In addition to teaching, Brian C. Russo, associate professor of theatre arts at Gonzaga University, will appear in two feature films and will travel to Calcutta, India soon.
Russo, who earned a doctorate from the University of Cincinnati, will appear in “The Family Holiday,” which premieres at 9 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 22, on the Lifetime Channel, as well as “The Golden Door,” which is to be released in summer 2008. Earlier this year, on the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Russo performed in “The Guys,” a tribute to victims of terrorism. The play was staged on campus. He will reprise his role in the “The Guys” in Calcutta in January, as part of the Kolkata International Book Fair.
In “The Family Holiday,” Russo plays Duke, a loan shark who pursues the clever but hapless Doc Holiday, played by Dave Coulier of “Full House.” In “The Golden Door,” Russo acts in the supporting role of Mr. Silverman, the bickering father of a neurotic Jewish family. He shares the screen with celebrated rapper Snoop Dogg and Joseph Cross, who recently starred in “Running with Scissors.”
In his first production (September 2007) of Anne Nelson’s “The Guys,” Russo appeared with Anne Selcoe, a theatre instructor at The Community Colleges of Spokane. The play is the true story of a fire chief who had to write and deliver eulogies for the eight men he lost in the Sept. 11 attacks. The chief describes these men to Joan, a writer who gives form and eloquence to the lives and sacrifices of “the guys.” The proceeds of the play went to the Shriners Hospitals for Children burn centers. Russo and Selcoe received certificates of appreciation from Spokane County Fire District Nine for their efforts.
In Calcutta, Russo will perform “The Guys” with Indian actress Malabika Bhattacharya during the book fair, the largest event of its kind in the world. While in India, Russo also will present a paper on Shakespeare at an academic conference titled “Rethinking the Renaissance.” Russo, who spent a year teaching theatre in Calcutta as a Fulbright scholar, said he is excited to return to his “old stomping grounds.” Upon returning from India, Russo will direct the Gonzaga Readers Theatre spring production of Dashiell Hammett’s “The Maltese Falcon.” The play will be performed in conjunction with the Spokane Public Library’s Big Read program.
For more information, contact Russo at (509) 323-6551.