Couple will take audience to Louisiana

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GREENE – Monty and Marsha Brown will present their film, “Hello Louisiana,” at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 20, and 2 and 7 p.m. Friday, April 21, at the Sawyer Memorial. Admission is free and doors open one hour before shows.

Born in Doncaster, England, in 1940, Monty was raised and educated in British Columbia, Canada. He studied theater at the University of BC and, after touring with a repertory company in Canada for a year, he returned to England to study acting at the Stratford East Theater School.

In London during the 1960s, he worked as an actor, then as a production assistant at BBC television. In 1972 he moved to New York to take up a career in song writing and musical performance. He and his wife, Marsha, who was born and raised in upstate New York, have written many songs together, including “Would You Fly?” and “Cajun Christmas,” which were used in the movie “Steel Magnolias.”

The Browns spent more than a year working for the Louisiana Folklife Center at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La., where they produced the music and handled the publicity for the 1989 Folk Festival. While at NSU, Monty wrote a thesis on the Louisiana folk legend of Leadbelly, and earned his master’s degree in English.

Back in Shreveport, Marsha organized the regional film commission, which attracts Hollywood to the Bayou Country. She became the first executive director of the commission. Meanwhile, Monty was announcer and arts producer for regional public radio in Shreveport, producing a weekly folk music program as well as live concerts and radio articles on the arts.

In 2000, they filmed the sights and sounds of their annual musical tour of France, “LaBelle France.” They have since produced a second film, “It’s Great! Britain,” and a third, “Hello, Louisiana.”

The couple live in Louisiana and perform music regularly in schools, libraries and clubs.

The Browns will take the audience around the state, where the Caribbean meets the Old South; where the Red River joins the Mississippi; where French and Spanish flags flew over a land of cotton and sugar cane, forming a brew of music and cuisine.

The audience will visit Natchitoches, the oldest European town in the Louisiana Purchase, and the Big Easy, along with many other sights.

The Sawyer Memorial is located at 371 Sawyer Road. For more information, call 96-5311 or visit http://ourworld.cs.com/sawyerfoundation.

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