Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Tucson: Arizona Theatre Company Offers Free Symposium on ALS


From: Arizona Theatre Company [mailto:aztheatreco@aztheatreco.pmailus.com]
Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2006 2:34 PM
Subject: Arizona Theatre Company Offers Free Symposium on ALS

Sent by: Arizona Theatre Company

For Immediate Release

April 18, 2006

Media Contact: April Brown, 520.884.8210 x 8505

ATC Offering Free Symposium on ALS

Panelists to discuss Lou Gehrig's Disease as seen in ATC's production of
Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie

Arizona Theatre Company is pleased to offer a free symposium on Amyotrophic
Lateral Sclerosis, referred to as ALS, on Saturday, May 6, 2006 from 5:00
p.m. - 6:00p.m. at the Temple of Music and Art near downtown Tucson. The
symposium will take the form of a panel discussion with artists from Mitch
Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie, an ALS patient and the Executive Director of
the ALS Association's Arizona Chapter. Audience questions will also be
incorporated. The panel will be moderated by ATC's Tucson Education
Coordinator Julie Vance and will include:

Mark Chamberlin who portrays Mitch Albom in Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with
Morrie. Mr. Chamberlin has returned to ATC where he was last seen in The
Heidi Chronicles. On Broadway he created the role of William in 84 Charing
Cross Road, co-starring with Ellen Burstyn. Mr. Chamberlin has a personal
experience with ALS, as his best friend (and fellow ATC guest artist) Bob
Nadir died of the disease in 2002.

"I know that my time with Bob, and now my time with Morrie, will always be
some of the richest and most rewarding times of my life," said Chamberlin.
"I think about Bob everyday. I am so happy to be able to honor our
friendship by being in this play."

Mr. Chamberlin is currently serving in his fifth year as president of the
board of the ALS Association's Evergreen Chapter in Washington State.

Samantha K. Wyer is directing this production of Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with
Morrie. Ms. Wyer is in her seventh season at ATC where she serves as the
associate artistic director and education director. Previously at ATC, Ms.
Wyer directed A Moon for the Misbegotten, Proof, Wit, Secret Things by
Elaine Romero and staged readings of Daddy--the Myth, Psychic Fare and Neon
Lights and Red Seats for the Latino/Native American Playwright Mentorship
Program. Ms. Wyer will discuss the challenges of translating the reality of
ALS to the stage.

Elayne Achilles, Ed.D. is the Executive Director of the ALS Association's
Arizona Chapter and a Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University. Ms.
Achilles will take a philosophical approach to address the issue of how
people struck with a fatal illness, such as ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) find
meaning in life. She will contribute knowledge as a caregiver of a person
who died of ALS, knowledge of the disease process, and experience with grief
and renewal.

Nancy Byler was diagnosed with ALS in March 2004. She retired from the
College of Southern Idaho in May 2004 where she taught geography and geology
for 12 years. Nancy participates in a clinical trial at the nationally
certified ALS Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. Nancy's uncle died of
ALS, and genetic testing determined that she has a rare form of ALS known as
"familial" ALS. Her family has enrolled in the Emory University genetic
study along with about 2000 others who are part of a family who have the
genetic mutation that may lead to ALS. Nancy is an active member of the ALS
Association Arizona Chapter, serving on the Patient Services Committee.

The symposium is open to the public regardless of whether they have seen the
production. There are two shows on the day of the symposium, one at 2:00
p.m. and another at 8:00 p.m.

For information on tickets for the Tucson run of Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with
Morrie, call (520) 622-2823 or visit www.arizonatheatre.org

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