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August 28, 2017

Good news for Canadian TV viewers.  Last fall Peter spent a good deal of his time up in Montreal filming a 6-part original mystery series for CTV.  It's called THE DISAPPEARANCE and it'll debut on Sundays at 9 p.m. beginning October 1 on CTV and CTV GO. You can watch the trailer at this link.

"The Disappearance" is a dark, emotionally charged drama that focuses on a familyís struggle to cope with an unthinkable tragedy when a 10-year-old boy goes missing during a birthday-party treasure hunt; Peter plays the family patriarch, a retired judge who has been estranged from his son and his wife but is drawn back into their lives when the horrible event forces them to turn to each other for support and comfort.

Peter says he was immediately intrigued by the first two scripts his agent forwarded to him, but admits he underestimated the workload that signing onto the project would bring.

He says, "The producers were very clever. I thought, ĎOh, Iím the grandfather; itíll be great ó Iíll work a couple of days a week and Iíll collect my checks. It wonít be too hard.í And then I came up here and got the scripts for the other four episodes, full of night shoots in Montreal in the winter, outside. And I thought, ĎOh, you want to kill an old Jew.í"

This project and this city have been something of a revelation for Peter. Even after nearly four decades in the business, he embraces the possibility of eye-widening surprises such as this that keep him interested in his craft.

"Every actor should be lucky enough to film in Quebec," he says. "I really canít think of a more enjoyable film Iíve had, in terms of the camaraderie of the crew and the cast, and the lack of authoritarian bull on the part of the director and the producers. It feels like a charmed environment... itís exactly the way I like to work."

As previously reported, Peter has narrated another Ken Burns project. This time it's a 10-part documentary called THE VIETNAM WAR, which will be broadcast on PBS starting September 17. At a KQED event last month, Peter was asked about his own experience with the Vietnam War draft. Heíd applied to be a conscientious objector and written an essay expressing his beliefs, and was turned down. He started graduate school and dropped out, and then "they drafted me. I went into the psychiatric interview, and said I would go ... 'but I am not going to go and kill people.'" He was classified 1-Y, to be called only in extreme emergency, he said. "I told the exact truth, with the worldview I could have written today."

Peter said he has done 170 narrations, some of which ó for "The Roosevelts," for example, which he felt touched upon his parentsí lives and beliefs ó involved him emotionally. "But when this one came up, this is one time I was flabbergasted at the degree my emotions and my memories were in my throat," he said.

On July 27 playwright and actor Sam Shepard passed away at age 73. Peter, who Shepard cast in the 1980 world premiere of his play "True West" at the Magic Theatre, remembered Shepard in an interview with The Frame as someone whose "genius was unmistakable."

"You didn't have to be close and intimate [friends with him] to realize how gifted and how original and how profound he was," Peter said. He recalled that Shepard "had a kind of tarnished eye toward the business of Hollywood," and was "very much dedicated to real, as opposed to commercial, art."

April 4, 2017

Peter was recently in Paris to participate in an event called "American Stories" held on March 26, 2017 at the Philharmonie de Paris. He was delighted to once again read Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait", this time with the Orchestre National d'őle-de-France. He has previously performed it in 2015 at the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center as well as with the Greensboro Symphony in NC. Both of these previous times he performed with conductor Dimitry Sitkovetsky, seen in the third photo taken in March 2015 in Napa Valley.