A cross-country rush from Belgrade to Nebraska to see a solar eclipse sparks a reconciliation of sorts between two sisters in a screenplay by Edward Case that is being made into a movie.

And the two actresses playing the sisters, Debra “Dee” Lord Cooke, of Belgrade, and Elissa Piszel, of Manhattan, will offer a staged reading from the screenplay July 2 in a performance to benefit the Friends of the Belgrade Public Library.

Cooke said the screenplay “combines science and art” and that Piszel’s character lives in Belgrade.

The real total solar eclipse, the basis for Case’s story “In the Moon’s Shadow,” will take place Aug. 21 and can be viewed from just about anywhere in North America and part of South America. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s website, the moon will cover the sun completely and the sun’s corona will be visible around it.

Case is a nuclear physicist from the Washington, D.C., area who moonlights as a screenwriter. His brother, Alvin Case, is directing the film. Part of that is to be shot at Cook’s home in Belgrade, where the village sits at the confluence of Great and Long ponds.

The actresses are offering a sneak peek in a live reading from 7 to 8:30 p.m. July 2 at the Belgrade Center for All Seasons. Tickets cost $10 each and are available at the library and at the door on the night of the event.

Cheryl Cook, one of two co-presidents of the Friends of the Belgrade Public Library, said the nonprofit organization is responsible for raising about $12,000 each year to pay for maintenance and other costs.

Cooke, who was casting director for extras for scenes in “Empire Falls,” an HBO film based on Maine author Richard Russo’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, did a benefit performance for the group in the past and raised several thousand dollars.

The two actresses, both members of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, worked together previously in Woody Allen’s 2016 “Cafe Society,” and they reunited in Belgrade on the Memorial Day holiday weekend to rehearse their lines.

“The total eclipse is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Cook said, so they’re shooting the film even as they seek more financial backing through the crowd-funding site at http://alvincase.net/moons-shadow/

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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