'MERRILY' Documentary to Launch The Actors Fund's New Series at Jacob Burns Film Center

'MERRILY' Documentary to Launch The Actors Fund's New Series at Jacob Burns Film Center

The Actors Fund announced today a partnership with the Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) on a new ongoing film series, "Life on the Stage: Conversation and Film." The series will focus on the stories, work, and lives of people in the performing arts.

Located in the heart of Westchester County, the JBFC connects audiences to filmmakers through special events and post-screening discussions. Over the years, the JBFC audience has gotten behind-the-scenes accounts of the process of filmmaking from the perspectives of directors, producers, actors, writers, and more. This new partnership will allow the JBFC to bring audiences into the world of the performing arts in a similar way. "Life on the Stage" goes behind the curtain to portray the lives and creative journeys of people who bring us live performance.

"There's nothing like the Jacob Burns Film Center, a dynamic nonprofit educational and cultural organization," said Joe Benincasa, CEO of The Actors Fund. "It is one of the most successful art houses in the country presenting the best of independent, documentary, and world cinema, and we are excited about our partnership."

JBFC Director of Programming Brian Ackerman said "The Actors Fund supports the full world of the stage-not just actors, but dancers, musicians, composers, and all professionals in the performing arts and entertainment. This partnership will take us into the creative world of live performers and the JBFC will put those worlds up on the big screen. We are looking forward to working with The Actors Fund on a series that will bridge the worlds of film and the performing arts."

"Life on the Stage: Conversation and Film" kicks off on May 1, 2017 with Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened, an acclaimed new documentary from Lonny Price, who has directed such legendary performers as Glenn Close, Audra McDonald, and Emma Thompson. Best Worst Thing chronicles the exciting rise and disastrous fall of the first production of Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along, which closed after just 16 performances in 1981. After the screening, Tony-nominated and Emmy-winning actress Liz Callaway, who made her Broadway debut in Merrily, and filmmaker Price, who also starred in the ill-fated production, will speak in a conversation moderated by Tony-winning Broadway producer and Emmy-winning director Dori Berinstein. A reception will follow the conversation.

Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday, April 14, 2017 at 12 noon and may be purchased online here.

The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that helps everyone-performers and those behind the scenes-who works in performing arts and entertainment. Serving professionals in film, theatre, television, music, opera, radio and dance, The Fund's programs include social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and employment and training services. With offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Actors Fund is a safety net for those in need, crisis or transition.

Jacob Burns Film Center is a nonprofit arts and education HUB located on a three-building campus in the New York Metro area. The JBFC brings the transformative power of film to the surrounding community through unique programming and discussion, shared experiences, and educational initiatives. Since opening in 2001, over 3,000,000 people have enjoyed the best of current American and foreign cinema, unique film series, and special events at the five-screen theater complex. A pioneer in visual literacy education, the Jacob Burns Film Center offers courses in filmmaking, screenwriting, and animation for students of all ages at their state-of-the-art Media Arts Lab and develops curriculums for public schools throughout the region.

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