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Dec. 5, 2011/For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Marla Carpenter, 336-770-3337, carpem@uncsa.edu

MEDIA: You are invited to attend an all-School of Drama Q&A with Estelle Parsons from 5-6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, in the Thrust Theatre of Performance Place. A limited number of interviews are available. Please contact me at the number or email above for details. -- Marla


Academy Award-Winning Actress Will Meet With Students in Schools of Drama and Filmmaking


WINSTON-SALEM – Academy Award-winning actress Estelle Parsons will be on the campus of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) on Dec. 8 and 9 to meet with students in the Schools of Drama and Filmmaking.

Parsons won an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress for her work as Blanche Barrow in Arthur Penn’s BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967), with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, and was nominated the next year for her work as Calla Mackie in Paul Newman’s RACHEL, RACHEL, with Joanne Woodward. Most recently, she appeared in the film WILD SALOME with Al Pacino, Kevin Anderson and Jessica Chastain, released earlier this year.

Also a frequent Tony Award nominee with extensive Broadway credits, Parsons is perhaps most publicly recognized for playing Roseanne Barr’s mother, Beverly, on the 1988-1997 ABC-TV sitcom Roseanne.

On Thursday, Dec. 8, Parsons will hold a symposium for student screenwriters, directors and editors in the School of Filmmaking, and will visit the editing suites, where she will view student films in production and will talk to the directors and editors. That evening, the Film school will screen one of her films for students. On Friday, Dec. 9, she will spend the day with acting and directing students in the School of Drama.

Parson’s visit to UNCSA has been a three-year endeavor for Ron Roose, who teaches editing and sound in the School of Filmmaking, and is a long-time family friend of the actress. Roose said that Parsons agreed to the visit three years ago, but her active work schedule prevented it until now.

Parsons is also a long-time friend and associate of Gerald Freedman, dean of UNCSA’s School of Drama. She recently offered a personal tribute to Freedman during “An Evening of Song and Tribute,” a fund-raising event in New York for Sonnet Repertory Theatre that celebrated Freedman’s career.

Estelle Parsons Photo
Photo courtesy broadwayworld.com

Freedman said his students will never forget meeting an actor with her experience.  “She is one of the most honest, down-to-earth, straight-forward actors I have ever worked with,” said Freedman, who directed Parsons, Stacy Keach, Olympia Dukakis and Judy Collins in his celebrated production of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt at Shakespeare in the Park (New York City) in 1969. Freedman and Parsons met as teen-agers working in summer stock. “She is always real, in the moment, and ready to take chances.”

Roose said Film students also will benefit enormously from her visit. “For students to hear her talk about her experiences on stage and screen, how she reads scripts and prepares for roles, how she works with and interacts with actors and directors, it’s all enormously meaningful,” he said.

Estelle Parsons has acted extensively on Broadway, in film, and on television. Recent stage appearances include Lincoln Center’s revival of Mornings at Seven, the Tony Award-winning August: Osage County, and the world premiere of Good People

Parsons has received four Tony Award nominations, for her work: in The Seven Descents of Myrtle (1968), And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little (1971), Miss Margarida’s Way (1978) and Mornings at Seven (2002). She also has directed several Broadway productions, including Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and As You Like It. For five years Parsons was artistic director of The Actors Studio. In 2004, she was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.

In addition to BONNIE AND CLYDE and RACHEL, RACHEL, her film credits include WATERMELON MAN (1970), I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER (1971), TWO PEOPLE (1973), A MEMORY OF TWO MONDAYS (1970), FOR PETE’S SAKE (1975), DICK TRACY (1990), and BOYS ON THE SIDE (1995).

On television, she appeared on The Patty Duke Show, All in the Family, Archie Bunker’s Place, Frasier, Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit, the TV movie THE UFO INCIDENT: THE STORY OF BETTY AND BARNEY HILL (opposite James Earl Jones), and the PBS production of June Moon.

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is the first state-supported, residential school of its kind in the nation. Established as the North Carolina School of the Arts by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, UNCSA opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. More than 1,100 students from high school through graduate school train for careers in the arts in five professional schools: Dance, Design and Production (including a Visual Arts Program), Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. UNCSA is the state’s only public arts conservatory, dedicated entirely to the professional training of talented students in the performing, visual and moving image arts. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.