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Following a short but brilliant acting career playing roles like Stringbean in the 1986 classic film, Neon Maniacs, and after five years of fronting the popular post-punk bands Insect Idol, Grand Manner and The Big Sky, Matthew Asner decided that his true place was behind the camera. Today, Matthew is a producer/director whose credits include creating and producing the groundbreaking Showtime mini-series, Hiroshima. He teamed with director Roger Spottiswoode in creating the film’s unique look, blending original and archival footage; and spent years researching and writing the film’s scene-by-scene treatment; directed the North American video unit, and worked closely with the Japanese filmmakers during the shoot in Japan. Matthew spent one year in Montreal as the film’s sole American producer in Canada, and Hiroshima went on to win numerous awards - including the coveted Humanitas Prize. He has also served as a consultant on the Showtime movies, The Life And Times Of Joe Bonnano (produced in Canada) and Promises to Keep, and has conducted interviews with some of the biggest newsmakers of our time (including President Bill Clinton, Scientist Edward Teller and Israeli Prime Ministers Netanyahu and Barak and Palestinian dignitary Saib Erakat). Matthew has also produced the acclaimed feature documentaries for Moriah Films, where he spent three years before joining lifelong friend, Danny Gold, in forming Mod 3 Productions. Over the past four years Matthew and Danny have produced written and directed several projects for studios and networks such as the History Channel, MTV, Dreamworks, Miramax, Warner Bros and Fox to name a few. Mod 3 Productions has also produced the special first season DVD releases of classic TV shows such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Their most current projects include Alpha Company, a thirteen part series about 12 soldiers and their experiences together in training and through their deployment Iraq; and Season Of The Samurai, a documentary comedy about an all-Japanese baseball team playing in the American Minor Leagues for an entire season (which was an official selection to the Santa Barbara Film Festival and the opening film at the Just For Laughs Festival). Matthew has an Autistic son and has dedicated himself to working with charitable organizations such as Autism Speaks and fighting for the rights of those with special needs and in special education. For more information about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.
Danny Gold is an Executive Producer who was directly responsible for, discovering and setting up MGM’s successful Agent Cody Banks feature film franchise. After a career as an Entertainment Attorney who specialized in all aspects of production, in 1998, Danny left the practice of law to devote his efforts to producing and writing. In the next four years, Danny produced five feature films including two for Flashpoint Pictures: 18 Shades of Dust (starring Danny Aiello and William Forsythe) and Love and Action In Chicago (starring Courtney B. Vance, Jason Seinfeld Alexander, Kathleen Turner, Regina King and Edward Asner), the latter of which was an official selection to The Toronto Film Festival in 1999. Danny’s other films include Wish You Were Dead (starring Cary Elwes, Elaine Hendrix, Christopher Lloyd, Mary Steenburgen, Gene Simmons and Robert Englund, for Icon
Productions/Newmarket Capitol), Agent Cody Banks (starring Frankie Malcom in the Middle Muniz and Hillary Duff) and Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London (also starring Muniz and Anthony Anderson). Danny’s desire to expand creatively as a Writer, Director and Producer led to his formation of Mod 3 Productions (M3P) with his lifelong friend, Matthew Asner. Danny has found commercial and creative success in producing projects in the motion picture, television and DVD genres, including producing the first season DVD releases of classic TV shows like Kung Fu and CHiPs. With his extensive production experience and creative ingenuity, Danny continues to be an invaluable addition to the M3P family. For more information about Mod 3 Productions, please visit www.mod3productions.com
James J. Kolb, Ph.D. is Professor of Drama at Hofstra University on Long Island. His B.A. degree, summa cum laude, was earned at St. John Fisher College, Rochester, New York in 1966, his M.A. and Ph.D. from New York University in 1968 and 1974.
A teacher of theatre history and dramatic literature since 1969, Professor Kolb taught for fifteen years at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York, where he was also chairman of the Theatre Arts Program for seven years and was a frequent stage director of musicals, operas and plays. After three years as a full-time administrator in University College for Continuing Education at Hofstra, Professor Kolb returned to the classroom as a full-time teacher in the fall of 1988.
He served as Chair of the Department of Drama and Dance at Hofstra University from 2000 to 2006.
