Hong leads Charlotte acting workshop

Most of us know James Hong as a talking duck – that is, the noodle-selling papa of the lad who becomes a martial artist in “Kung Fu Panda” and “Kung Fu Panda 2.” Before that, he had spent more than half a century in film and television, and he’ll talk about his career and acting approach in two Charlotte events this weekend.

“An Evening With James Hong,” runs 6:30-9:30 p.m. Friday at Carolina Actors Studio Theatre, 2424 N. Davidson St. Hong will speak about a career with 400-plus credits; he’ll talk about working with John Wayne, Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster, plus directors Roman Polanski, Robert Altman and Roger Corman. Tickets are $20 at the door.

Then he’ll hold a two-day Intensive Acting Workshop Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., for 24 students at Paradox Studios, 2219 Freedom Drive. They’ll learn exercises with which he prepares his mind for a part and discuss Hollywood acting techniques, then take part in a scene study. Scenes will be filmed Sunday, and students will get a copy to use on demo reels. The $250 fee also covers admission to the Friday event. Register by e-mailing jameshongworkshop@gmail.com.

Davis’ Modern Film Fest

Modern Film Fest at The Davis, a collaboration between the Kannapolis-based festival and the Cabarrus Arts Council, will bring free screenings of independent films to the Davis Theatre at 65 Union St. S. in Concord’s historic courthouse. Often, the director or someone related to the film comes to talk about it and answer questions.

It opens Friday at 9 p.m., after the Concord Art Walk, with “Catching Dreams,” a documentary about a former Olympic hopeful’s eight-year journey to reach his new goal: joining Cirque du Soleil.

Other films: “The Day Carl Sandburg Died,” April 5 at 7 p.m.; “Pig,” May 31; Charlotte-made “Redneck Roots,” June 15; “Wild Target,” Sept. 7; “The Whisperer in Darkness,” Oct. 11; Landis-made “Snitch,” Nov. 16. Details: 704-920-2787, www.CabarrusArtsCouncil.org or www.modernfilmfest.com.

Suzan-Lori Parks is coming

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks will come to Davidson College April 3. At 11 a.m., she’ll present “The Art of Making Art” in Alvarez College Union. She calls the free event “part lecture, part reading, part sing-along, part consciousness-raising of the collective unconscious.”

At 7 p.m., she will go to Duke Family Performance Hall to host a conversation with audience members about the role of the artist in the social justice movement. Her remarks will focus on issues raised by her play “In the Blood,” which deals with single motherhood, poverty, homelessness and illiteracy. That event, which will be followed by a book signing, is also free, but you must reserve a ticket in advance. Get a ticket at the Union ticket office or at the venue an hour before the talk. Reservations are available online for $3 at www.davidson.edu/tickets.

Parks is coming because the Davidson College Theatre Department is presenting “In the Blood” Wednesday through April 1. The audience will be seated onstage with the actors, so attendance will be limited. Tickets are $15 ($11 seniors, $9 faculty/staff, $6 students). Details: 704-894-2135 or www.davidson.edu/tickets.