The life and achievements of the late Nobel Prize-winning dramatist, screenwriter, political activist and actor will be celebrated as part of the PEN World Voices Festival. Pinter died Dec. 24, 2008, after a battle with cancer. He was 78.
The tribute — presented by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center — is curated by British actor-director Harry Burton, a close friend and longtime collaborator of Pinter's.
The celebration will feature live performances, including a rehearsed play reading; film screenings; poetry and prose; panel discussions; rare audio and video recordings of Pinter in his own plays; the U.S. premiere of Burton's documentary portrait "Working with Pinter"; and a screening of Pinter's Nobel acceptance speech, "Art, Truth and Politics."
Henry Woolf, a lifelong friend of Pinter's who is featured in the documentary, is participating in the celebration. Other participants include PEN president Salman Rushdie; movie directors Paul Schrader and Patricia Rozema, who have worked with Pinter; playwrights John Guare and Emily Mann; Tony Award-winning actor Brian O'Byrne; Todd Haimes, artistic director of the Roundabout Theatre; actor Jason Isaacs; Charles Grimes, author of "Harold Pinter's Politics"; Susan Hollis Merritt, bibliographical editor of The Pinter Review; and Alistair Macaulay, dance critic of The New York Times and former theatre critic of The Financial Times. Four sessions will take place in Proshansky Auditorium, beginning at 11 AM with "The Early Days," followed by "Man of the Theatre," "Pinter at the Movies" and "Pinter and Politics."
Performances in the evening, beginning at 7 PM, will include a staged reading of The Dumb Waiter and Woolf performing Monologue. Films will run consecutively throughout the day in the Segal Theatre Center screening room, beginning at 11 AM with "The Birthday Party" and continuing with "The Comfort of Strangers," "Krapp's Last Tape," "One for the Road," "Voices" and "Party Time."
The Graduate Center of CUNY is located at 365 Fifth Ave., between 34th and 35th Streets. All events are free and open to the public. Call (212) 817-1860 or click on http://web.gc.cuny.edu/MESTC/events/s09/PEN_World_Voices.html for information.
The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center (MESTC) is a non-profit center for theatre, dance, and film affiliated with CUNY's Ph.D. Program in Theatre. Its primary focus is to bridge the gap between the academic and professional performing arts communities by providing an open environment for the development of educational, community-driven, and professional projects in the performing arts. Further information can be found at http://web.gc.cuny.edu/MESTC/.
PEN American Center is the U.S. branch of the world's oldest international literary and human rights organization. International PEN was founded in 1921 in direct response to the ethnic and national divisions that contributed to the First World War. PEN American Center was founded in 1922 and is the largest of the 144 PEN centers in 101 countries that together compose International PEN. For one week each spring, the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature showcases the work of more than 50 international writers from across the globe in conversations, readings, performances, and panels together with their American counterparts for a cross-cultural celebration of the written word. Further information can be found at http://www.pen.org.
The Graduate Center is devoted primarily to doctoral studies and awards most of the City University of New York's Ph.D.s. An internationally recognized center for advanced studies and a national model for public doctoral education, the school offers more than thirty doctoral programs as well as a number of master's programs. Further information on the Graduate Center and its programs can be found at http://www.gc.cuny.edu.