“It’s all because of football,” says Steven Wallace, director of the University of Houston School of Theatre & Dance. Two years ago he was at a UH-UCLA game in Los Angeles and met actor Brett Cullen, a UH alum. From that relationship, Wallace was connected to Dennis Quaid, Robert Wuhl and eventually Cindy Pickett — all alumni of UH’s theater program. Today all three are coming back to UH for An Afternoon with the Artists, a benefit for the Cecil J. Pickett Scholarship Fund.
Cecil J. Pickett, Cindy Pickett’s father, was, of course, the much-admired UH theater professor (and one of the directors at the Houston Shakespeare Festival). He died in 1997, after having taught at UH from 1970 to 1988 and before that at Bellaire High School and Houston Baptist University. Besides the actors’ reminiscences, Wallace, who also became the producing artistic director of the Houston Shakespeare Festival last year, hopes the Houston community and students will attend and that people who knew Cecil Pickett will come to the mike and share their stories.
“He was really ahead of his time,” Wallace says. “The students who studied under him were the ones who went out and were able to get jobs. There’s some success there. I want to celebrate that. I want our students to understand that just because you’re not in L.A. or you’re not in New York has nothing to do with success or your potential of success.” 1 p.m. lobby reception, 1:30 p.m. presentation with moderator Ernie Manouse in the University of Houston Wortham Theatre, Entrance 16 off Cullen Boulevard. For information, call 713-743-2929 or visit www.uh.edu. $20 to $60.
Sat., April 14, 1 p.m., 2012