At Hofstra University he has directed one production annually for the past twenty-plus years including six Shakespeare productions (The Merry Wives of Windsor, Macbeth, Two Noble Kinsmen, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Julius Caesar, and The Tempest), an original project, Shakespeare Revued, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe, Eugene O’Neill’s Ah, Wilderness!, Bernstein, Comden and Green’s musical, On the Town, Robert David MacDonald’s Camille, Euripides’s Iphigenia at Aulis and Iphigenia in Tauris, Aristophanes’s The Birds, Kaufman and Ferber’s Stage Door, Harold Pinter’s Old Times, and Cristina Calvit’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, among others. For more than a decade at Nazareth College, Professor Kolb taught an annual undergraduate course in the American Musical Theatre, which is one of his special interests.
He now teaches a similar course at Hofstra University for Honors College and for the Musical Theatre minor in the Department of Drama and Dance. On five occasions he has taught in Elderhostel, each time presenting a series of lectures on a different facet of American musical theatre.
He has also lectured on musical theatre on two occasions for Elder College and for numerous libraries and Senior Citizen groups. On Long Island he lectures regularly at the Peninsula Public Library (Lawrence), the Five Towns Senior Center (Woodmere), Port Washington Public Library, Manhasset Public Library, Half Hollow Hills Library, the Commack Y, and various other locations.
He averages approximately sixty lectures per year. As a “Speaker in the Humanities” from 1990 to 1995, he lectured extensively for the New York Council for the Humanities on aspects of the American musical theatre throughout New York State. During 2003-2005 he was once again a “Speaker in the Humanities,” presenting a lecture on “Eugene O’Neill and the Drama of the Dysfunctional American Family.” With the Hofstra University Cultural Center Professor Kolb has served as Co-Director of multi-day conferences on the “Theatre of the 1920s” (1994) and “The American Musical Theatre” (2003). He also served as Director for a three-day Symposium on “Bond, James Bond: The World of 007” (2007). He has also served as a participant, presenter and moderator at numerous other conferences. Recent publications include an essay, The Cid: Four Operatic Transformations of a Spanish Classic, in The Hispanic Connection: Spanish and Spanish-American Literature in the Arts of the World, edited by Zenia Sacks DaSilva (Greenwood Press, April 2004); as well as co–editing with Arthur Gewirtz Experimenters, Rebels, and Disparate Voices: The Theatre of the 1920s Celebrates American Diversity (Greenwood Press/Praeger, July 2003) and Art, Glitter, and Glitz: Mainstream Playwrights and Popular Theatre in 1920s America (Greenwood Press/Praeger, October 2004).
Nevine Salvade was blessed with the gift of life among many different lands, cultures, races and religions. Having lived on three different continents, she quickly learned to love the differences in people as well as speak five languages. Salvade hopes to awaken inner voices and aid in bringing about a new consciousness. Born in Cairo, Egypt, Salvade grew up in war-torn Lebanon, and lived in Europe and the USA. She experienced the struggle of war and man's inhumanity to man due to greed, lack of compassion and lack of connectedness. Salvade's search for meaning and purpose soon led to the discovery of her own inner, innate gifts. That connection brought forth in Salvade a message of compassion and one humanity. Synchronicity, a coincidence that seems to be meaningfully related, is something in Salvade's experience that has driven events in her life that she believes were meant to occur for her spiritual growth. Her first book, COMPASSION: A JOURNEY INTO SELF, INTO THE LIGHT AND A PATH TOWARD PEACE (Author House, 2008), offers the details of her astounding quest.
