In his long career in the entertainment business, Academy Award winner Ernest Thompson has directed, written for and/or acted with 15 other Oscar winners or nominees. From the three stars of ON GOLDEN POND (Katharine Hepburn, Henry and Jane Fonda) to Shirley MacLaine, Liza Minnelli and Kathy Bates in his film version of THE WEST SIDE WALTZ, to Robert Downey, Jr., Winona Ryder and Bruce Dern in Ernest’s first film as a director, 1969, to Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer in his live TV production of ON GOLDEN POND, as well as Kirk Douglas in Ernest’s television movie THE LIES BOYS TELL, Susan Sarandon in Ernest’s SWEET HEARTS DANCE and, in the theatre, Karen Black and Sally Kirkland.
Ernest has derived just as much pleasure from working with slightly-less-famous but equally-talented actors, many right here in New Hampshire. Several of his plays have been performed in local theatres and, through his company based in New Hampton, Whitebridge Farm Productions, Ernest has written and directed and starred in two independent films, TIME AND CHARGES and HEAVENLY ANGLE, both of which he offered as On Location Training to anyone of any age and background interested in learning about filmmaking. More than 800 people participated.
PARALLEL AMERICA will be a combination of all the above. This time Ernest’s costars will include the Emmy-winning star of NYPD BLUE, Gordon Clapp, critically-acclaimed New York actress Lisa Bostnar, theatre legend Alvin Epstein, Ernest’s new pal John Davidson, playing so far against type he’ll be virtually unrecognizable (and others we’re not announcing yet, stay tuned). But this film, too, will have its On Location Training component, availing to new, young and less-experienced performers, crew members, designers and composers, an opportunity to share the set with seasoned professionals and to learn everything that they and Ernest have to share.