Dec. 3, 2012/For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Lauren Whitaker, 336-734-2891, whitakerl@uncsa.edu



Academy Award-nominated Peter Hedges will work with Drama and Film students during ‘Intensive Arts’

WINSTON-SALEM – Academy Award-nominated University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) alumnus Peter Hedges will return to campus during the first week in December to screen his latest film, THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN, for the Board of Trustees, special guests, and students in the School of Drama and the School of Filmmaking.

The film will be screened twice during Hedges’ visit: at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6, and at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, in Main Theatre of the ACE Exhibition Complex on the UNCSA campus, 1533 South Main St. Hedges will participate in question-and-answer sessions following each screening.

Hedges will meet with students in the School of Drama for a “talk back” from 4:15-5:30 p.m. on Thursday, and will participate in workshops with Film students on Friday.  His work with students is part of the curriculum for “Intensive Arts,” a two-week period between Thanksgiving and the winter holidays, when classes are suspended in favor of specialized workshops and individualized study.

A novelist, playwright and filmmaker, Hedges is a 1984 graduate of UNCSA’s School of Drama. He directed and wrote the screenplay for THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN, which was released in August 2012 by Disney Motion Pictures. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2002 for ABOUT A BOY which starred Hugh Grant and Toni Collette.

THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN stars Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton and CJ Adams. A childless couple bury a box in their backyard, containing all of their wishes for an infant. Soon, a child is born, though Timothy Green is not all that he appears.

The film has several UNCSA connections:

  • A character named Coach Bob Francesconi, for Assistant Dean of Drama Robert Francesconi, is played by Jay Freer (Drama, 1983);
  • Rhoda Griffis (Drama, 1983) plays Doctor Lesley Hunt, named for faculty member emeritus of the School of Drama;
  • Steve Coulter (Drama, 1981) plays Charlie Frohn;
  • Tim Guinee (Drama, 1985) provides the voice for a character named after former faculty member Martin “Marty” Rader; and
  • Another character is named for former faculty member and interim dean Alan Rust.  

Also, the film is set in a town named Stanleyville.

Hedges’ first novel, “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” was the basis for the 1993 film, which he also wrote. It starred Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio, who was nominated for an Academy Award. Hedges also wrote “An Ocean in Iowa,” published in 1998, and “The Heights,” published in 2010. His novels have been published in 15 languages.

Hedges co-wrote the screenplay adaptation of A MAP OF THE WORLD, starring Sigourney Weaver and Julianne Moore and based on Jane Hamilton’s novel. He made his feature film directorial debut with PIECES OF APRIL starring Katie Holmes and Patricia Clarkson. The acclaimed film garnered numerous awards including an Academy Award nomination for Clarkson. Following the film, Variety named Hedges one of the “10 Directors to Watch.” In 2007, he directed and co-wrote DAN IN REal LIFE starring Steve Carell and Juliette Binoche.

Hedges founded the Edge Theatre in 1985 along with fellow School of Drama alumni Mary-Louise Parker (1986) and Joe Mantello (1984). Over a three-year period, he wrote and directed 12 works for the company. His plays include Baby Anger (Playwrights Horizons), Good as New (Manhattan Class Company), and Imagining Brad (Circle Rep), all of which have been published by Dramatists Play Service.

Hedges has taught at Yale University, Bennington College, and UNCSA. He has served as a creative advisor to the Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab and has been awarded residencies at Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony and the Millay Colony. He grew up in West Des Moines, Iowa, and lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children.

As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.


Media: The screenings are not open to the public. However, if you are interested in attending a screening and interviewing Peter Hedges, please contact Lauren Whitaker at 734-2891.