“Stand Up" is a fantasy-drama about a successful comic who finds himself caught between life and death, starring Adam Strauss and Ira David Wood III. The short film was recorded in Raleigh and Cary, North Carolina and is currently in post-production.

Team Bios 

 Adam Strauss ("Lukas") is a winner of the New York Fringe Festival's Overall Excellence Award for Solo Performance and the Leffe Beer Craft Your Character storytelling competition. The New York Times said his solo show The Mushroom Cure "mines a great deal of laughter from disabling pain" and Time Out New York called it "riveting.... a true-life tour de force" and named it a Critics' Pick. The Mushroom Cure had an extended, sold-out, off-Broadway run at New York's Cherry Lane Theatre and just closed an extended three month run at The Marsh in San Francisco, where Talkin' Broadway called it "a miracle of a show and a must-see." He can be conveniently stalked via www.adamstrauss.com.



Ira David Wood III (“Chuck”) has appeared on screen with such stars as Christopher Walken, Natalie Wood, Neil Patrick Harris, Cliff Robertson, Matthew Modine, James Earl Jones, Burt Reynolds and Louise Fletcher. He is Founder and Executive Director of Raleigh’s prestigious Theatre in the Park in Raleigh, NC, which has staged more than 50 productions over the past two decades under his leadership. This year marks his fifth summer as Artistic Director of the outdoor drama “The Lost Colony.” Many know him best as director of his own acclaimed musical comedy adaptation of “A Christmas Carol,” staged for more than 2 million theater-goers over the past 42 years, and for his portrayal of Scrooge. David wrote and directed the Opening Ceremonies for the 1987 Summer Olympic Festival – the largest single event ever held in North Carolina. Among Wood’s honors are The Order of the Long Leaf Pine (State of NC), three keys to The City of Raleigh, and honorary citizenship awards from Columbia, SC and Compiegne, France. In September of 2010, he was inducted into the Raleigh Hall of Fame, and he is the recipient of the North Carolina Award in the Fine Arts, the highest civilian award bestowed by the Governor and the state of North Carolina.

Karen Withem (Writer, Producer, Director) launched Canyon Diamond Media, LLC, in 2015 to tell entertaining stories based on themes found within the world's faiths. “Stand Up” is her second independent narrative short film, and is based on her original script. Her debut short, “A Rude Awakening," was completed in July 2015. She has produced corporate and training videos for clients including the City of Raleigh and Los Angeles International Airport. In her native Los Angeles, Karen performed in films and theater, wrote and directed plays, and produced a public affairs series on faith and social issues. As a marketing executive, she produced events and directed national print and broadcast media campaigns. Since relocating from L.A. to Raleigh, North Carolina, she has crewed for the musical web series, "The Setlist," and the independent feature film, "Where We're Meant to Be." She began her career as a photojournalist after earning a degree in economics at UCLA. She lives in Raleigh, NC.


Wayne Howard (Assistant Producer) is a writer, producer and director who has created numerous commercials for local and national competitions, including a comic spot for “Doritos.”  He has completed several original short film scripts and is developing two feature screenplays.  Film is not Wayne’s only passion:  He has spent 15 years as a biological engineer after earning his master’s degree in the field from North Carolina State University.  In this capacity he manages projects, staff and resources.  In keeping with his love of writing, and because he has so much time to kill, Wayne has written articles for various blogs for more than 12 years. For five years he published his own blog, which included movie reviews and musings on various topics. Wayne has served as grip, prop master and production assistant on projects like “A Rude Awakening” and the upcoming feature, “Where We’re Meant to Be.”  Wayne will occasionally act when asked, although under duress. He lives in Cary, NC.

K. James Peterson (Cinematographer) embodies more than 30 years of award-winning cinematography to a wide range of international clients. Mr. Peterson’s cinematography for network television spans years starting with the groundbreaking series “Unsolved Mysteries." His show credits include Discovery, A&E, Lifetime, Discovery, NBC and CBS. Mr. Peterson won a Primetime EMMY Award commendation for his cinematography for “Maya: The Blood of Kings,” an episode of the NBC/Time Life series, “Lost Civilizations.” In recent years, Ken has photographed a number of feature length and short films including “Southland of the Heart,” “House in Los Osos,” “Mr Moonlight,” “Fairer Than the Heavens,” and “Blood in the Water.” His work has been recognized through numerous film festival and TELLY awards. He began his career as a Scientific Photographer at the University of Miami, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. In addition to general scientific photography and cinematography, he helped to develop intra-ocular cinematography and other techniques used in photo-documentation of research projects. He makes his home in Chapel Hill, NC.

Jim McQuaid (Assistant Director) is an accomplished writer/producer/director whose short- and long-form projects include “Endings,” “Grace Running,” “Eight Lessons in Living Together,” and his latest dark comedy, “Scene.” He taught photography and its history at George Eastman House, and ran the Oral History Project at the International Museum of Photography. Jim is the author of The Guide To American Photographic Collections and co-author of Photography: Source & Resource.  He enjoyed a successful career in high technology marketing and project management before becoming a full-time filmmaker and videographer; his current clients include Duke University Medical Center. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan where he wasted many hours at Cinema Guild showings and Ann Arbor Film Festival presentations. Jim makes his home in Durham, NC.

Frank Alexander, Jr. (Score) is a multi-instrumentalist and composer who has performed and recorded music professionally for over 20 years. During this time he's played in small and large ensembles with styles ranging from jazz to rock to Top 40. More recently, his compositions published by Warner Bros. have appeared on broadcast TV and online via programs such as Anderson Cooper 360, eXtra TV, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” and Dr. Drew's “Lifechangers.” Today he spends his time in audio production through his business Luz Gruv Productions, Inc., performing throughout the Raleigh-Durham area with his eclectic trio TRIPLICITY, and teaching both privately and at the Emerson Waldorf school in Chapel Hill.

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