Dear Friends,

February maybe the shortest calendar month but it certainly is long on activity around the Institute, including Mr. Reynolds birthday. Many successes have come to our students of late, showing that courses approved by, or taught by Mr. Reynolds, do in fact work and lead to success in the industry.

Some of Mr. Reynolds students have made big splashes on the national scene of late–Gregory Albrecht had a guest starring role on Hawaii 5-0; Broadway veteran Avery Sommers nailed the lead in The Devils Music, about the life of blues legend Bessie Smith. Taylor Blackwell landed two guest spots–one on My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and another on the long-running hit Grey's Anatomy–and if that weren't enough, she interviewed Mr. Reynolds for her CelebriTAY podcast (check it out here: http://www.taylorblackwell.net/celebritay/burtreynolds).

These are only some of the recent successes drawing attention to the school that have been leading up to the reality series currently in development.

One reason all of this comes together so nicely is due to one of our unsung heroes who never gets enough credit: managing director Donna Carbone. It is tough under ideal circumstances to manage an all volunteer organization supported only by donations, but since the closure of the museum this effort has increased greatly. So, if you see her at one of the classes, please tell her "thank you."

And in conclusion, it was 80 years ago this month in Waycross Georgia that our founder, mentor, and leader was born. It is with great pleasure that on behalf of all students, instructors, and supporters of the Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theatre that I offer a sincere Happy Birthday Mr. Reynolds!

Douglas Rill
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theatre


MASTER ACTING CLASS with Burt Reynolds
By invitation only. Students must complete a required number of Fundamentals of Acting classes and reach a certain level of expertise. For inquiries, please email Donna Carbone at info@burtreynoldsinstitute.org or call 561-743-9955.

FUNDAMENTALS of ACTING for ADULTS with Sherman Roberts
Sundays at 1PM Fundamentals of Acting continues to fill the Mirror Ballroom with actors at every level of expertise. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate performer, or experienced actor, Fundamentals will allow you to hone your craft in a welcoming and nurturing atmosphere. This is a scene study class in which students are given the opportunity to perform a ten minute scene on stage each week followed by redirect from the instructor, Sherman Roberts. Roberts, who is a member of SAG, AFTRA and AEA, has appeared in a variety of roles on stage, in film and on network television. He teaches student how to choose the right material, how to interpret dialogue so that the spoken word is true to what the author has written, character development and body language. The class meets every Sunday at 1PM. The cost is $25/week.

Thursdays at 7:30PM Improvisation Plus, taught by master improvisational artist Todd Vittum, offers budding and experienced comedians an opportunity to hone their impromptu speaking and acting skills. Vittum has been teaching Improv for many years and is himself an experienced performer. He has designed innovative scenarios that make the imagination come alive. Under his excellent tutelage, laughter and learning go hand in hand. The class meets on Thursday evenings at 7:30PM in the Mirror Ballroom. Cost: $25/week.

SIDE-BY-SIDE (IMPROV) with Todd Vittum
Saturdays from 10AM-noon Todd Vittum teaches the ever popular Side-By-Side on Saturday mornings from 10AM to noon. This class offers adults and children between the ages of 10 and 15 an opportunity to share the stage in a nurturing and fun environment. The class incorporates monologue delivery, scene study, and improvisation for a well-rounded experience. Cost: $20/week.

CREATIVE WRITING for the AUTHOR in ALL of US with Donna Carbone
Tuesdays at 6:30PM Creative Writing for the Author in All of Us is a weekly offering for everyone with a story to tell. Whether you are writing a novel, short narrative, screenplay, stage play or poem, if words are your oxygen, this is the class for you. Under the instruction of author/journalist Donna Carbone, the class utilizes a supportive “think tank” structure. Each week writers present their work, which is read and shared with the class. Critiques are offered as a means of moving a story from conception to completion. The class meets on Tuesday evenings at 6:30PM in the Commission Chambers. Cost: $25/week. Limit: 10 students.

Mondays at 7PM (except for the first Monday of each month)
Todd Vittum teaches an advanced class in scene study and character analysis, which includes intermediate and advanced acting techniques. The class will be offered three Monday evenings a month. Please note that there will NOT be a class on the first Monday of each month. There WILL BE classes on the second, third, and fourth Mondays of each month. The off week will give students an opportunity to perfect whatever scene or monologue they are working on for presentation in class. Students are required to bring their own scenes and should provide three copies—one for the student, one for the scene partner, and one for the instructor. Learning to choose material that is right for you is part of your training. If you have any questions, the instructor will be able to help you decide on the proper material. A 2-3 minute monologue is required for the first class. This class will allow actors to hone their acting skills while providing an opportunity to study scene structure and character development. Scene study is the foundation of all performance and is instrumental if actors are to develop an emotional connection to the character they are portraying. Scene study is also used to teach the vocabulary of acting and how to respond to a director’s instructions. Character analysis helps an actor to understand the role they are playing. To be successful, an actor must replace their personality with that of the character being portrayed. However, it is still necessary for an actor to allow their natural emotional response to a situation to show through at appropriate times. The ability to blend the real and the imagined creates a more stable and dynamic character. For the moment, the class will be held in in the Commission Chambers. Cost: $25/week.

Sundays from 1:30PM to 3:30PM
Learn how to be the perfect pitch person/spokesperson using professional techniques and insiders secrets in this six-week interactive course. Become a pro at cold reads and in depth presentations. Becomes friends with the camera—put your body and face to work for you. Become proficient at walk and talk, partner pairing and turning boring into brilliant. Master on set etiquette and understand the importance of packing a survival bag. Look and feel like a pro! Class size limited. Cost: $150.

