Ballroom Marfa presents Dion Cook’s Nicholl Fellowship winning screenplay ‘Cutter’
MARFA - Ballroom Marfa is pleased to announce the 2nd annual presentation of “The Reading,” a professionally staged screenplay performance that showcases one of the winners of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ annual Nicholl Fellowship. On April 21, at Marfa’s Crowley Theater,
The Reading will place this year’s spotlight on up-and-coming writer Dion Cook and his brilliantly crafted script, “Cutter.”
In what many consider to be the world’s most esteemed screenwriting competition, “Cutter” was one of five screenplays chosen from a record 6,730 submissions to be honored with the 2011 Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting.
Dion Cook’s Cutter was then singled out to be further honored by Ballroom Marfa’s distinguished Filmmakers’ Selection Committee, comprised of Director and Academy Award-winning screenwriter Robert Towne, Emmy-nominated actress Jeanne Tripplehorn, and veteran producer Robert Shapiro, who also serves on the Nicholl Fellow Selection Committee and will again be conducting this year’s panel discussions following The Reading performances.
Cutter tells the powerfully captivating story of a Miami trauma physician who moved to the United States after surviving the horrors of the 1994 Rwanda genocide.
The Reading will again be directed by Dallas-based veteran actor/director John S. Davies and produced by Carolyn Pfeiffer and Nancy Sanders.
In a joint comment, Pfeiffer and Sanders remark, “We are very excited to be staging such a powerful script. Dion Cook’s brilliant drama illuminates a tragedy playing out not just in Africa, but here as well. Cutter is a hugely compelling story that will captivate audiences at The Reading.
“We are so pleased that Robert Shapiro has continued his involvement with the program and that writer-director Robert Towne, an icon and true inspiration to decades of writers within the industry ranks, along with the immensely talented and multi-dimensional actress Jeanne Tripplehorn participated in this year’s selection committee.”
Following upon the highly successful performance of “The Reading” in 2011, this year’s stellar cast of diverse lead-actors hail from Dallas and include: Babakayode Ipaye, Gerald Dewey, Ginneh Thomas, Jeff Fenter, Jirah Simpson, Elizabeth Dukes Melancon, and Patrick Grover.
Also joining this year’s production as the ‘Shadow Maker,’ Fred Curchack will bring his exemplary talents to The Reading’s highly anticipated presentation of Cutter. Fred Curchack, revered nationally for his accomplishments in theater, is designing and choreographing the shadow play in the performance, using techniques he’s perfected in his 78 original theater creations. The Los Angeles Times has called Curchack’s work “visually astonishing”, while the Dallas Morning News says, “his performance pieces have won raves in The New York Times and provoked more than one critic to use that tricky word ‘genius.’”
Screenwriter and Oklahoma native Dion Cook also took home top honors from the 2011 Austin Film Festival, where Cutter was named Best Dramatic Screenplay.
Commenting upon Cutter’s selection for The Reading 2012, Cook says, “The initial thrill of being notified of the selection committee’s decision has been exceeded only by the time spent working with and getting to know the talented and driven personnel behind the Ballroom Marfa experience since receiving that wonderful phone call in February. I’m humbled, moved and about as wired as a five-year-old on a three-day sugar high.”
On April 21, 2012, Ballroom Marfa will present two performances of The Reading at the Crowley Theater (one matinee at 2:00 PM and one evening show at 8:00 PM), each followed by a panel discussion with the screenwriter and others involved with the project. The performances are free, but as seating is limited, reservations are strongly advised. To reserve your seat at this year’s presentation of The Reading, go to www.ballrooommarfa.org or call Ballroom at 432-729-3600.
In 2011, Ballroom Marfa launched The Reading as part of its year-round film program. Spotlighting a winning script from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ prestigious Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, The Reading 2012 was green-lit by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences based on the success of its inaugural year. Ballroom Marfa Executive Director and co-Founder, Fairfax Dorn, says,
“The Reading exemplifies Ballroom Marfa’s commitment to a multidisciplinary approach, which has facilitated artistic cross-pollination since our inception in 2003. The Reading continues our mission of presenting emerging artists in all forms and creates an opportunity to celebrate the screenwriter — who is often under recognized. The inaugural performance of Andrew Lanham’s incredible script in Marfa met with both critical success and audience enthusiasm, so we are honored to present Dion Cook’s Cutter in this innovative program again in 2012 as part of our annual programming.”
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