Current Arkansas Rep production of ANN is focus of noon Clinton School program today

Tony Award winner Elizabeth Ashley is the legendary Ann Richards in ANN, a no-holds-barred look at the brassy, blue governor who changed the face of Texas politics.  This Arkansas Repertory Theatre production is the focus of a Clinton School program today (1/30) at 12 noon.

A woman who always had the right one-liners loaded and ready to fire, ANN is brought to vivid life in a tour-de-force performance by Tony Award-winner and Emmy and Golden Globe-nominee Elizabeth Ashley (Barefoot in the Park and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on Broadway, “Evening Shade”, Netflix’s current hit “Russian Doll”) and directed by Drama Desk Award-winner Michael Wilson (The Best Man and The Trip to Bountiful on Broadway).

Come sit a spell for this story of an impassioned woman who enriched the lives of her followers, friends, and family…with all the charm, charisma, and persuasion that makes a politician good at her job.

All Clinton School Speaker Series events are free and open to the public. Reserve your seats by emailing publicprograms@clintonschool.uasys.edu or by calling (501) 683-5239.

Ann opens on Friday, January 31 after previews which started on January 29.  It runs through February 23.

Rock the Oscars 2019: James Earl Jones

Actor James Earl Jones has made several appearances in Central Arkansas over the years.  He has appeared at Robinson Center with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.  On February 12, 1999, he narrated Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” and Alexander Miller’s “Let Freedom Ring” with the Symphony in a concert at Robinson Center.  (It was the 190th birthday for Lincoln.)

Born in Mississippi, he spent most of his childhood in Michigan.  After service in the Army during the Korean War, he moved to New York to study theatre.  In the late 1950s he started alternating between Broadway (where he often played a servant) and Off Broadway (where he played leading roles).  His first film appearance was in Dr. Strangelove….  From the 1960s onward he has alternated between stage, film and TV.  In the 1980s, he added voice work to his repertoire.

In 1969 and in 1987, he won Tony Awards for Actor in a Play (The Great White Hope and Fences, respectively).  His other Tony nominations have been for revivals of On Golden Pond and The Best Man.  He was nominated for an Oscar in 1970 for reprising The Great White Hope on film.  He received two Emmy Awards in 1991 – the only actor to ever win two in the same year.

In 2008, he won the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2011 he was given an Honorary Oscar.  In 2002, he was a Kennedy Center Honors recipient.

He is probably best loved for his work as the voice of Darth Vader in many of the Star Wars films as well as his voicework in The Lion King.

Rock the Oscars: James Earl Jones

Actor James Earl Jones has made several appearances in Central Arkansas over the years.  He has appeared at Robinson Center with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.  On February 12, 1999, he narrated Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” and Alexander Miller’s “Let Freedom Ring” with the Symphony in a concert at Robinson Center.  (It was the 190th birthday for Lincoln.)

Born in Mississippi, he spent most of his childhood in Michigan.  After service in the Army during the Korean War, he moved to New York to study theatre.  In the late 1950s he started alternating between Broadway (where he often played a servant) and Off Broadway (where he played leading roles).  His first film appearance was in Dr. Strangelove….  From the 1960s onward he has alternated between stage, film and TV.  In the 1980s, he added voice work to his repertoire.

In 1969 and in 1987, he won Tony Awards for Actor in a Play (The Great White Hope and Fences, respectively).  His other Tony nominations have been for revivals of On Golden Pond and The Best Man.  He was nominated for an Oscar in 1970 for reprising The Great White Hope on film.  He received two Emmy Awards in 1991 – the only actor to ever win two in the same year.

In 2008, he won the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2011 he was given an Honorary Oscar.  In 2002, he was a Kennedy Center Honors recipient.

He is probably best loved for his work as the voice of Darth Vader in many of the Star Wars films as well as his voicework in The Lion King.

Black History Month – James Earl Jones and Robinson Center

james_earl_jones_headshotActor James Earl Jones has made several appearances in Central Arkansas over the years.  He has appeared at Robinson Center with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.  On February 12, 1999, he narrated Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” and Alexander Miller’s “Let Freedom Ring” with the Symphony in a concert at Robinson Center.  (It was the 190th birthday for Lincoln.)

Born in Mississippi, he spent most of his childhood in Michigan.  After service in the Army during the Korean War, he moved to New York to study theatre.  In the late 1950s he started alternating between Broadway (where he often played a servant) and Off Broadway (where he played leading roles).  His first film appearance was in Dr. Strangelove….  From the 1960s onward he has alternated between stage, film and TV.  In the 1980s, he added voice work to his repertoire.

