The Times Herald: “Actress-singer Geri Brown strives to follow family to Broadway”

Geri Brown graduates this month from Pace University in New York City, where for the past four years she’s studied musical theater. An aspiring third-generation Broadway actor, Brown said, “I grew up in that environment of theater and dance. Ever since I was little I knew that’s what I would do.”

For a student working to build her resumé in the big city, Geri Brown told her Collegeville, PA, hometown newspaper she’s been “really fortunate,” adding, “I go to school in New York — it would be silly not to audition and work.”

“My mom and grandmom were both dancers on Broadway, and I’m an actress-singer. ”

Over the past few years Brown has participated in multiple readings of new works and acted in shows that were part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival and the New York International Fringe Festival.

The Fringe Festival was where she first performed in Tales from the Tunnel. Later, in 2010, when the play opened Off-Broadway at 45 Bleecker Street, Brown was asked to join the cast, which featured Tony Award-winning actor Wilson Jermaine Heredia, who played Angel in Rent on Broadway and in the film version.

Brown said right now, as graduation approaches, she’s “looking to get into TV and film.”

She was recently cast in a new, “ultra-low budget” feature independent film called Tucht, in which she plays the lead character at age 16.

“We haven’t started shooting yet, but I’m really excited because one of the stars from Goodfellas is in it (Joe D’Onofrio).”

Her advice to youth interested in pursuing careers in the arts: “Just know who you are. What I’ve learned about theater is that talent is great, but it’s about dedication and knowing who you are and how to market yourself. You have to have talent but it’s also a lot about persistence.”

Since moving to NYC at 18, Brown said she’s been running around every day, always running.

“I haven’t had the normal college experience, but it’s good because now I’m set.  {By auditioning and working} I’ve set up a chain of events to occur after I graduate.  I’ve had four years to get my act together and now I’m a flower — I planted those seeds freshman year and now I get to go out there and bloom.”

Variety.com and Broadwayworld.com: “When Harry Tries to Marry,” an independent film starring Pace Freshman Rahul Rai and featuring Professor Grant Kretchik

The entertainment website, Variety.com, published an article about the October premiere of “When Harry Tries to Marry” at the Austin Film Festival.

(Left to right) Osvaldo Hernandez Chavez , Rahul Rai, and Grant Kretchik

The entertainment website, Variety.com, published an article about the October premiere of “When Harry Tries to Marry” at the Austin Film Festival.

First-year Pace student Rahul Rai stars in the title role and Professor Grant Kretchik, head of Pace University’s BFA Acting Program, is featured. It is also partially shot at Pace University’s New York City Campus.

For details and the full story, visit http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118024712.html?categoryid=1061&cs=1

For the Broadwayworld story, visit http://austin.broadwayworld.com/article/WHEN_HARRY_TRIES_TO_MARRY_Premieres_at_the_Austin_Film_Fest_1022_20100930

Read the release

NEWS RELEASE: Austin Film Festival Lights Marquee for Oct. 22 World Premiere of “When Harry Tries to Marry,” Feature-Length Independent Movie Shot on Pace’s NYC Campus and Starring Freshman Rahul Rai

“When Harry Tries To Marry,” a cross-cultural romantic comedy directed by Nayan Padrai in his filmmaking debut, will make its world premiere as a Marquee Screening at the Austin Film Festival on Friday, October 22 at 9 p.m. The movie stars Pace freshman Rahul Rai. Grant Kretchik, head of Pace’s BFA Acting Program, co-stars, with round-the-clock support provided by dozens of Pace performing arts students who worked as extras (some upgraded to small speaking parts) and interns during the six days of on-campus filming in October 2009.

– Grant Kretchik, head of Pace’s BFA Acting Program, co-stars, with round-the-clock support provided by dozens of Pace performing arts students who worked as extras (some upgraded to small speaking parts) and interns during the six days of on-campus filming in October 2009 –

NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 30, 2010 — “When Harry Tries To Marry,” a cross-cultural romantic comedy directed by Nayan Padrai in his filmmaking debut, will make its world premiere as a Marquee Screening at the Austin Film Festival on Friday, October 22 at 9 p.m.