Please note: prior registration and RSVP are required for all classes, seminars, and workshops--as some have limited enrollment. Class times/locations subject to change. For information and registration, please contact Donna Carbone at 561-743-9955 or email info@burtreynoldsinstitute.org to RSVP now.

Burt Reynolds Institute classes and seminars are held at Lake Park Town Hall (Mirror Ballroom), 535 Park Avenue, Lake Park, FL 33403. Please note, this is not the mailing address. The mailing address is: PO Box 264, Jupiter, FL 33458



Say the word “Bandit,” and one image instantly comes to mind—Hollywood legend Burt Reynolds behind the wheel of an eagle-clad, black-and-gold Pontiac Trans Am. No wonder Bandit Trans Ams are going for the gold … and lots of it.

A Bandit Trans Am once owned by Burt Reynolds sold at auction last year for a mind-numbing $480,000. Insane! Another Bandit Trans Am with Burt Reynold’s autograph on it sold this year for $181,900.

You can’t buy the grand-prize of the 2015 Bandit Dream Giveaway. You have to win it.

And what a grand-prize package it is: a low mile, fully restored 1979 Bandit that Burt Reynolds saddled up in, recalling the days of Smokey and the Bandit. Burt Reynolds autographed this Trans Am twice, and signed a Smokey and the Bandit style cowboy hat, a Smokey and the Bandit Blu-Ray DVD, and the Trans Am's log book. It all belongs to you when you enter and win.


Check out our e-shop at www.burtreynoldsinstituteapparel.org and purchase awesome items for you and/or your loved ones! Great gifts for you, your family, and friends!


This memoir tells his story through the people he’s encountered on his amazing journey. In his words, he plans to “call out the assholes,” try to make amends for “being the asshole myself on too many occasions,” and pay homage to the many heroes he has come to love and respect.

But Enough About Me is a must read for each and every Burt Reynolds fan.

If you have not yet ordered your copy of Burt Reynolds’ memoir, But Enough About Me, orders can be placed at www.amazon.com/But-Enough-About-Me-Memoir/dp/0399173544.

If you prefer the audio version, you can purchase that online, too: www.audiobooksnow.com/audiobook/but-enough-about-me/1148600


Star Child, starring Amy Hoerler, makes its world premiere at the Miami International Film Festival at O'Cinema Miami Beach on Sunday, March 6th at 4PM at the Miami International Film Festival. The film, written and directed by Tommy Demos, was shot entirely in Florida. Alan Myles Heyman, Todd Bruno, and Demitri Vardoulias round out the cast. Star Child plays with other shorts totaling 89 minutes as part of "Don't Drop These Shorts" Visit http://2016.miamifilmfestival.com/events for more information and tickets.

Fundamentals of Acting student Ay Langdon returned to Home Shopping Network on January 27 as co-host and Brand Ambassador for Jewels of Istanbul. Ay first appeared on HSN in October 2015. That show was a sold out success. For the January appearance, she worked alongside veteran HSN host and jewelry expert Bill Green. In a recent interview, Ay credited the performance skills she acquired at the Burt Reynolds Institute for making her a successful spokesperson and specifically mentioned her mentors and teachers, including Todd Vittum, Sherman Roberts, Patti Serrano, and Donna Carbone.

Master Acting student Jeanne Tidwell and Fundamentals of Acting student Mace Whiting were cast as 'Jackie Kennedy' and 'John F. Kennedy' in TRC Production's short film, For the Sake of the World. The film--written and directed by Gabe Tullier of The Rising Creative--won the 2016 Audience Choice Award and the Best Use of Theme Award. For the Sake of the World offers an unusual perspective on the final days of JFK after his assassination.

Avery Sommers plays the role of 'Bessie Smith' in The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith at the Arts Garage. For tickets, schedule, and more information, please call 561-571-8510 or visit the Arts Garage website.

Are you a current or former student? If so, we would love to hear from you! Simply write a one to two paragraph blurb and drop us an email at info@burtreynoldsinstitute.org before the 25 of each month (subject line: "In The Spotlight") and let us know what projects you are working on or have completed. PLEASE, NO EXTRA WORK!

SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE THE 25 OF EACH MONTH—no exceptions. We look forward to hearing about—and celebrating—your success!


Top stories you may have missed:


The Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theatre is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that is committed to educating and involving the community and artists in all aspects of film, television, theater, live performances, film festivals, and exhibitions, as well as preserving Mr. Reynolds' memorabilia and the history of the film industry.


Douglas Rill ... Chairman of the Board of Directors
Todd Vittum ... Executive Director
Donna Carbone ... Managing Director/Director of Finance/Newsletter Editor/Media Manager/PR
Gene Kennedy ... Director of Promotions/Co-Chair Building Committee
Karen Chimato ... Class Coordinator
Amy Schulz ... Multimedia Coordinator
Scott Kelley ... Web Design & Production
Carmen Magri ... Historian


For more information about classes, events, etc, visit our website at http://www.burtreynoldsinstitute.org. To order merchandise, visit our online store at www.burtreynoldsinstituteapparel.org. Friend and follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

The Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theatre
PO Box 264
Jupiter, FL 33458
561-743-9955 | info@burtreynoldsinstitute.org