In 1969 and in 1987, he won Tony Awards for Actor in a Play (The Great White Hope and Fences, respectively).  His other Tony nominations have been for revivals of On Golden Pond and The Best Man.  He was nominated for an Oscar in 1970 for reprising The Great White Hope on film.  He received two Emmy Awards in 1991 – the only actor to ever win two in the same year.

In 2008, he won the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2011 he was given an Honorary Oscar.  In 2002, he was a Kennedy Center Honors recipient.

He is probably best loved for his work as the voice of Darth Vader in many of the Star Wars films as well as his voicework in The Lion King.

Creative Class 2016: Jamie Davidson

cc16-davidsonWhen one thinks of the creative economy, the focus is generally on non-profit arts and museums.  However, as Jamie Davidson shows, it is also about the design sector.

As the founder and creative director for Little Rock based Strong Suit Clothing, Davidson is changing perceptions about Little Rock.  While Strong Suit certainly dresses many outstanding Arkansans, it reaches far beyond. The line appears in Nordstrom as well as a variety of specialty stores throughout the US.  Several actors at the 2016 Emmy Awards were wearing Strong Suit tuxedos and have worn Strong Suit clothing in national TV appearances.

Davidson got his start in the fashion world when working at longtime Heights clothier Mr. Wicks.  Previous to Strong Suit, he was a founder of Normandy & Monroe and Tre Vero clothing lines.  This latest venture launched in 2013. Building on his experience, Strong Suit Clothing is growing incrementally and strategically with successful results.  In addition to the line’s growth in stores, his experience with e-commerce has allowed the company to have success in that arena.  The hard work is garnering national attention from the media.

Despite the growth of the company, and the fact it could be easier to operate if it were located elsewhere, Davidson is committed to Little Rock.  His grandfather, Julian Davidson, was an architect who helped build Little Rock in the 20th century.  As a clothier, Jamie is helping to dress Little Rock, and dress the world from Little Rock.

Friday Night Lights Cinema: FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

fridaynightlightsHigh school football returns tonight. In honor of that, each Friday in September will feature a movie about high school football.  Up first, the eponymously titled Friday Night Lights.

This 2004 film is based on Buzz Bissinger’s book of the same name.  The book is non-fiction, but the movie employs a mix of fact and Hollywood-ization.  It was directed by actor-director Peter Berg, a cousin of Bissinger’s.  It was originally slated to be directed by Alan J. Pakula, who died before filming started.

Billy Bob Thornton, Jay Hernandez and Connie Britton lead the cast.  Lucas Black, Garrett Hedlund, Derek Luke, Lee Jackson, Lee Thompson Young, Grover Coulson, and Tim McGraw also were in the cast.

The movie won the 2005 ESPY for Best Sports Movie.  It inspired a TV series which ran from 2006 to 2011.  Connie Britton was in the series playing a coach’s wife, as she had in the movie – but the names and aspects of the character were different.  Brad Leland played a team booster in both the movie and series.  It received 13 Emmy nominations and 3 Emmy awards during its run.

ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap is 2014 CALS J. N. Heiskell Distinguished Lecturer

espnschaapArkansans love their sports! They probably discuss and cuss sports more than any other topic.  Therefore it is fitting that ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap will deliver the 2014 J. N. Heiskell Distinguished Lecture tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Avenue. Schaap will discuss his experiences in sports journalism at An Evening with Jeremy Schaap.

Clint Stoerner, former quarterback for the Arkansas Razorbacks, will introduce Schaap.  The event is free and open to the public. A book signing and reception will follow the program. Seating is general admission. Reservations are appreciated, but not required. RSVP to pedwards@cals.org or 918-3009.

An ESPN reporter since 1996, Jeremy Schaap functions in a variety of roles at the network. He is a correspondent for E:60, the host of ESPN Radio’s The Sporting Life, and a frequent contributor to Outside the Lines, NFL Countdown, and College Gameday. His reports, interviews, and commentaries are regularly featured on SportsCenter.

Schaap has won multiple national Sports Emmy Awards and many other honors for his work, including a national Edward R. Murrow Award in 2012, and a National Headliner Award in 2007. He is the author of Cinderella Man, a New York Times bestseller, and Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics. In December 2013, Disney secured the movie rights to Triumph and enlisted Schaap for a consulting role on the film.

In addition to his contributions for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com, Schaap’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Time, the Wall Street Journal, and Parade.

As quarterback, Stoerner led Arkansas to a 2000 Cotton Bowl Classic victory, and went on to play for the NFL, the NFL Europe, and the Arena Football League.  He regularly appears on radio and television in Arkansas to discuss sports events.

The Heiskell Distinguished Lecture is named for J.N. Heiskell, the longest-serving member of the Library’s Board of Trustees and editor of the Arkansas Gazette for more than seventy years. Speakers and programs honor Mr. Heiskell’s commitment to excellence in journalism as well as his support of the library.