Boston – In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of legendary actor Sir Rex Harrison, the Boston University School of Theatre will present George Bernard Shaw’s Don Juan in Hell on October 1 at the Boston University Theatre. This legendary dream sequence is taken from Shaw’s acclaimed Man and Superman, and follows a philosophical debate between the Devil and the notorious Don Juan about the benefits of Hell over its “dull” alternative. Don Juan in Hell features an impressive cast including Philip Bosco, considered to be the greatest living American actor of Shaw, fellow Broadway veterans Barbara Andres and Robert Milli, and Jim Petosa, director of the BU School of Theatre, with guest director William Graham, Sr. This production will run for one night only and proceeds will benefit the Sir Rex Harrison Scholarship Fund and the School of Theatre Production Enhancement Fund.
Professionally known as “Rex,” Reginald Carey Harrison’s career spanned more than six decades as an award-winning actor on both stage and screen. He is perhaps best remembered for his role as Professor Henry Higgins in both the stage and film versions of My Fair Lady. The musical, an adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, opened on Broadway in 1956 and earned the actor a Tony award. For his work in the 1964 film adaptation, Harrison received a Golden Globe Award, a New York Film Critics Award, and that year’s Academy Award for best actor.
Harrison was considered to be an extraordinary Shavian actor, so the production and its distinguished cast will serve as a truly unique tribute to this celebrated actor. Petosa explains, “We are pleased to be presenting theater artists of such caliber in this special one night only presentation.” He continues, “Their professional and personal ties to Rex Harrison have spanned a lifetime and their various associations with Boston University make this event both a reunion and a homecoming. We are pleased to present them to our Boston audience in such a unique manner.”
Following the performance, a tribute dinner will be held in the Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley Studio 210 at the BU Theatre. The cast of Don Juan in Hell will be joined by Lady Harrison and family, friends, and admirers of Sir Rex Harrison at a seated dinner that will also benefit the Sir Rex Harrison Scholarship Fund and the School of Theatre Production Enhancement Fund.
The Sir Rex Harrison Scholarship is a memorial to Harrison and serves to encourage among students at the School of Theatre of the College of Fine Arts emulation of the craftsmanship and artistry which were the foundation of Mr. Harrison’s imposing international reputation. The School of Theatre Production Enhancement Fund provides support for student productions that require more resources than the standard operating budgets allows, and as such makes a critical contribution to the design program and student thesis projects.
The Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Theatre, founded in 1954, is one of the country’s leading institutions for the study of acting, stage management, design and production, and all aspects of the theatrical profession. Since 1982, the School of Theatre has enjoyed an educational and artistic collaboration with the Huntington Theatre Company, the professional theatre in residence at Boston University. Other professional theatre affiliations include Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Guthrie Theater, Olney Theatre Center, Pendragon Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre. Notable School of Theatre alumni include Jason Alexander, Michael Chiklis, Geena Davis, Faye Dunaway, Andrew Lack, Stewart Lane, Craig Lucas, Julianne Moore, Wynn Thomas, and Alfre Woodard.
The Boston University College of Fine Arts was created in 1954 to bring together the School of Music, the School of Theatre, and the School of Visual Arts. The University’s vision was to create a community of artists in a conservatory-style school offering professional training in the arts to both undergraduate and graduate students, complemented by a liberal arts curriculum for undergraduate students. Since those early days, education at the College of Fine Arts has begun on the BU campus and extended into the city of Boston, a rich center of cultural, artistic and intellectual activity.
AT A GLANCE
Boston University School of Theatre presents
Don Juan in Hell
By George Bernard Shaw
Directed by William Graham, Sr.
Monday, October 1, 2007
In this legendary dream sequence from Shaw’s acclaimed Man and Superman, the Devil engages in a philosophical debate with the notorious Don Juan about the benefits of Hell over its “dull” alternative.
Presented in honor of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Sir Rex Harrison. Proceeds to benefit the Sir Rex Harrison Scholarship Fund and the School of Theatre Production Enhancement Fund.
Boston University Theatre, Mainstage
www.BostonTheatreScene.com or 617-933-8600
An intimate post-performance dinner with Lady Harrison and the cast of Don Juan in Hell will be held in the Lane-Comley Studio 210 at the BU Theatre. Ticket information is available upon request by calling 617-353-7294.