College of Communication and Fine Arts
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Two U of M Professors Screen New Film

For release: April 3, 2013
For press information, contact Kimberly Rogers at 901.678.4164.

art for Ross and Lenhart film

Two University of Memphis professors will host on-campus screenings of their new 25-minute film, Four Scenes From King Lear, Friday, April 12 at 12:30 and Friday, April 19 at 1 p.m. in Room 237A of the Theatre Building. As part of the screening, Professor of Communication Steve Ross and Associate Professor of Theatre Anita Jo Lenhart will also discuss the process of adapting work from one medium to another.

The recently completed film has been selected to debut publicly during the On Location Memphis International Film Festival, April 25-28. It will be shown Sunday, April 28 at 3:30 p.m. at Malco Studio on the Square, 2105 Court Ave. in Overton Square. The premiere is part of an all University of Memphis program, including films by graduate students Stephen Hildreth, David Goodman and Brian Fruits. The event will also feature the first public presentation of the new digital version of Black Diamonds, Blues City, Stories of the Memphis Red Sox (1996), a documentary about Memphis’ Negro League baseball team. It was produced by Ross and John Haddock, U of M Math Department chair, and narrated by Samuel L. Jackson.

“It was first shown as an analog production more than 15 years ago and seen on public television stations nationwide,” Ross said about the Negro League documentary. “I am happy to say that this new digital transfer looks better than the film did when it was first shown.”

The idea for the project was sparked by Theatre Professor Sarah Brown, who had raved to Ross about the Ostrander Award-winning New Moon Theatre Company production of King Lear Lenhart directed at Theatreworks. An accomplished documentary film maker, he had been contemplating starting a new project with thematic connections to Lear.

“So I contacted Jo and Gene Elliott, producer of the stage production,” Ross said. “We all agreed that if we could get the actors, crew, space, and equipment together at the same time, it would be worth exploring a few scenes in a cinematic way. And that’s what we did. The scenes we chose have been completely re-staged for the camera.”

A true collaboration of the community and the U of M departments of Theatre and Communication, the film features noted Memphis actors Bill Baker (King Lear), Christina Wellford Scott (Goneril), James Dale Green (The Fool), Heather Malone (Cordelia) and Greg Boller (Kent). Under the direction of Lenhart and Ross, the production crew was composed of U of M Film and Video students led by graduate student and Director of Photography Stephen Hildreth. In addition, Scenes was filmed in the Theatre Department’s Black Box Stage using Communication Department equipment.

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Last Updated: 4/3/13