Ron Howard comes to Guilford

How do you become successful in the film industry? Ask Ron Howard when he comes to Guilford.

Howard, former child-star turned director, will be coming to the Greensboro Coliseum on Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m. to discuss his career in film and television.

Many know him for his role as Opie Taylor on the “Andy Griffith Show,” but he has since transitioned from child actor to director and now directs movies such as “A Beautiful Mind” and “Apollo 13”.

“Howard doesn’t do a lot of (talks, like this one),” said Associate Vice President of Communications & Marketing Ty Buckner. “What we’re sometimes able to do with the Bryan series is present people who do not do a lot of programs.”

This event is also unlike many other Bryan Series events because there is a different format. Most of the time, speakers will give a speech. But this time, Leonard Maltin, a distinguished film critic, historian and author will interview Howard.

Howard is also different from many other speakers in that he works in film.

“The Bryan Series doesn’t always have film people, so I’m very excited that we have a famous director coming in,” said Chad Phillips, visiting assistant professor of theatre studies and head of film studies. “It’s not as common as the political and literary characters we see.”

Despite Howard’s background as Opie Taylor, he has successfully rebranded himself as an esteemed director.

“The interesting thing to me about Ron Howard is how he is a very popular director, but his films are very well executed and well conceived,” said Professor of Theatre Studies Jack Zerbe. “He brings a quality of heart to his films that is really unique. He really does have his own unique voice and point of view that really connects with large segments of the population”

In spite of opportunities like this, not many students are coming to the Bryan Series events.

“I think there are very distinguished people coming to speak,” said Zerbe. “But I wish we were spending a little more energy getting the students to the event. Last time, I was at an event for Bill Clinton and only about 20 percent of the audience were students.”

Nevertheless, some students are enthusiastic about the Bryan Series.

“I’m excited to see Ron Howard,” said senior Lillie Reiter. “I go to the Bryan Series to find out who these people are. You see them on TV, but to actually see them on stage is interesting.”

Many people from the Greensboro community are also big fans of Howard’s visit.

“I have a lot of respect for him,” said Mitchel Sommers, executive director of the Community Theatre of Greensboro. “He’s been in the business ever since he was a child. He’s a talented actor, writer, and director.”

If you would like to know more about Howard, Chad Phillips is leading a discussion about him on Sunday, Oct. 19 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Leak Room of Duke Hall. The event is open to the public and free for everyone.

A small group of Guilford students will meet Ron Howard in a student session at the Greensboro Coliseum at 5:30 to 6 p.m. on the day of the presentation.

For those who did not reserve free tickets to the event, tickets may be purchased at the Greensboro Coliseum or through Ticketmaster.com. For more information on Ron Howard and this event, go to http://www.guilford.edu/bryan-series/index.aspx.