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Feb. 6, 2013

COPY BY: Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, rmcdonald@wtamu.edu

‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ Actor to Speak at WTAMU

Movie screening is now on Feb. 14
Lecture is still be on Feb. 13

CANYON, Texas—Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird will be the focus of a two-day event in February when West Texas A&M University’s Distinguished Lecture Series brings Mary Badham, the female actor who played Scout in the 1962 movie, to campus. The University will host a screening of the movie on Thursday, Feb. 14, and Badham will speak on Wednesday, Feb. 13 about the historical, literary and legal implications the film and novel have had on American society since the time of their collective release to modern day.

According to Dr. Pat Tyrer, a WTAMU English professor and member of the event’s planning committee, the Mary Badham as Scoutuniversity has joined a loosely-formed consortium. Many universities and communities are celebrating the 52nd anniversary of the novel’s release and the film’s 50th anniversary. 

To Kill a Mockingbird will be shown on campus at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14 at the Jack B. Kelley (JBK) Student Center, Legacy Hall. The event, co-sponsored by Cornette Library, will include a round-table discussion about the historical and literary impact of the movie. Participants will be Dr. Marty Kuhlman, associate professor of history, and Dr. Pat Tyrer, associate professor of English. Amarillo minister David Green will moderate the discussion immediately following the movie.

Badham will speak at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13 in the JBK Legacy Hall. After her presentation, Badham will open the floor for a question and answer session with members of the audience. Badham is the one of the last living members of the film’s cast and one of the few persons who has remained in contact with the novel’s author, Harper Lee. 

She was 10-years-old when she was chosen for the role of Scout in the movie. Badham, who had no previous acting experience, won an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress for the role—the youngest person ever to do so at the time. After To Kill a Mockingbird, Badham appeared in two other films, This Property is Condemned with Robert Redford and Natalie Wood and Let’s Kill Uncle. She also appeared on Dr. Kildare and Twilight Zone before retiring from acting to pursue an education as a teenager.

She keeps a busy lecture schedule talking to audiences about the book and the film. She is interested in expanding knowledge about the film’s message of social injustice and wants to insure that each generation of students can experience the film’s impact.

Both events are free and open to the public. Teachers attending one or both events can apply for and receive Continuing Education Units. For more information, call Dr. Dwight Vick at 806-651-3631 or dvick@wtamu.edu.



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