Following in the footsteps of such actresses as Jessica Tandy, Vivien Leigh, Natasha Richardson, Dixie Carter and Nicole Ari Parker, Tennessee-born actress Elaine Hendrix, perhaps best known for her many film and television roles, takes on the challenge of becoming one of Tennessee Williams' most enduring Southern heroines, Blanche DuBois, in the University of North Alabama's Summer Theatre 2012 production of A Streetcar Named Desire, opening this Thursday night, June 28, and continuing through July 8.
Directed by two-time Tony Award nominee Randal Myler (for Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical for Ain't Nothin' But the Blues), the cast also includes Broadway veteran Myk Watford in the role of Stanley Kowalski. The production is part of the University's Summer Theatre program, which gives UNA's Department of Music and Theatre students integrated opportunities with professional actors.
A Streetcar Named Desire runs from June 28 until July 8 at UNA's George S. Lindsey Theater. Evening show times are June 28 to 30 and July 5 to 7 at 7:30 p.m. Matinee performances are set for June 30 and July 1 and 8 at 2 p.m.
"One of the priorities of Summer Theater is to bring in professional actors for our students to work with," said UNA theater faculty Charlton James. "[Hendrix] is someone for our students to look up to, and she is appealing to the audience because many people have seen the movies she has been in. She has been wonderful to work with, and, at the same time, students are networking and making connections with professionals."
With more than 100 film, television and stage credits under her belt, Hendrix is perhaps best known for her role as opportunistic, scheming fiancée Meredith Blake in the 1998 Disney remake of The Parent Trap. She has also been cast in countless movies such as Inspector Gadget 2, SNL's Superstar, What the Bleep Do We Know!? and the cult classic Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion. Her television projects include Castle, The Mentalist, Criminal Minds, NCIS: Los Angeles, CSI: Miami, Rules of Engagement, 90210 and two years on the critically acclaimed CBS series Joan of Arcadia, among many others. She will soon appear alongside Janeane Garofolo and Larry Miller in the film General Education, which is set for an August release.
The Tennessee-bred (she was born in Oak Ridge) and Los Angeles-living star remains just as active offstage as on by devoting her free time ensuring humane care and treatment of neglected or abused animals as co-founder of the nonprofit organization Animal Rescue Corps.
Hendrix is also an annual Honorary Committee Member of the Genesis Awards, presented by The Humane Society of the United States, and she received the Guardian Award at the National Animal Rights Conference for her work on behalf of animals. She has also received numerous other awards and honors for both her humanitarian and acting work, including two Telly Awards (one for her work on Pets 90210), two film festival Best Actress awards and the Founder's Award at the Secret City Film Festival.
Tickets for A Streetcar Named Desire are on sale in the UNA Department of Music and Theatre office or Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts. For further details, call (256) 765-5500 or visit the website at www.una.edu/summertheatre.