'Greencastle' gets red carpet treatment at The Maryland Theatre

March 31, 2012|By DON AINES |
  • From left, Matthew Biser, Director Koran Dunbar and his son Aurelius are interviewed on the red carpet about Dunbar's movie "Greencastle" at it's opening night at The Maryland Theatre Saturday.
By Yvette May/Staff Photographer

“Greencastle” got the red carpet treatment Saturday night in Hagerstown with a soldout show at The Maryland Theatre.

Many of the people who lined up along South Potomac Street waiting to enter were from Greencastle, Pa., the town just north of the Mason-Dixon Line where the eponymously named movie is set.

Clad in tuxedos and evening gowns, cast and crew from the film climbed out of a series of stretch limousines and walked between the red velvet ropes at the theater’s entrance, pausing to speak with television and print reporters.

“Waylon said there was going to be a red carpet, so we dressed up,” said Amy Schemmerling of Greencastle, who stood in the long line with friend Chisa Harris of Bear, Del. Schemmerling was referring to Waylon Smith, the assistant director of “Greencastle,” who also composed some of its music and has a role in the film.

Smith said she went to Greencastle-Antrim High School with Smith and Koran Dunbar, the writer, director and lead in the film.

Dunbar plays Poitier Dunning, a single father and assistant manager of a pet store dealing with the death of his wife. Dunbar’s son, Aurelius, plays Dunning’s son in the movie.

“It was goal that I’ve had since I was a child. Acting is one of those things that I think it’s my maker, Jesus, created me to do,” Dunbar said. “You don’t feel that peace unless you’re doing something you want to do.”

“When you live in small towns ... you believe you have to go to New York or L.A. to do something like this, but that’s not the case,” said Dunbar, who still lives in Greencastle.

“It’s a story about people set in a familiar location for us,” Smith said. “A lot of the people around here were very generous in letting us film at their businesses.”

Much of the cast and crew is from this area and worked full-time jobs in addition to weekends on the film, Smith said.

Smith said he “followed the musician route” after high school, while Dunbar was a comedian. The storyline for Greencastle developed a few years ago and they put it on paper, with most of the filming done last summer, he said.

“Greencastle” was entered at the Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema for 2012, winning an award for best sound, Smith said.

“This is quite an accomplishment” for someone from Greencastle, said Shirley Shatzer, a former district justice for the town and surrounding Antrim Township. Part of the night’s fun would be seeing local sights such as Sunnyway Diner and Dixon’s Garage on the big screen, she said.

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