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February 13, 2008


New York, February 13, 2008 – Award-winning Broadway and film director Arthur Penn will present the “David Dortort Lecture in the Dramatic Arts: Stage, Film and Television” 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 26, in the Great Hall of The City College of New York (CCNY).

Professor Jerry W. Carlson, Coordinator of Critical Studies in the Film & Video Program at CCNY and an Emmy-nominated Senior Producer for CUNY-TV, will host the event, which is free and open to the public.

In a conversation with Professor Carlson, Mr. Penn will talk about his life and work.  

David Dortort, a 1936 City College graduate and the creator and screenwriter of such television classics as “Bonanza” and “The High Chaparral,” endowed The Dortort Lecture in 2005. The annual lectures bring to CCNY the most creative and talented writers, directors and other artists from stage, film and television.  Mr. Dortort’s wish was to provide thought-provoking insights on the media, the creative process and artistic and political issues.

About Arthur Penn

A World War II veteran, Mr. Penn made his Broadway directorial debut in January 1958 with “Two for the Seesaw,” which ran for almost two years, followed by “The Miracle Worker” in 1959, which earned him a Tony Award. His productions of “Toys in the Attic”and “All the Way Home” (both 1960) received New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards. Mr. Penn’s film directing credits include: “The Miracle Worker” (1962) and “Bonnie and Clyde” (1967), both of which earned him Oscar nominations for best director, and “Alice’s Restaurant” (1969), for which he was nominated for best screenplay.  Prior to Broadway and Hollywood, Mr. Penn worked in television. He started as a floor manager and associate director for NBC and notably directed “Gulf Playhouse: First Person,” and numerous episodes of “Philco Television Playhouse,” “Producers’ Showcase” and “Playhouse 90.” Mr. Penn was born in Philadelphia and grew up in New Hampshire, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

About David Dortort, ’36

Mr. Dortort was the creator, writer and executive producer of “Bonanza,” one of the longest-running primetime dramatic series in television history, lasting 14 years. He also created, wrote and produced “The High Chaparral,” the first primetime series to feature Latino characters in starring roles. Mr. Dortort’s film credits include “The Lusty Men,” “Reprisal,” “Cry in the Night,” “The Big Land,” and “Clash by Night.” He received the Motion Picture and Television Foundation’s Golden Boot Award for Distinguished Work in Western Films and Television in 1999. 

About Professor Jerry W. Carlson

Professor Carlson is a specialist in narrative theory, global independent film, and the cinemas of the Americas. In addition to his position at CCNY, he is a member of the doctoral faculty in the Ph.D. Programs in French and Film Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center. Highly regarded as a producer, director and writer, he received an Emmy nomination as senior producer for City University Television (CUNY-TV).  He is creator and producer of the series, “City Cinematheque” on film history, “Canape” on French-American cultural relations, and “Nueva York”on the Latino cultures of New York City.  As an independent producer, his work includes the Showtime Network production “Dirt” and “Looking for Palladin.”

About The City College of New York

For more than 160 years, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Over 14,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; The School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture (SAUDLA); The School of Education; The Grove School of Engineering, and The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. For additional information, visit

For more information on Arthur Penn’s David Dortort Lecture at CCNY, please call the Office of Development and Institutional Advancement, (212) 650-7693.  CCNY is located at 138th Street and Convent Avenue, Manhattan.