Rob Ray is a classic media archivist with an astounding collection of film and television programs on video, laserdisc, DVD and BluRay. Since 1980, Rob has amassed a treasury that includes thousands of movies and TV shows, with an emphasis on cinema and series from the Golden Age of Hollywood and Television (the latter sector of which includes variety specials from the medium's early decades). Classic motion pictures from Rob’s heralded collection screen each Friday night as part of the Long Beach Independent School District’s Friday Film Forum, for which he serves as Film Programmer, and which showcases movies, shorts and cartoons from the 1920s through the end of the studio era. Rob provides liner notes and leads a discussion following each week's screening at the Film Forum, which also periodically presents special events featuring notable classic TV guests. A few recent special evenings have hosted Betty Garrett, best known as Irene Lorenzo on All in the Family and Mrs. Babish on Laverne and Shirley, and Gavin MacLeod, who played Murray Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Captain Stubing on The Love Boat. Rob is also an esteemed TV and film critic, whose reviews of classics on video have appeared in publications such as The Past Times Newsletter. A long-standing member of the Society for Cinephiles, and the Alex Film Society, Rob is the quintessential baby boomer. He was virtually weaned on the classic sitcoms of the 1950s and early 1960s, including December Bride, Make Room for Daddy, The Bob Cummings Show, The Real McCoys, The Andy Griffith Show, Father Knows Best and Leave It To Beaver. He has a particular interest in I Love Lucy, for which his earliest memory is viewing Desi Arnez as Ricky Ricardo receiving a pie in the face (in the episode, titled, The Audition). Rob also recalls watching everything from The Dick Van Dyke Show and Bewitched to The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction in their original network airings; has fond memories of long-forgotten series such as Occasional Wife (starring Michael Callan and Patricia Harty; NBC, 1966-67), and still bears the scars inflicted by the likes of Grindl (starring Imogene Your Show Of Shows Coca, 1963-64, NBC).
Synonymous with landmark Television programming, Ed Spielman has created, written and/or executive produced over 300 hours of prime-time entertainment with immediate recognition world-wide. As the creator of the ground-breaking TV series Kung Fu (which debuted on ABC in 1972), Ed composed a 90-minute pilot movie that went on to become America’s first martial arts film - one that ignited a world-wide martial arts boom. An Emmy award-winning Eastern Western and now contemporary classic, Kung Fu has been cited by Entertainment Weekly as “one of the 100 best television shows of all time.” Ed also created the Emmy award-winning series The Young Riders, which returned the Western to the prime-time TV (on ABC, 1989). The Young Riders pilot earned Ed the coveted Western Heritage Award (which he has won four times) and, for his contribution, the prolific scribe was inducted into the national Cowboy Hall of Fame (an honor shared by such luminaries as John Wayne). In a career that now spans several decades, Ed Spielman’s creations have been seen internationally, and produced by virtually every major motion picture studio and television network. Another of his television series, Dead Man’s Gun (which debuted on Showtime in 1997, and which he produced in partnership with MGM Productions, Henry Winkler, Howard Spielman and Sugar Entertainment, Ltd.) was nominated for three cable ACE Awards (including Best Dramatic Series) and received six LEO nominations. Ed has the rare distinction of being the only Writer/Producer in Television history to have created and placed a Western series on the air - every decade for thirty years - at a time when Westerns were not even in vogue. Ed is also the author of a biography about adventurer and health philosopher Joseph L. Greenstein, titled, The Mighty Atom: The Spiritual Journey Of Joseph L. Greenstein - World’s Strongest Man. This book, which is in its second edition, has been published world-wide, and was chosen by the American Library Association as “one of the year’s best books.” Besides the aforementioned four Western Heritage Awards, Ed is recipient of the Writers Guild of Canada Top Ten Award of Excellence, and has been presented with an Honorary Life Membership in The Writers Guild of America, West, Inc. Ed is currently an Executive Producer/Writer with Legendary Pictures/Universal, and is developing his original Kung Fu television series into a feature film. A life-long classic car enthusiast, Ed lives in Southern California with his wife Bonnie, a house full of pet animals, and a small fleet of vintage cars.
