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Award-winning writer John Logan speaks as 2011 Abelson Artist-in-Residence

Tony Award-winning playwright and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter John Logan will speak as the 2011 Hope Abelson Artist-in-Residence at Northwestern University on October 14.

Logan, an alumnus of the Northwestern University School of Communication’s renowned theatre department, will speak to students and others during an afternoon Q&A and to the audience of the opening night performance of the Northwestern University Theatre and Interpretation Center’s production of his first play, Never the Sinner, in a talkback following the show.

The Q&A, free and open to the public, starts at 1:30 p.m. in Annie May Swift Hall Helmerich Auditorium, 1920 Campus Drive, Evanston.

The talkback occurs after the ticketed performance in the Josephine Louis Theater, 1877 Campus Drive, Evanston. Never the Sinner recreates the first “trial of the century,” when Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb kidnapped and murdered a 14-year-old boy from Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood in an attempt to perform the perfect crime. The show is directed by former Victory Gardens Theater Artistic Director Dennis Zacek (also an alumnus of the School of Communication) and features theatre faculty member Henry Godinez and acclaimed Chicago actor Torrey Hanson. For tickets, visit Curtain time for the performance is 8 p.m.

Free parking after 4 p.m. is available in the parking structure adjacent to the Louis Theater.

John Logan is author of the 2010 Best Play Tony Award-winning Red, as well as Riverview and Hauptmann. His screenplays have included The Time Machine, Any Given Sunday, Gladiator, The Last Samurai, The Aviator, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Rango, and others. Logan received Oscar nominations for writing for both Gladiator and The Aviator. He also received an Emmy nomination and the Writers Guild of America Award for Best TV Adapted Writing for the HBO-distributed film RKO 281, about the production of the film Citizen Kane.

The Hope Abelson Artist-in-Residence Program was established at the School of Communication and inaugurated in 1990 through a generous gift from Hope Altman Abelson.

Abelson was born in Chicago, studied theatre at Northwestern, and became a Broadway producer. Abelson was well known for her financial support of off-Loop theatre in Chicago. With her husband, Lester Abelson, Mrs. Abelson funded such major not-for-profit companies as Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the Court Theatre, and the Goodman Theatre. She also helped to establish the League of Chicago Theatres, and her philanthropy extended to the visual arts, music and dance. Lester Abelson died in 1980; Mrs. Abelson died in 2006.

The first Abelson Artist was opera and theatre director Peter Sellars. Subsequent Abelson artists have included director Lloyd Richards (1992), designer Desmond Heeley (1993), playwright Tony Kushner (1995 and 2002), opera and theatre director Jonathan Miller (1996), stage and film director Robert Lepage (1998), playwright and director Maria Irene Fornes (2000), actor and director Brian Bedford (2001), actor, writer, and director Regina Taylor (2009), and actors Cherry Jones (2003), Meryl Streep (2005), Bill Irwin (2006).