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19 "Hollywood" Alumni to Return to Campus in Conjunction with Homecoming Weekend

Homecoming carnival, football game and Wayne Brady also on schedule

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: October 4, 2002

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The return to the University at Buffalo of 19 alumni who have made it to the top of the entertainment industry in Hollywood to teach a seminar series will be a highlight of this year's homecoming at the University at Buffalo.

Hollywood Homecoming Weekend will be more than a weekend event, with the 19 conducting an Alumni Visiting Scholar Seminar Series on Oct. 16-18 that will provide graduate and upper-level undergraduate students with an unprecedented opportunity to learn about the business of "the business" from some of the top people in the industry.

The series will conclude with the world premiere of "Second String," a film by series participant Rob Lieberman, BA '71. A fantasy about a group of second-string players who lead the Buffalo Bills to victory in the Super Bowl, starring Gil Bellows and John Voight, the film is expected to air on TNT early in 2003.

The screening, free of charge and open to the public, will be held at 8:30 p.m. Oct. 18 in the Mainstage theater in the Center for the Arts on the UB North (Amherst) Campus. Lieberman and Bellows will speak before the screening. Tickets are available only at the UB Alumni Relations office in 109 Allen Hall on the UB South (Main Street) Campus. Those who want tickets should contact Jennifer Koch Gibson at 829-2608.

Homecoming weekend activities will kick off with a carnival sponsored by the undergraduate Student Association at 5 p.m. Oct. 18 in the special events area near the Student Union on the North (Amherst) Campus.

The activities also will include a football game, with kickoff at 1:05 p.m. Oct. 19 in UB Stadium on the North (Amherst) Campus, in which the UB Bulls will take on the University of Miami Red Hawks. Special half-time entertainment will feature "The Thunder of the East" -- UB's marching band -- and the crowning of the homecoming king and queen. Game tickets can be purchased for $12 at the Alumni Arena box office (716-645-6666) and through ticket.com (1-888-223-6000).

The game will be preceded by a tent party, sponsored by the UB Alumni Association, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the corner of Augspurger and Webster roads on the North Campus. Music will be provided by Nik & the Nice Guys. Free food will be provided to the first 1,000 participants.

Another highlight of the weekend will be a performance by comedian Wayne Brady of the hit television show "Whose Line Is It Anyway," hosted by Drew Carey. Brady will appear at 8 p.m. Oct. 19 in Alumni Arena, North Campus. Doors will open at 7 p.m. Brady is noted for his stand-up, improvisational comedy and singing on the show. Tickets are $15 for UB students, $20 for the general public and can be purchased at the UB Alumni Arena box office (716-645-6666) and through tickets.com (1-888-223-6000).

Among the UB alumni participating in the Alumni Visiting Scholar Seminar Series on will be five-time Emmy Award-winning writer/producer/director Alan Zweibel, BA '72. Zweibel was part of the original "Saturday Night Live" writing team from 1975-1980, and later went on to reinvent the sitcom with "It's Garry Shandling's Show" in 1985.

In addition to Zweibel -- who will offer young UB writers an intensive course on comedic writing and transforming a book to a script, as well as the process involved in the creation of his two new pilot sitcoms -- other alumni who will teach a three-day course or a one-day seminar will be:

o David Brownstein, BA '78, an agent with Los Angeles-based Writers and Artists Agency who has represented such noted actors as James Gandolfini and UB graduate Maury Chaykin. Brownstein's seminar will focus on the critical relationship between the actor and the agent.

o Award-winning comedian Bobby Collins, BA '73, who has hosted VH-1's "Stand Up Spotlight," "HBO Comedy Showcase," A&E's "An Evening at the Improv," and Showtime's "A Pair of Jokers." Collins will talk about the business of comedic writing.

o Maury Chaykin, BA '72, who has appeared in more than 100 films, including "Twins," "Dances with Wolves," "Hero" and "My Cousin Vinny." He will team up with newcomer Parry Shen, BS '95, who will be starring in his first lead in the film "Better Luck Tomorrow," to discuss the making of an actor's career from their different perspectives -- one already well-established and one poised to take off.

o Director James Foley, BA '74, whose credits include "Reckless," "At Close Range," "Glengarry, Glen Ross" and "The Chamber." He will focus on the realities of Hollywood filmmaking.

o Documentary filmmakers Chana Gazit, BA '82, and David Steward, BA '79, whose Emmy Award-winning work includes "Honorable Nations" and the PBS series "The American Experience." The pair will discuss the art of the narrative and the business of funding a documentary.

o Shep Gordon BA '68, a top agent whose clients have included Alice Cooper, Luthor Vandross, Raquel Welch and many world-famous chefs. Gorden will offer his extensive expertise on how to find the agent who is right for your work.

o Ted Kryczko, BA '76, vice president of product development for Disney Records. A 10-time Grammy nominee -- and winner in 1994 -- with more than 60 gold and platinum records, Kryczko will discuss the world of voice work in animation, record and commercial production.

o Richard Lawrence, BA '67, president of the Los Angeles-based talent agency Rubaloff & Lawrence and the force behind such shows as "Judge Judy," "Crossing Over with John Edward" and "Real Stories of the Highway Patrol." His seminar will focus on the representation, packaging and selling of reality TV.

o Rob Lieberman, BA '71, award-winning director/producer who has shot more than 2,000 commercials and directed 27 television films and 4 feature films. He will address the business of commercial and film direction and production, as well as offer a behind the scenes look at the making of his film, "Second String," a fantasy about a group of second-string players who lead the Buffalo Bills to victory in the Super Bowl.

o Linda Philips Palo, MA '75, BA '72 a casting director known for such projects as Sophia Coppola's "The Virgin Suicides" and John Grisham's "The Rainmaker." Palo teaches an intensive seminar, entitled "Mastering the Actor Within," to advanced actors at the AIA Actor's Studio in Los Angeles. Drawing from that seminar, she will focus on getting rid of career and personal obstacles, working with "The Artist's Way," and combining mind, body and business, and integrating them into an acting career.

o John Patterson, BA '67, an Emmy-nominated director whose extensive experience includes directing episodes of "The Sopranos," including the season finale. He will discuss the critical role of the director throughout the entire production process.

o Abbe Raven, BA '74, executive vice president and general manager of the History Channel who has been recognized repeatedly for her work in cable television. Raven will discuss the evolution of cable TV, as well as an overview of running a cable network.

o John Reiss, BA '81, senior broadcast producer of "NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw." Reiss will offer students a behind-the-scenes look at the news: how the stories are selected, the writing and editing process, broadcasting techniques and on-air challenges.

o Veteran actor Peter Riegert, BA '68, a veteran actor who has appeared on television, on Broadway and in more than 50 films, including "Animal House," "Crossing Delancy" and

"Traffic." He will offer aspiring actors invaluable insight into the business of acting and provide a forum for an acting workshop.

o Alan Steinberg, BA '68, renowned author and journalist who has published numerous nonfiction books with major New York publishing houses, as well as more than 100 magazine and newspaper articles in such periodicals as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times People, Saturday Evening Post and Inside Sports, where he was a special contributing writer for eight years. His seminar will address the art, craft and business of freelance journalism, including how to sell yourself and your material, and techniques for hard-hitting interviews.

o Steve Sunshine, BA '67, a writer/producer for Warner Brothers who currently serves as producer of the Hollywood journalism program "E!" He also wrote the screenplay for "Son of the Pink Panther." In his course, Sunshine will take his students on a mini TV-journalism project, with one day devoted to shooting a day spent on editing and a day in which students will add sound and voice over.