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May 22
2000

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Currents--University of Rochester newspaper

Fulbright Award sends Willis to Moscow

Willis
Willis

Mervyn Willis, artistic director of the International Theatre Program, has been honored with a Fulbright Award and will use it to teach and conduct research at the All-Union State Institute of Cinematography in Moscow, the oldest film school in the world.

During the fall of 2000 and the fall of 2001 he'll teach two courses on Shakespeare and film, focusing on the uniquely Russian interpretations and adaptations of the Bard's plays by poet Boris Pasternak as well as the famous Russian film production of King Lear by director Grigori Kozintsev. His students also will compare movies that are based on Shakespeare's works, such as My Own Private Idaho and Chimes at Midnight. The courses will feature Willis's work in both the stage and film productions of Laurence Olivier's Othello.

In addition, he'll create two short films, including a documentary based on his staging of King Lear in Moscow. He'll be working with Vadim Ysouf, the major cinematographer in Russia today and head of the institute's cinematography department. He also will be teaching acting for stage and film.

Willis has had a wide range of experience as a director: He directed in such theaters as the Royal Court Theatre in London and the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, and has directed Shakespeare for the John Houseman Acting Company in New York City and for the Alley Theatre in Houston.



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