Vince Staskel has been a television fan all his life. Growing up in Shenandoah, PA during the 1950’s and ‘60’s, TV was his companion and playmate. Vince was born with Cerebral Palsy and walked with crutches as a child. He found it difficult to participate in many outdoor childhood activities due to limited mobility. Early TV shows gave him not only the opportunity to watch but actually participate in the on-screen action. As he recalls, “I would dance on American Bandstand, wear my coonskin cap during Davey Crocket, fire my toy rifle with The Rifleman, and clown around with The Three Stooges. These shows became my friends and playmates.” As such, Vince became quite interested in the process of television and performing. In his teens he memorized the names of his favorite character actors. He sent fan letters to shows that ultimately lead to his early Hollywood collection of memorabilia. “I fell in love with show business,” he says. When it became time to pursue a college education, Vince opted to major in Broadcasting, and he was “thrilled to be accepted at the regional community college. My parents and I traveled 75 miles only to meet the Dean of the Department standing at the top of a thirty-five step staircase that lead to the classrooms and studios. Now using a wheelchair I was disheartened and settled for a general two year liberal arts degree in a less wheelchair inaccessible part of the campus.” With his Associates Degree, Vince transferred to a 4-year college but found their Theatre Department to be as physically remote as before. He was then convinced by a Guidance Counselor to study Rehabilitation Counseling. Logically he believed this career would at least accommodate him when I graduated. Stages and studios were wheelchair inaccessible but not human service agencies. So he eventually earned a Masters Degree in Special Education. The field of disability advocacy was his life for thirty years. However, he never lost his love for show business. In 2005 he found out about WithTV - and its mission to create a cable television channel devoted to inclusion for performers-with-disabilities, and he’s been working on its development ever since. Upon his retirement from legal rights advocacy in 2009, he began promoting media inclusion on a full-time basis. He then soon learned about The Classic TV Preservation Society, and its support of performers-with-disabilities and family-oriented productions. For Vince, serving on the Board of Directors allows his life to come full-circle. As he explains, “To watch classic television shows as a kid, then encountering wheelchair inaccessibility in broadcasting as an adult, to now participating in a fully inclusive media venture that seeks to preserve the shows from my childhood is really a dream come true for me.”
Thomas Warfield is a world-renown performer, model, composer, choreographer, director, producer, educator, humanitarian and poet. His countless performances include La Boheme at the Metropolitan Opera, and a solo concert at the Franco American Institute in France. He’s worked with blind students in Taiwan, the homeless in Utah, school children in Hawaii, and in many more global locations. The son of a minister and a conductor, and nephew of singers William Warfield and Leontyne Price, Thomas is Assistant Professor in the Department of Cultural and Creative Studies at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) where he teaches Performing Arts and an original course on Identity in Social Sciences. He is the also director of the RIT/NTID Dance Company and Chairs the RIT President’s Commission for Pluralism & Inclusion. He’s been praised by The New York Times, Hong Kong Daily Standard, Salt Lake Tribune, News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), and others. Thomas has been the soloist at Unity Church in his hometown of Rochester, New York for more than sixteen years, as well as soloist at the Chilmark Community Church on Martha’s Vineyard since 1988. He earned a BFA degree from SUNY Purchase, achieving the President’s Award for Excellence. As an MFA candidate, he received a Research Fellowship from the University of Utah in Dance Ethnology. He studied at the School of American Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and Alvin Ailey School. He’s danced with companies in Sweden, Hong Kong and New York City, and performed material by Balanchine, Graham, and more. He’s worked with directors Franco Zefferelli and Spike Lee, composers John Adams and Marvin Hamlisch, scientist Carl Sagan, singers Placido Domingo, Beverly Sills and others. His musical repertoire spans German lieder to gospel. His numerous acting credits include The Tinman in The Wiz and Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Thomas is the founder/artistic director of PeaceArt International - a global outreach nonprofit organization utilizing the arts and the creative process to foster world peace. His work raises awareness and significant dollars for orphans around the world with HIV/AIDS. He is a frequent guest speaker at U.S. conferences on peace, justice, social activism, creativity and spiritual awareness. His album, Celebrate the Moment, is available on CDbaby.com and itunes.com. He attributes his passion and blessings to the SPIRIT of love. For more information, please visit http://www.thomaswarfield.com/.www.thomaswarfield.com / www.peaceart.org
Bob Barnett presently resides in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma and splits his time working as a Marketing Director for the Tulsat company, which services the Cable Television Industry, and DTS Entertainment, which is an Internet Comedy Film Making Studio.
Bob has had a love for classic television all of his life and believes in good, family entertainment being important to enjoy and preserve for all our future generations.
Bob spends his down time with his nieces and nephews, as well as introducing them to the great classic TV programming that he grew up with. He also enjoys nature and reading.