Meryl Streep, Natalie Portman and more joining the Austin Pendleton Project: Where the Work Is

The Austin Pendleton Project profiles – Actor, Director, Writer, and Teacher – Austin Pendleton – and his five-decade journey through the theatrical arts.  This intimate documentary film explores the colorful and dramatic life of this unsung artist, who continues to redefine what it means to be successful.

Interviews and insights are shared by Meryl Streep, Natalie Portman, Olympia Dukakis, Louis Zorich, Laurie Metcalf, Peter Sarsgaard, Maggie Gyllenhaal and many others with whom Austin has worked.

A portrait of the most famous actor you have never heard of.  This film documents the path of his esteemed career and his continued gift forreinvention.

Interview Excerpts:

“He seems so shy for an actor, actors are always trying to get all the attention on themselves and he was very quiet and sort of observant and then on stage he just stole the stage, always.  It’s this sort of amazing duality in his personality.”
Natalie Portman

“…he finds a way to reach everyone in the way in which they need to be reached… he models the desire and the appetite to be in all parts of theatre…”
– Olympia Dukakis

“…there’s no line between the man and his work…”

– Meryl Streep

“The only thing I want more than to be directed by him again, is to act with him.”
– Peter Sarsgaard

Official website

IMDb page – Link

Meryl Streep, Duncan Sheik, and more: Announcing the 58th Annual Village Voice Obie Awards – May 20, 2013

Meryl Streep will be presenting the Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement to Lois Smith and Francis Sternhagen (May 20, 2013). Article:

Meryl Streep Headshot 2011_300.jpgGuess I’m giving a party on May 20th. I hadn’t been thinking about this year’s Obie Awards. I was too busy getting depressed about the state of the theater. (It’s a known fact that critics always get depressed about the state of the theater.) So the theater, that tricky place, decided to cheer me up, by letting me know about some people who’ll be coming to my party. And suddenly, my life is about to be filled with all these wonderful people I love – the kind of people who make the theater a joy to write about, and rescue critics from depression.

Jessica Hecht, Jeremy Shamos, Bobby Cannavale, Maggie Grace, Judith Light, Aasif Mandvi, Krysta Rodriguez, Duncan Sheik, Courtney B. Vance: That’s a list of names that could cure anybody’s depression. The best part is, they’re the hosts and presenters for the awards ceremony, so they’re the ones who do all the talking. I don’t even have to worry about getting tongue-tied in their presence–which I usually do in the presence of fabulous artists. Oh–and did I mention Meryl Streep? Well, I’m one of the few who doesn’t get tongue-tied in the presence of Meryl Streep. She and I go back a long way–back to when she was a tiny child at the Yale School of Drama and I was already, as all critics always are, a very, very world-weary old man. I once directed a children’s show in which she–but I think I’ll save that story, in case I actually have to speak at the ceremony itself.

obieshot_560.jpgMeryl will be presenting the Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement, and she’ll be presenting it to two artists who’ve spent their lifetimes helping me and the rest of the critical corps stave off our collective depression about the theater: Lois Smith and Francis Sternhagen. It makes me happy just typing those names–and seeing them onstage makes me even happier. They’re both much younger than I, of course.

So I plan to spend the next seven weeks looking forward to a wonderful party: the 58th Annual Village Voice Obie Awards. Now that you know who’s going to be there, you’ll probably want to buy yourself a ticket too. As chairman of the awards committee, I get a comp, of course–but that’s why people become theater critics, isn’t it?

Streep, Presidents in Inez memorial tribute

The Inez McCormack Fund in memory of the renowned Derry trade unionist and human rights activist is being launched this afternoon (Sat) at a special event in the Elmwood Hall in Belfast.

The Fund will support the work of the pioneering and highly commended Participation and the Practice of Rights (PPR) organisation, which was established by Inez in 2006. PPR provides support to local disadvantaged communities and groups in using a rights-based approach to change the social and economic inequalities and deprivation they face.

The celebration event will be attended by over 200 guests, including Inez’s family, representatives from the trade union movement and a number of dignitaries such as Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and recently appointed UN Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa.

Triple Academy award-winning actress Meryl Streep who portrayed Inez in the documentary play SEVEN, which tells the personal stories of Inez and six other women who triumphed over enormous obstacles to create major positive change in their home countries, will also pay tribute to Inez at the Newsweek and Daily Beast’s 2013 Women in the World Summit in New York on Thursday 4 April.

Ms Streep has also made a significant donation to the Inez McCormack Fund.

Nicola Browne, Director (Policy) of PPR discusses: “We have been honoured to receive a significant donation to the Inez McCormack Fund from Meryl Streep, alongside a series of other generous donations from supporters of Inez’s work. Inez’s life revolved around recognising the dignity of those who were more accustomed to being sidelined and ignored. The Inez McCormack Fund will support PPR in its work to give voice to those who, 15 years after the Good Friday Agreement, are still excluded from the benefits of the peace.”

Inez, who passed away on 21 January, following a short illness, was the first female President of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. An unrelenting activist for the equality provisions outlined in the Good Friday Agreement, in the 1980’s, Inez was also a signatory to the historic MacBride Principles, a corporate code of conduct for US com

Meryl Streep narrated – Out of Print (2013)

Out of Print narrated by Meryl Streep, draws us into the topsy-turvy world of words, illuminating the turbulent and exciting journey from the book through the digital revolution. Jeff Bezos, Ray Bradbury, Scott Turow, Jeffrey Toobin, parents, students, educators, scientists – all highlight how this revolution is changing everything about the printed word – and changing us.

Official site (+ Trailer)

Women in the World Summit – Hanks to pay tribute to Ephron

Tom Hanks will give a special tribute to Nora Ephron during Tina Brown’s Women in the World Summit April 4-5. Hanks, who’s making his Broadway debut in Ephron’s “Lucky Guy,” will discuss the magic of Nora in front of power women including Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep and daughter Mamie Gummer, Eva Longoria, Diane von Furstenberg, Dr. Hawa Abdi, Tererai Trent and Lesley Stahl.