Contact: Victoria Winkelman or Kami Duncan
SMU Meadows School of the Arts
(214) 768-3785 or (214) 768-2788

May 1, 2003

Horton Foote To Participate In Public Events At SMU, May 15 & 16

DALLAS (SMU) – Academy Award-winning playwright, author and filmmaker Horton Foote will participate in two public events at SMU on May 15 & 16 before receiving an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the university on May 17.

The first public event, which will be held on Thursday, May 15 from 6-8 p.m. at the DeGolyer Library, 6404 Hilltop Lane, is the opening reception for the library’s new exhibit, “Horton Foote and The Trip to Bountiful, 1953-2003.”  Considered a classic of the American stage, “The Trip to Bountiful” debuted on television and Broadway in 1953 and was made into a movie starring Geraldine Page in 1985. The exhibit features original drafts, screenplays, publicity photos, playbills, posters and other memorabilia documenting the history of the play and movie, with glances at other events in Foote’s distinguished career. In addition, a showing of “The Trip to Bountiful” will be held at 8 p.m. in McCord Auditorium on the third floor of Dallas Hall, 3225 University Blvd.

The DeGolyer Library is the permanent repository for the Horton Foote Collection, which comprises 148 boxes of material documenting Foote’s career. All materials in the exhibit were drawn from this collection, which includes manuscripts, scrapbooks, handwritten drafts of screenplays, diaries, letters, photos and family memorabilia of the Texas native who has spent over 60 years in film, stage and television.

The reception and movie are free, and no tickets are required. For more information, call the DeGolyer Library at 214.768.3231.

The second public event is a panel discussion, “Horton Foote On Stage and On Screen,” to be held Friday, May 16 at 2 p.m in the Greer Garson Theatre, 6101 Bishop Blvd. In addition to Horton Foote, panelists will include moderator Ronald L. Davis, retired professor emeritus of history at SMU and author of numerous books on Hollywood legends; Horton Foote’s daughter Hallie Foote, an award-winning actress and producer currently starring in “The Trip to Bountiful” at Houston’s Alley Theatre; James Houghton, artistic director of the Signature Theatre in New York City, who earned his M.F.A. in theatre at SMU in 1986; and Dr. Rick Worland, chair of the Division of Cinema-Television at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. The event is free; however, tickets are required and are available from the Meadows Ticket Office, 214.768.2787.

About Horton Foote:

Horton Foote was born in Wharton, Texas in 1916. He left home at age 16 to study acting in Pasadena, then moved to New York, where he produced his first play, “Texas Town,” in 1941. He became prominent in the 1950s and 1960s writing television plays for such showcases as the Philco-Goodyear Playhouse, Playhouse 90 and DuPont Play of the Month. In 1962 he won an Academy Award for his screenplay of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and he won a second Oscar in 1983 for the original feature screenplay of “Tender Mercies.” In 1995 he won a Pulitzer Prize for the play “The Young Man From Atlanta.” Foote was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1998 and received the National Medal of Arts in 2000 from President Clinton. A memoir of his childhood, “Farewell,” was published in 2000, and a second volume about his early career, “Beginnings,” was published in 2001. Foote currently lives in Wharton, Texas.


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