Shirley Jones speaks Friday as Theatre’s Green Honors Chair

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    Singer and actress Shirley Jones will bring insight from the performance industry to students in both the film-television-digital media and theatre departments for this year’s Green Honors Chair for Theatre, theatre department chair Harry Parker said.

    Parker, also a professor of theatre, said students attending this year’s Green Honors Chair can expect to hear Jones discuss how to bridge the gap between studying at the university and entering the professional field. Parker said he felt it was important to bring professionals to the university who inspire students to go out and accomplish their aspirations.

    “In theatre, the career track is very tough,” he said. “The idea is to bring in a notable professional that can interact with the students through master classes, Q & A and give advice to students.”

    Winner of an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film “Elmer Gantry,” Jones has appeared in several films including “Bedtime Story,” “The Happy Ending” and ABC-TV’s hit musical sitcom “The Partridge Family”, according to a press release.

    Through the university’s annual Green Honors Chair, departments are given the opportunity to bring individuals to come and speak to students, he said. In the past, speakers for the department have included designers, theatre historians and actors, he said.

    Richard Allen, professor and department chair of film-television-digital media, said he appreciated Parker bringing Jones to campus and allowing her to speak to students in the film department directly. Jones will speak to film-television-digital media majors about her film career in a classroom setting today, he said.

    “It’s unusual for a department to share their Green Honors Chair, so we really appreciate the Theatre Department,” Allen said.

    One of the biggest things talked about in the film-television-digital media Department is the difference between acting for theatre and acting for film, he said. Jones has been successful in both so it will be beneficial for students to hear about her different transitions, he said.

    Also, Jones will be able to talk to students about how the industry has changed since she made her mark in the late ‘50s, he said.

    Parker said her long track record and current special connection to the school is what attracted the department to invite her to speak at the university.

    “I think part of the thought of bringing Shirley Jones is that we’re doing ‘Oklahoma!’ and she’s connected with that material,” Parker said.

    Shirley played the leading role, Laurey, in the 1955 movie and toured with the show professionally, he said.

    Green Honors Chair for Theatre presents Shirley Jones

    When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

    Where: Ed Landreth Auditorium

    The event is free and open to the public. No reservations required.