

Contact the Donna Reed Foundation for information

Ben Giroux appearing in Pasadena Playhouse Holiday Production

John O’Hurley and Ben Giroux 

Phoenix native was 2003 Donna Reed Foundation National Acting Award Recipient

Ben Giroux has been charming Pasadena Playhouse audiences in the current production of PETER PAN AND TINKER BELL: A PIRATES' CHRISTMAS. Cast as Smee, Captain Hook’s right-hand man, he adlibs, interacts with the audience and connects with jokes obviously meant for adults.

What sets this production apart from others is that “Peter Pan & Tinker Bell” is a “panto,” an English tradition that usually starts with a familiar fairy tale or a children’s story, then adds music, humor, contemporary references, and audience participation where booing the villain and cheering the hero is encouraged. Filled with big laughs, magic, dancers and contemporary songs by everyone from Taylor Swift to The Bee Gees, this family show has a little bit of something for everyone.
View the Laguna Beach Independent article and photos