Actor John Lithgow speaking April 18 at The University of Akron


Actor John Lithgow is coming to The University of Akron's E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall to talk about "The Power of Story Telling" at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 18.

John Lithgow

The award-winning actor, one-time Akronite, musician, author and arts advocate will offer touching and humorous reflections on story telling as the tie that binds humanity.

Invoking memories of his father, Arthur — who brought the Lithgow family to Akron while he directed a Shakespeare festival at Stan Hywet Hall in Akron and the old Ohio Theatre in Cuyahoga Falls  — Lithgow will trace his roots as an actor and story teller. He may also talk about his work last year on Broadway in "The Columnist," written by David Auburn, the Pulitizer and Tony award-winning son of longtime Akron residents Mark and Sandy Auburn.

Part of the UA Forum Series at E.J. Thomas Hall, Lithgow's presentation is sponsored by UA's Mary Schiller Myers Lecture Series. While in Akron, Lithgow will also work closely with UA students majoring in the performing arts.

Tickets are available in advance and at the door: $10 for general admission; $8 for seniors and UA faculty and staff; and $6 for UA students. Tickets may be purchased from the E.J. Thomas Hall Ticket Office at 330-972-7570,, and all Ticketmaster locations. For more information call 330-972-7570 or visit

More about John Lithgow

John Lithgow was born to the theatre. Son of a retired actress and a father who was both a theatrical producer and director, he moved frequently as a child while his father founded and managed local and college theaters and Shakespeare festivals throughout the Midwest of the United States — including at Stan Hywet Hall in Akron and the old Ohio Theatre in Cuyahoga Falls.

Not until Lithgow was 16, and his father became head of the McCarter Theater in Princeton, N.J., did the family settle down. But for Lithgow, the theater was still not a career. He won a scholarship to Harvard University, where he finally caught the acting bug (and found a wife). Harvard was followed by a Fulbright scholarship to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

Returning from London, his rigorous dramatic training stood him in good stead, and a distinguished career on Broadway gave him one Tony Award for "The Changing Room," a second nomination in 1985 for "Requiem For a Heavyweight" and a third in 1988 for "M. Butterfly."

In 1982, Lithgow's life started in a new direction: the movies. He received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Roberta Muldoon in "The World According to Garp." A second Oscar nomination followed for "Terms of Endearment" (1983), and he met a UCLA economics professor who became his second wife.

As the decade of the 1990s came around, he found that he was spending too much time on location, and another career move brought him to television in the hugely successful series "3rd Rock from the Sun" (1996).

Media contact: Cyndee Snider, 330-972-5196 or