Local actress Linda Marí Donnell will play a role in a movie at the River Run International Film Festival next month in Winston-Salem.
The movie “Coming Through the Rye” features Chris Cooper as reclusive author J.D. Salinger and Alex Wolff as teen fan Jamie Swartz.
Donnell is well known in Surry County for teaching children through her studio Dance Arts of Mount Airy.
Originally from Chicago, Donnell is the daughter of a vaudeville song-and-dance man and an actress mother. Receiving her early training in ballet, she came to acting as an adult studying with teachers from Wake Forest University and North Carolina School of the Arts as well as in private studios. This led her to local stage appearances and on camera indie projects including the festival award-winning short, “September.”
In the film from River Bend Pictures, Swartz is a prep school student who wants to do a high school play adaptation of “Catcher in the Rye.” He tries to find Salinger so that he can receive permission to adapt the novel.
Donnell joins in the action as a harried iconic Dust Bowl Woman looking to protect the author’s privacy from the eyes of the prying teenager and his girlfriend Deedee, played by Stefania Owens.
Donnell was thrilled with the opportunity to be a part of this period feature.
“I want to thank casting director Erica Arvold for bringing me in to audition and James Sadwith, the screenwriter and director, for casting me,” she said.
“It was so inspiring to work alongside a director, cast and crew who brought such passion and love to their storytelling. I was immediately made to feel valued and at home on set, and I was bowled over by the transparency and generosity of the young teens and children who created the magic in the scene we shared together.”
“Coming Through the Rye” will appear in the Coming of Age category at River Run. The screening will take place at 8 pm on April 16. Details can be found at: riverrunfilm.com/film/coming-through-the-rye.
Since filming, Donnell has spent time in New York honing her acting and dance skills and has recently performed a clown show she wrote for the Ruby Slipper Fringe Festival in Winston-Salem.
In addition, Donnell has been wearing her directing hat and has just returned from the New York premiere of the play she directed, “Little Bird in the Night,” a one-woman show written and performed by Suzy McCalley.
Up next, Donnell is putting pen to paper to write and produce a short film in celebration of William Shakespeare’s 400th birthday year and is continuing her association with “Faerie Path Productions” where she has accepted the role of Queen Isadora in the fantasy series “Other World.”