By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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Dorothy Westlund of Port Townsend was the first to guess Karen Allen's identity in the annual “Guess the Guest” contest and will have a meet-and-greet photograph taken with Allen.
Allen, who had major roles in “Animal House,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Starman,” is unusual among past guests as she has worked extensively as a play director, according to Janette Force, Port Townsend Film Festival executive director.
“She's engaged in the arts in a lot of different ways, not just acting,” Force said.
“And, for the first time since Jane Powell [in 2004], the star will introduce one of their films on the street, giving the community a change,” she said.
“Being able to share our star with the community and not just the pass-holders is a really big part of what we do.”
Allen, 61, will kick off the festival Friday,
Sept. 20, by introducing “Starman” at the free open-air theater on Taylor Street.
On the following night, she will introduce and discuss the film “The Glass Menagerie” at the Uptown Theatre, 1120 Lawrence St.
Allen acted in more than 30 movies, including “Scrooged” with Bill Murray and the fourth “Indiana Jones” installment, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”
She lives in western Massachusetts, where she serves on the board of the Great Barrington Film Festival.
This summer, Allen is directing William Mastrosimone's “Extremities” at the Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, Mass., and Lucy Thurber's “Ashville,” which will have its world premiere at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City.
Allen has a side business, Karen Allen Fiber Arts, which will be demonstrated at the festival.
A new line of fiber arts patterns will be launched in conjunction with the yarn shop Bazaar Girls, 126 Quincy St., on Sunday, Sept. 22.
Allen's presence was revealed as part of the “Guess the Guest” contest. Three consecutive weekly clues hinted at her identity.
Westlund's answer arrived “about 15 minutes after the last clue was announced,” Force said.
This year, about 200 guesses were received, 30 of them correct, Force said.
In the first clue, released June 19 — “An accolade from the stage/When well played the part/Out of darkness, gone at last/A story lived to heart” — refers to the Theatre World Award that Allen won for playing a blind woman in “Monday After the Miracle” on Broadway.
The second clue, released June 26, referred to both “The Glass Menagerie” and “Starman,” while the third clue July 3 alluded to Karen Allen Fiber Arts and her yoga practice and studio in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts.
The club said: “A wool twister, everly sister/weaving a way through life/Soft mountain ridges, singing bridges/The peace within all life.”
The second part of the third clue referred to a scene in the “Raiders” film. Force said the second part of the third clue greatly helped unveil Allen's identity.
It refers to a scene in which her character and Indy are in the ship's bunk after much running, fighting and escaping.
“Ow, that hurts,” he said/“Where?” (gently moving near)/Faintly his boyish smile/“Here and here and . . . here.”
Allen joins a list of 13 other guests, all of whom have impressive film resumes, beginning with Tony Curtis in 2000, followed by Eva Marie Saint, 2001.
Stars continued to be featured at the festival: Patricia Neal and Stewart Stern, 2002; Peter Fonda and Shirley Knight, 2003; Jane Powell and Dickie Moore, 2004; Debra Winger and Arliss Howard, 2005; Malcolm McDowell, 2006; Elliott Gould, 2007; Piper Laurie, 2008; Cloris Leachman, 2009; Dyan Cannon, 2010; Buck Henry, 2011; and Bruce Dern, 2012.
Like many of these guests, Allen plans to visit a Port Townsend High School class during her visit to share her experiences.
For more information, visit www.ptfilmfest.com or phone 360-379-1333.
Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.