The screening will be held at the Rollins Theater in Austin, Texas, and will be followed by a Q&A with title star, Rahul Rai, a freshman at Pace University’s New York City campus where the movie was partially filmed, and Padrai, who also produces and co-wrote the film. Other members of the cast participating in the talkback include producer Sheetal Vyas, co-producer Bhushan Thakkar, co-writer and co-producer Ralph Stein and actor Grant Kretchik, an assistant professor at Pace who was instrumental in bringing the filmmaker and the university together and appears throughout the movie in multiple roles.

“When Harry Tries To Marry” is the story of Harry — or Harish, as his Indian parents named him — a modern guy about to graduate from college in New York City. In an effort to avoid being disappointed by love like his bitterly divorced parents, he decides to have an arranged marriage, despite everyone’s horrified objections. Just as Harry thinks he’s found the perfect Indian bride, though, he begins to wonder if his friendship with a lovely American student isn’t something more. But the wedding plans are underway and even Harry’s parents are getting into the swing of things. Can anyone protect themselves from a broken heart by leaving the romance out of marriage? And, when all is said and done, does Harry really want to?

Director of photography Nick Taylor, cast members Stefanie Estes, Caitlin Gold, Osvaldo Hernandez Chavez, Tony Mirrcandani and Kanti Pandya, and musicians from the sound track including Sarah Sharp, Ter’ell Shahid, the June Junes (formerly Max & Sam), Andrea Perry, Craig Marshall and Rachel Loy, along with composer Siddharth Kasyap from Mumbai, India, will also attend the screening, as well as executive producers Lisa Madison and Kanti Gala of Britt Worldwide.

“We are thrilled to be making our world premiere at the Austin Film Festival, where Ralph and I met and where our script was given so much encouragement and was named a quarter-finalist in the screenplay competition,” said Padrai. “We have so many creative connections with the community of film-lovers there, and we are proud to present our movie in this outstanding setting.”

Tickets and more information about the festival can be found on the AFF site: http://www.austinfilmfestival.com/new/aff_2010_marquee_screenings. More information about the film is available at http://www.facebook.com/whenharrytriestomarry

“When Harry Tries To Marry” is directed by Nayan Padrai from an original script by Ralph Stein & Padrai. Padrai, Sheetal Vyas and Ritu Ahuja produce under Padrai’s 108 Production banner. Stein and Bhushan Thakkar co-produce. The film was shot by Nick Taylor; Jade Gloria Healy served as production designer; Ciera Wells was costume designer; Sarah Sharp was music supervisor and Siddharth Kashyap was the composer and music producer. Rahul Rai and Stefanie Estes star, along with Freishia Bomanbehram. Osvaldo Hernandez Chavez, Tony Mirrcandani, Zenobia Shroff, Kanti Pandya, Micky Makhija, Grant Kretchik, Lauren LoGuidice and Jagdish Patel play supporting roles. The film was shot on location in New York and Kutch, India.

Pace’s Lower Manhattan campus at One Pace Plaza (directly across from City Hall) served as a key setting of the film with scenes shot in the university’s courtyard, student union, Schimmel Theater, faculty dining room, cafeteria, a lecture hall and Lienhard School of Nursing.

“We needed an attractive New York City campus in a vibrant neighborhood with a strong performing arts program from which we could draw support,” said Padrai. “The Pace community was encouraging and accommodating beyond our expectations.”

The film’s New York City premiere is anticipated to be Valentine’s Day, 2011.

Professional education at Pace University
Since 1906, Pace University has offered professional education that combines liberal arts with practical experience and the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York. It enrolls more than 13,500 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Dyson College of Arts and Sciences (which includes The Actors Studio Drama School’s MFA, the Acting BFA, Musical Theater BFA and Theater Arts BA programs), Lienhard School of Nursing, Lubin School of Business, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu

For more information:

Samuella Becker
Media Relations, Pace University
(212) 346-1637 or (917) 734-5172
Sbecker2@pace.edu

Sheetal Vyas
Producer, When Harry Tries To Marry
(917) 302-4964
sheetal@108production.com