Aug 5, 2008    #079
Contact: Laura Pate Byerley

UMKC Hosts 2008 Carolyn Benton Cockefair Annual Luncheon Eric Rosen Gives Keynote Speech Aug. 6

Instructor Carolyn Benton Cockefair believed that everyone – not just traditional college-age students – should continue learning. In honor of this sentiment, the University of Missouri-Kansas City is hosting its 42nd annual Carolyn Benton Cockefair Continuing Education Series.

To begin this year’s series, Eric Rosen will present “New Visions, New Voices: Cultivating Kansas City as a National Center for the American Theatre” at noon on Aug. 6 in Pierson Auditorium. Tickets to the luncheon are $17.50 per person, and can be purchased by calling the Central Ticket Office at 816-235-6222.

Rosen serves as artistic director for the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and has directed two of the theatre’s most critically acclaimed productions – Mary Zimmerman’s Tony Award-winning “Metamorphoses” and Horton Foote’s “The Trip to Bountiful”. In collaboration with writer and performer Matt Sax, Rosen also developed and directed a hip-hop musical called “Clay”. This coming-of-age story appeared at Los Angeles’ Kirk Douglas Theatre in October, and it is set to open in New York theatres this year.

In Chicago, Rosen served as artistic director and co-founder of the About Face Theatre. He has established connections with renowned Chicago theatres, including the Steppenwolf Theatre Company and the Goodman Theatre. Rosen earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in performance studies from Northwestern University, where he worked with Tony Award-winning directors Zimmerman and Frank Galati.

The Cockefair Chair Advisory Committee’s selection of Rosen speaks to his national reputation, said Curt Crespino, Interim Vice Chancellor of University Advancement.

“It’s a compliment to Eric,” Crespino said. “He really is bringing a new vision to the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and it’s very appropriate that the Cockefair Chair Annual Luncheon be one of his first public presentations in Kansas City.”

The Series, formed in 1966 by Cockefair’s former students, has brought such intellectuals as Tess Gallagher, James Michener, Jeane Kirkpatrick, John Updike and Tom Wolfe to Kansas City. Its purpose is to continue what Cockefair started when she first came to the then University of Kansas City in 1947.

Throughout her 17 years at the University, Cockefair drew a following from students and non-credited students who were attracted to her Socratic style of teaching and her ability to link history to current events.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Celebrating 75 years, UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban engagement.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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