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John Kinzer
IU Department of Theatre and Drama

Doug Booher
IU Auditorium

Last modified: Tuesday, February 16, 2010

IU Theatre and Drama presents Ralph L. Collins Memorial Lecture, 'An Evening with Martin Sheen'

WHAT: "An Evening with Martin Sheen," the 2010 Ralph L. Collins Memorial Lecture.
WHEN: Monday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: IU Auditorium, 1211 E. Seventh St.
TICKETS: Admission is free of charge, but tickets are required. General admission tickets are available at the IU Auditorium Box Office starting Feb. 17, 2010. For information call 812-855-1103.

Feb. 16, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Department of Theatre and Drama announces the 2010 Ralph L. Collins Memorial Lecture. Award-winning actor, social activist and humanitarian Martin Sheen will appear April 19 at IU Auditorium.

Martin Sheen

Actor Martin Sheen is the IU Department of Theatre and Drama's 2010 Ralph L. Collins Memorial Lecturer. Free tickets are available starting Wednesday morning (Feb. 17, 2010). He will appear at IU Auditorium April 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Admission is free of charge, and general admission tickets are available at the IU Auditorium box office beginning tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb. 17) at 10 am.

Martin Sheen became established as an actor playing youths run amok. Though his resume boasts its share of villains, he has grown over the years into a patriarchal figure whose social responsibility is in keeping with his liberal activism.

A fervent promoter of the principles of Catholic social thought in word and in action, Sheen's passion for activism and its place in today's political, humanitarian and social arenas has inspired generations. For more than four decades, he has been an ardent supporter of causes that advocate peace and encourage justice throughout the world.

Born Ramon Estevez to immigrant parents, Sheen left his Dayton, Ohio, home for the bright lights of New York City, apprenticing at Judith Malina and Julian Beck's Living Theater. He gained attention in Frank Gilroy's The Subject Was Roses (1964) with a Tony-nominated turn as a returning war veteran opposite Jack Albertson (later reprising his role in the 1968 film version). Sheen's feature debut came as a delinquent terrorizing the occupants of a subway car in The Incident (1967), but his real breakthrough came as the alienated, amoral yet charismatic killer on the run with Sissy Spacek in Terrence Malick's Badlands (1973).

In the 1970s, Sheen embarked on a series of critically acclaimed projects for the small screen, earning an Emmy nomination for his sensitive portrayal of the deserter in The Execution of Private Slovik (1974). That year he also slipped into the skin of Attorney General Robert Kennedy in The Missiles of October, his first of many fictional forays into political life. Sheen's turn as the military assassin sent to terminate the command of a crazed Marlon Brando in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979) remains one of his signature roles.

Despite the time he has devoted to social justice, Sheen's output of film and TV roles has never slowed. He donated his salary for his work on Gandhi (1982) to various charities. In Oliver Stone's absorbing Wall Street (1987), he portrayed a union official father at odds with the insider trading world of his financier son (played by his real-life son, Charlie Sheen). He executive produced and starred in two features, playing Barnard Hughes' son in DA and a trial judge in Leo Penn's Judgment in Berlin (1988), and also executive produced and starred in the TNT movie Nightbreaker (1989), in which son Emilio played his character at an earlier stage.

One of Sheen's most prominent feature roles of the 1990s was his role as an advisor to the U.S. President in The American President (1995), through which he met screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. He later surfaced as U.S. President Josiah Bartlet for seven years on the critically acclaimed TV Drama The West Wing (1999-2006), also written by Sorkin.

Sheen recently appeared in The Departed, directed by Martin Scorsese with Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson and Matt Damon; Bordertown, directed by Gregory Nava with Jennifer Lopez and Antonio Banderas; and Bobby, written and directed by his son, Emilio Estevez, and starring Anthony Hopkins, Sharon Stone, Helen Hunt, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher.

Martin has been married to his wife Janet for more than 40 years. The couple's four children, Emilio, Renee and Ramon Estevez and Charlie Sheen are all involved in the entertainment business.

Ralph L. Collins (1907-1963)

Ralph L. Collins was born in Eclectic, Alabama and educated at the University of the South, where he earned a B.A. in 1928, and at Yale University, where he earned a Ph.D. in 1933. Before joining the Department of English at Indiana University in 1935, he did editorial work for Atlantic Monthly and taught one year at the University of Tennessee. At Indiana, he served as varsity tennis coach from 1940 to 1945 and as Director of the Writers' Conference from 1941 to 1948. He was named Assistant Dean of Faculties in 1948 and Vice President and Dean of Faculties in 1959.

As teacher and scholar, Dean Collins was principally interested in the area of theater and drama. He published articles in the area of theater and drama in Modern Language Notes, Philosophical Quarterly, Theatre Annual and University of Kansas Review. For many years he taught undergraduate courses in modern drama and in Shakespeare and a graduate seminar on George Bernard Shaw.

Even after assuming his many administrative duties, Dean Collins maintained his interest in theater. For him, drama was more than a form of entertainment. It was an intense presentation of behavior, a projection of gestures of mind and heart and a searching analysis of motives and moral foundation. No static memorial could honor the memory of Ralph L. Collins as do the present lectures.