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Winner: “Back in Black” by Jon Stahl PDF Print E-mail
Written by CUE Editor   
Saturday, 04 May 2013 11:25

Columbia University Entertainment’s CUE Screenwriting Showcase: May 8, 2013, United Talent Agency, Beverly Hills, Calif., 7:30-10 p.m. Click to RSVP.

Former teacher Jon Stahl (Teachers College ‘00) is one of five winners in this year's CUE Screenwriting Showcase. He's written and directed several films. (Check out his award-winning "Teechers" on Vimeo.)

“Back in Black” (or How to Save America Without Really Trying) is a feature comedy in which black Harvard professor Clyde Foster, the nation's foremost expert on the colonial period, is forced by the government to go back in time to stop the assassination of George Washington. But in 1776 there's only one way to fit in: as a slave. Yep, a slave.

Read more here about the story and Jon’s work. He was a finalist in the Austin Film Festival screenplay contest for this script, and has received many other contest accolades. Jon directs the reading and plays Seth, the nebbishy teaching assistant. (Damned typecasting!)

Some of the other actors include Evan Parke, with an AB in Economics from Cornell and an MFA from Yale, who plays the role of Professor Foster. Parke has over 120 episodes of television and 12 feature films to his credit: Alias, Desperate Housewives, CSI: NY and NCIS: Los Angeles are among the TV shows. His film credits include: The Cider House Rules, The Planet of the Apes and Django Unchained, among others, and he is currently filming Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Parke has also appeared on Broadway in The Lion King and played lead roles in other stage productions.

Edward McGinty, who plays Ward Boss Boyd on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” reads the part of John Adams, the 2nd President of the United States. You may recognize him as a co-founder of the Columbia University Entertainment (CUE) network back in 2007. Born in Atlantic City, he trained in acting at the American Conservatory Theater and got an MFA in Film Directing from Columbia University's School of the Arts. (Edward would like dedicate this reading to everyone who said he would never be President.)

Whit Spurgeon plays Ben Franklin. He grew up in Muncie, Indiana, got an Acting degree from Syracuse University and worked in Chicago theater extensively. He played alderman Tom Keane in “Hizzoner” for two years and moved to LA, where he’s taken roles in “Cougartown” and sci-fi film “Vessel,” among others.

Writer and actress Jonna Tamases handles stage directions for this reading. Her solo show "Jonna's Body, Please Hold" was nominated for Best World Premiere Play and Best Lead Actress at the LA Ovation Awards, and tours nationally. She’s developing The Gisele Show. (More on her work at madlively.com.)