An Evening with Celebrated Actress and Director JoBeth Williams ’70
On Monday, March 19, 2018, the Brown University Library and the Friends of the Library will present the 14th Annual Don Wilmeth Endowed Lectureship in American Theatre:
Please join us at 7 p.m. in Martinos Auditorium in the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Space is limited.
This event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the talk.
JoBeth Williams ’70
JoBeth Williams has starred in many provocative films with cult followings throughout her career, including Steven Spielberg’s Poltergiest I and II, Lawrence Kasdan’s The Big Chill, Blake Edward’s comedy Switch, the Farrelly brothers’ Fever Pitch, and American Dreamer, Wyatt Earp, The Big Year, and Kramer vs. Kramer. She has appeared in well over twenty feature films, including Dennis Hopper’s final movie, The Last Film Festival.
She has received three Emmy nominations–for the television films Adam and Baby M, as well for the show Frasier, and two Golden Globe nominations. Her television roles have been extensive. She played Ken Marino’s mom on the NBC series Marry Me, recurred on the CW hit series Hart of Dixie as Candice Hart, played Bizzy Forbes Montgomery on Private Practice, starred in her own series John Grisham’s The Client, and played opposite John Larroquette in CBS’s comedy Payne.
Behind the camera, Williams received an Oscar nomination for her directing debut on the short film On Hope starring Mercedes Ruehl, for which she was also a producer. Following her nomination, Williams directed the Showtime original movie Frankie and Hazel starring Joan Plowright, as well as the Warner Brothers Television production Night Visions, starring Stephen Baldwin and Jane Adams.
Beyond her acclaim for on camera performances, Williams also has extensive theatre credits both in New York and regional productions. Her theatre work in New York includes Last Dance by Marsha Norman, Moonchildren, Ladyhouse Blues, A Couple of White Chicks, John Guare’s Gardenia, and The Vagina Monologues. In regional theatre she is credited for her leads in Antony and Cleopatra at the Old Globe, Idiot’s Delight opposite Stacy Keach at the Kennedy Center, Threepenny Opera in Williamstown, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the McCarter Theatre, Uncle Vanya, Tartuffe, School for Wives, and two seasons at Trinity Repertory Company. In Los Angeles, Williams has appeared on stage at the Geffen Playhouse in Jane Anderson’s The Quality of Life, for which she received a Backstage West Garland award, at the Taper in John Robin Baitz’s play Other Desert Cities, at Pasadena Playhouse in The Night is a Child, and at the Odyssey in The Fall to Earth.
She is the president of the Screen Actors’ Guild Foundation, a charity that provides extensive programs both for working actors and for actors in times of need, as well as national children’s literacy programs. She also serves as chairman of the SAG Awards Committee, which produces the SAG Awards each year.
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Williams is a 1970 graduate of Brown University. She and husband John Pasquin, who will conduct the onstage interview during the Wilmeth Lecture, have two sons.
John Pasquin is an award-winning director and producer of film, television, and stage. His first play in New York was Michael Weller’s Moonchildren for which he won an Obie Award. He then worked for Joe Papp at the Public Theatre and the New York Shakespeare Festival directing original work by Thom Babe and John Guare as well as Comedy of Errors and Measure for Measure in Central Park. He has worked for most East Coast Repertory Theaters including Long Wharf, McCarter, Center Stage, and Arena Stage.
His television credits (over 100 half hour and hour episodes on all networks) include the pilots for Home Improvement, Growing Pains, Freddie, Cristela, and Last Man Standing. He has received a People’s Choice Award and was nominated for three Emmys for his work on Home Improvement and L.A. Law. He has directed four feature films, including The Santa Clause, Jungle 2 Jungle, and Miss Congeniality II.
This past fall he produced and directed the first four episodes of the re-boot of the Roseanne show with the entire original cast. It will air in March 2018.
John Emigh, Professor Emeritus of Theatre, Speech and Dance and Professor Emeritus of English, will introduce JoBeth Williams and John Pasquin at the Wilmeth Lecture. He is a theatre director and performer who has written on the masked theatre and rituals of New Guinea, Bali, and India, as well as on Western theatrical practices. Works include Masked Performance: The Play of Self and Other Ritual and Theatre, and a film on the life of a Rajasthani street performer. Current research involves linking the concerns of those who make and study performances with findings in neuroscience and studying how performances function during times of crisis.
Don Wilmeth joined the Brown English and Theatre faculty in 1967. He retired as Asa Messer Professor Emeritus, Professor Emeritus of Theatre, Speech and Dance, and Professor Emeritus of English in 2004. The first endowed Wilmeth Lecture was presented in 2005.
Date: Monday, March 19, 2018
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Martinos Auditorium, Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, 154 Angell Street, Providence