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The King’s Speech to Be Screened, Discussed on Campus

The 12-time Academy Award-nominated film The King’s Speech will be screened on campus for Emerson students, faculty, and staff on Thursday, March 3. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Emerson faculty from several disciplines, who will address the “art and science of speech therapy.”

The panelists are Professor and Chair Daniel Kempler and Associate Professor Amit Bajaj from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Assistant Professor Diane Lake and Scholar-in-Residence Kenneth Feil from the Department of Visual and Media Arts, and Scholar-in-Residence and speech coach Amelia Broome from the Department of Performing Arts. Janis Andersen, dean of the School of Communication, will host and moderate the event.

“The film is really about the intersection of everything that is Emerson, from performing arts to film to communication sciences and disorders,” said Kempler. He is hopeful the film will bring about awareness of the communication disorders field. “Even on our own campus, many students don’t know about our clinic [The Robbins Center], where disorders like the one portrayed in the film are treated. Hopefully, The King’s Speech will help change things like that.”

The King’s Speech is about King George VI of England, played by Colin Firth, who suffers from a debilitating speech impediment. After enduring a number of failed attempts at rehabilitation, the king’s wife, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), arranges for her husband to see an unconventional speech therapist, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). The film portrays the relationship between the therapist and his client as they work to overcome the king’s disorder.

Panelist Lake, an award-winning screenwriter, says of the film, “I think we like to see and hear stories about people who overcome adversity. It encourages us in our own lives that when bad things happen, maybe we can do something about them.”

The film screening was arranged by Emerson Trustee Steven Samuels, a Boston real estate developer and film producer whose credits include the critically acclaimed film Michael Clayton (2007).

The King’s Speech will be shown from 6:30–8:30 pm in the Bright Family Screening Room at the Paramount Center, 559 Washington Street. The panel will begin immediately afterward. Admission is free but tickets are required.

Tickets are being distributed in advance to students and faculty in the three departments participating in the panel discussion: Visual and Media Arts, Communication Sciences and Disorders, and Performing Arts. A limited number of tickets will be available to other students, faculty, and staff the evening of the event on a first-come, first-served basis. Those seeking tickets should come to the lobby of the screening room by 6:10 pm on March 3 and present a valid Emerson ID card.

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