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Maria K. Talbert
Indiana University Auditorium

John Kinzer
IU Department of Theatre and Drama

Last modified: Friday, March 4, 2011

Carol Burnett to perform at IU Auditorium as the 2011 Ralph L. Collins Memorial Lecturer

WHAT: "Laughter and Reflection with Carol Burnett: A Conversation with Carol where the Audience Asks the Questions," the 2011 Ralph L. Collins Memorial Lecture
WHAT: April 18, 8 p.m.
WHERE: IU Auditorium
TICKETS: $33-$58 for IU Bloomington students with a valid ID, and $45-$68 for general public, on sale starting Wed., March 9 at 10 a.m. Individual tickets may be purchased online at, in person at the IU Auditorium Box Office, as well as through, all Ticketmaster outlets, or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. The IU Auditorium Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

March 4, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Award-winning actress and best-selling author Carol Burnett will appear at Indiana University Auditorium April 18 at 8 p.m.

"Laughter and Reflection with Carol Burnett: A Conversation with Carol where the Audience Asks the Questions" is the IU Department of Theatre and Drama's 2011 Ralph L. Collins Memorial Lecture.

Carol Burnett

Photo by Randee St. Nicholas

Carol Burnett

Tickets will go on sale Wednesday, March 9 at 10 a.m.

"Laughter and Reflection," Burnett's "off-the-cuff" banter with the audience, is a format that grew out of the Q-and-A sessions she shared with her studio audience on each episode of "The Carol Burnett Show." As a weekly visitor in America's living rooms, Burnett always opened her show with a few minutes of chats with the audience. Her appearance at IU Auditorium is a rare opportunity to talk to her in the same intimate audience-interactive format.

"I love the spontaneity of these evenings," Burnett said. "I never know what anybody is going to say or do or ask, so it keeps me on my toes."

Burnett is widely recognized for her work on stage and screen, most notably on "The Carol Burnett Show." Named in 2007 by TIME magazine as one of 100 Best Television Shows of All Time, "The Carol Burnett Show" ran for 11 years, averaged 30 million viewers per week, and received 25 Emmy Awards, making it one of the most honored programs in television history.

An acclaimed actress for her comedic and dramatic roles on television, film and Broadway, Burnett has been honored with 12 People's Choice Awards -- more than any other actress in the award show's history -- eight Golden Globes, six Emmy Awards, the Horatio Alger Award, the Peabody Award for Friendly Fire and the Ace Award for Between Friends with Elizabeth Taylor. She has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, is a Kennedy Center honoree and has been inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.

"We are thrilled to welcome Carol Burnett to our campus," said Jonathan Michaelsen, chair of the Department of Theatre and Drama. "For those of us of a certain age, Carol Burnett was part of our weekly lives growing up and her humor provided us with wonderful memories -- and opportunities to perform bad reenactments of her shows for our friends. Having Ms. Burnett come to IU will be an outstanding experience for our students, many of who may not be as familiar with her and her groundbreaking career."

After "The Carol Burnett Show" concluded in 1978, Burnett immersed herself in numerous projects, including the film versions of the musicals Annie, Noises Off, A Wedding and Four Seasons. She starred in television series such as "Fresno" and "Carol & Co." and acclaimed made-for-TV movies Friendly Fire and Life of the Party: The Story of Beatrice. She has produced and starred in numerous television specials. In 2005, Burnett returned to her Once Upon A Mattress roots, appearing in a television special, this time playing the evil Queen Aggravain. Her Broadway credits include Fade Out-Fade In, Putting It Together and Moon Over Buffalo.

In 2000, Burnett added playwright to her credits when she and her daughter, Carrie Hamilton, began writing a play together based on Carol Burnett's autobiography. Hamilton passed away from cancer four months prior to the play's premiere at the Chicago Goodman Theatre in April 2002, but her dream was fulfilled when Hollywood Arms premiered on Broadway at The Cort Theatre on Oct. 31, 2002. Burnett has since established The Carrie Hamilton Foundation to honor her daughter's memory and her passion for the performing arts.

Burnett has authored two New York Times best-sellers, This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection and her autobiography, One More Time. She received a 2010 Grammy Award nomination for Best Spoken Word for the audio book of This Time Together. That year, she costarred alongside Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester's mother in the Fox TV hit "Glee." In 2009, she was nominated for an Emmy for her portrayal of a murderess on "Law and Order: SVU" and she can be heard alongside Jim Carrey and Steve Carell as the voice of "Kangaroo" in 20th Century FOX's hit animated feature, Dr. Seuss's Horton Hears a Who.

"Carol Burnett's extremely successful career has left a remarkable impression on the world of show business," said Doug Booher, director of IU Auditorium. "This appearance provides us a rare opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with the talented woman responsible for such a long legacy of laughter thanks to her smash-hit productions and unforgettable performances."

Ralph L. Collins Memorial Lecture Series

The Collins Lecture Series brings some of the finest theater artists and scholars to Indiana University. The series is named for Ralph Collins (1907-1963), who was a distinguished member of the IU faculty.

Collins was born in Eclectic, Ala. and was 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 IU, 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, Collins was principally interested in the area of theater and drama and published articles on this topic in the publications Modern Language Notes, Philosophical Quarterly, Theatre Annual and University of Kansas Review. For many years, he taught undergraduate courses on modern drama and 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 not merely 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.