Acclaimed actor to discuss ‘Acting While Black’


February 22, 2008

As part of Arizona State University’s celebration of Black History Month, the English Department is sponsoring an evening with acclaimed actor Harry J. Lennix. Lennix’s talk, “Acting While Black: A Conversation with Harry J. Lennix,” will be held from 4:30–6 p.m., Feb. 27 in the Lyceum Theatre. The event is free and open to the public.

A versatile stage and screen actor, Lennix has appeared in many of the most popular and acclaimed productions of the past 20 years. Lennix has been featured recently on film as Commander Lock in “The Matrix” series, as Mr. Silk in “The Human Stain,” and as Aaron the Moor in Julie Taymor’s film “Titus.” On the small screen, Lennix has appeared in various successful shows, such as “24,” “House M.D.,” “E.R.,” and “Ally McBeal.” Download Full Image

Despite the fact that it is rare to find a screen actor who also can succeed on stage, Lennix has flourished both on and off Broadway. Most recently, he starred in August Wilson’s final play, “Radio Golf,” a Broadway production that garnered four Tony Award nominations. He will reprise the starring role this March at the Kennedy Center’s complete cycle of Wilson’s plays, “August Wilson’s 20th Century.”

As a trained Shakespearean, Lennix has starred in productions of “Othello,” “Titus Andronicus,” and “Macbeth.” In addition, he was part of the first American company to be invited to perform in England’s Royal Shakespeare Company. It is no wonder, then, that Ebony Magazine named him as “Hollywood’s Hardest Working Man.”

At ASU, Lennix is visiting several classes in the English Department and the School of Theatre and Film. His public talk at the Lyceum Theatre will address what it means to be a black actor though a discussion of the ways his race affects his opportunities and approaches to acting.

His visit is sponsored by the Department of English and co-sponsored by the School of Theatre and Film, the Institute for Humanities Research, African and African American Studies, Film and Media Studies, and the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication. For more information please contact Ayanna Thompson at (480) 965-0247 or Ayanna.Thompson">mailto:Ayanna.Thompson@asu.edu">Ayanna.Thompson@asu.edu.

Lisa Robbins

editor/publisher, Media Relations and Strategic Communications

480-965-9370

ASU raises bar for Moot Court competition


February 22, 2008

Law students from 20 universities around the country were at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law last week for the annual National Native American Law Students Association (NNALSA) Moot Court Competition.

The event, sponsored by the NNALSA chapters at the College of Law and at the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law, is giving Native American and other students the chance to improve their oral and written legal skills by debating a problem that’s germane to Indian law today. Download Full Image

More than 100 students, from the University of Hawaii’s William C. Richardson School of Law to Columbia Law School in New York, are participating in rounds Feb. 21 and 22, and the finals will be on Feb. 23. Winners will be selected based on the scores they earn for oral arguments and written briefs.

The final argument will be judged by an impressive panel – William C. Canby Jr. and Betty B. Fletcher, both of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; Arizona Supreme Court Justice Scott Bales; Herb Yazzie, Chief Justice of the Navajo Nation Supreme Court, and a 1975 alumnus of the College of Law, and Diane J. Humetewa, U.S. Attorney for Arizona and a 1993 graduate of the College of Law.

This year’s problem was authored by Kevin Gover, director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and a professor on leave from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. It deals with a dispute about the application of land-use and zoning laws to a parcel of land on an Indian reservation, where both a tribe and a municipality want to apply their own zoning laws.

“This problem is so great,” says Ann Begay, a third-year student at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, and vice president of NNALSA.

“The question is always about jurisdiction because that’s the heart of federal Indian law, the conflict between the rights of the states and the federal government and how tribes can exercise their sovereignty.”

With its renowned Indian Legal Program and proximity to Indian Country, the law school is the ideal setting for the moot court competition, Begay says.

“We want to raise the bar for moot court to make it an Indian Country experience,” she says. “What better place to have it than Arizona, and at this law school, with a faculty that has such quality and influence?”

The Moot Court rounds, free and open to the public, will be held in Armstrong Hall and in the Ross-Blakley Law Library from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Feb. 22, and from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Feb. 23.

Lisa Robbins

editor/publisher, Media Relations and Strategic Communications

480-965-9370