APRIL 2016


Dear Friends,

It’s Spring! This is the season of rebirth and reinvention. Much as Mother Nature takes a barren piece of land and turns it into a beautiful garden so, too, can we use this time of year to pursue new interests and achieve long held goals. At the Burt Reynolds Institute we are looking forward to seeing our students climb the ladder of success and reap the rewards of their hard work and dedication. Many of Mr. Reynolds’ students have appeared on television and in film the past few months. Andrea Conte booked a role on the Netflix series Bloodline. Taylor Blackwell had a guest role on Grey’s Anatomy. David Auseum appeared in the FX series The People versus O.J. Simpson. Additionally, A World of Pleasure, directed by Guisela Moro, produced by Tina Pfeiffer and starring Tina, Steven Mariano and Dave Ausem, won the best film award at the L-Dub Film Festival in Lake Worth. Steven won the best actor award for that film. Amy Hoerler won the best actress award at Miami International Film Festival's CinemaSlam for her performance in Marvin Aguado's short film, Fade In, Fade Out. The film has been accepted to this year's Cannes Court Metrage. Amy also stars in Tommy Demos’ short film, Star Child, which premiered at the Miami International Film Festival and will be presented at the Gasparilla International Film Festival and the Sarasota Film Festival. The film features Alan Myles Heyman.

On the literary front, Managing Director Donna Carbone released her book, Through Thick and Thin, which is the first in a series of crime novels that take place in Palm Beach County. Always mindful of her dedication to Mr. Reynolds, she set the novel in 2006 and 2007 so that the Burt Reynolds Museum could play a role in solving one of the major crimes. Reviews have been wonderful! On Thursday, April 14th, Donna and three other authors from the Institute—Frank Eberling, Takis Pepe and Alan Tonks—will be feted at a book signing at Another Broken Egg Café at Harbourside Place in Jupiter. If you live in the area, be sure to stop by between 3 and 5 pm and enjoy the free beignets and coffee that will be served. This is a great opportunity to meet local talent and learn more about your own community. It’s also a chance to get an autographed copy of their books which are selling well on amazon.com.

Talking about popular books, Mr. Reynolds headlined the Palm Beach County Book Festival at the Norton Museum of Art on April 2nd. He spoke about his new book, But Enough About Me, before a sold out crowd. A master story teller, Mr. Reynolds’ kept the audience enthralled with tales from his 55-plus years in the entertainment industry and many of the people he met along the way. If you haven’t yet gotten your copy, it is available through amazon.com.

Mr. Reynolds recently presented the Burt Reynolds' Scholarship to the winner of the Student Showcase of Films, which is part of the Palm Beach International Film Festival and produced by the Palm Beach County Film Commission. This is a yearly award that encourages and supports young people with a desire to work in the film industry. Institute classes are going strong. Our Fundamentals of Acting class on Sunday afternoons is ground zero for many up and coming actors. Under the direction of Sherman Roberts, new and experienced performers hone their skills on stage every week. Our improv class, taught by Todd Vittum, has taken its show on the road, with students performing at many public venues and restaurants in the West Palm Beach area. Our Teleprompter Proficiency graduates can be seen in commercials and on home shopping networks such as QVC. And, of course, our Creative Writing students, with Donna Carbone at the helm, are seeing their names in print both on book jackets and in newspapers.

Leo Tolstoy said, “Spring is a time for plans and projects.” Why not plan to join us at the Burt Reynolds Institute. Don’t just dream of what you could be. Be all that you dream you could be.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

This two hour one-on-one class is individualized for your needs and designed with the busy professional in mind. Learn to speak in a clear, confident manner with or without the aid of a teleprompter. Even those who have already successfully faced an audience will gain greater confidence mastering the skills of highly trained keynote speakers. Be more than you ever thought you could be! Class size limited. Cost: $150 Call 561-743-9955 or email briftfinancedirector@comcast.net to RSVP.

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 for the Burt Reynolds Institute is PO Box 264, Jupiter, FL 33458



On April 2, from 1:30PM - 2:15PM at the Norton Museum of Art, In Conversation with Burt Reynolds, Memoir of the Year winner. Moderated by Scott Eyman.

Tickets are available at palmbeachbookfestival.com or the Palm Beach Book Store at 215 Royal Poinciana Way. For info, call 429-4008 or visit the website.


Join Managing Director/author Donna Carbone at Another Broken Egg Cafe at Harbourside Place in Jupiter on April 14 at 3PM. The restaurant will be hosting a book signing for Donna's first crime novel in the Cat Leigh and Marci Welles series. Through Thick and Thin features two female PBC Sheriff's Office homicide detectives charged with investigating crimes that take place in highly recognizable locations throughout south Florida. The role models for these two strong, determined females will be present at the signing.

Joining Donna will be the Institute's own Frank Eberling and Takis Pepe. Frank, who is an award winning documentary filmmaker, has written three outstanding books: Demarest Kill, ensueño, and Sweet City Blues. Takis is a first time author and student in Donna's writing class. His book, The Crucible of Achilles, is a modern day adaptation of the Homer classic set in the world of cage fighting. The struggle between life and death is eternal!

Free beignets and coffee to all who attend! View attached flyer.


This year, the $2,500 Burt Reynolds Scholarship went to Jonathan Lockhart, Jr. of G-Star School of The Arts. Jonathan was one of five scholarship finalists up for the scholarship. The finalists also included Chayse Banks (Dreyfoos School of the Arts), Jesse Miller (G-Star School of the Arts), William Ruback (G-Star School of the Arts), and Kaci Sleeth (Seminole Ridge High School).


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


Catch Annya Bright as the lead in Hooked, now playing at Art Studio in Delray - Irish Theater of FL - then on the road with the theater play to the Irish international competition.

Cindy Morrison's play, Object Of Desire, made its international debut on stage March 12 in London, England. The play presents a Baltimore attorney in pursuit of his secretary's affections who, in fact, happens to be infatuated with a monumental military figure. According to UK Director Olivia Popica, the play was well received.

Alan and Mary Alice Stewart recently finished the production of ICE, written by Cindy Morrison. The story presents the dilemma of global warming and the burial of a loved one. Rhonda Stearns portrayed the floral shop owner.

Tina Pfeiffer recently booked a supporting lead role in Henri with Octavian Onuc. The Henri cast also includes Todd Vittum, Cooper Getshal, Roger Byrd, Steven D. Mairano, Karen Ross, Lee Marlow, and Greta Goldstein.

A World of Pleasure--directed by Guisela Moro and starring Tina Pfeiffer, Steven D. Mairano, and David Ausem--just won 'Best Short Film' at the L-Dub Film Festival. Steven D. Mairano took home the award for 'Best Actor' for his performance in the film. The film has won three awards so far and just got accepted into the TOFF Film Festival.

Tina Pfeiffer, Debbie Dailey, and Amy Hoerler recently wrapped their roles in Ann Fishman's short dramatic film, Motherhood.

Amy Hoerler won 'Best Actress' at Miami International Film Festival's CinemaSlam for her performance in Marvin Aguado's short film, Fade In, Fade Out, which was just recently accepted to this year's Cannes Court Metrage.

Tommy Demos' epic short film, Star Child--starring Amy Hoerler and featuring Alan Myles Heyman--just recently premiered at the Miami International Film Festival. The film will be shown next at the Gasparilla International Film Festival and the Sarasota Film Festival.

Are you a current or former student of the Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theatre or the Burt Reynolds Institute for Theatre Training? 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!


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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