• 61°

Oscar winner featured in distance learning at Fairland

ROME TOWNSHIP — It’s been a career noted for its vast ranges of characters from playing Blanche Barrow, sidekick to Faye Dunaway’s Bonnie in “Bonnie and Clyde” to Roseanne’s dipsomaniacal mom on the television show of the same name.

Now Fairland High drama students will get a chance to interview Oscar winner Estelle Parsons via a distance learning class on Tuesday.

Currently Parsons, who has been nominated for four Tony awards, is playing the matriarch Violet West in Steppenwolf’s “August: Osage County.”

The play took four Tonys in 2008, winning best play, best direction, best scenic design and best lighting design.

Parsons is heading up the national touring cast of the play that delves into the dysfunctional Weston family stuck on the plains of modern day, middle class Oklahoma.

This will be the third distance learning class to allow Fairland High students to learn from prominent actors, who are appearing at the Playhouse Square in Cleveland.

“Last year we met actor Stacy Keach and we had a great conversation back and forth with him,” Fairland High drama teacher Tara Samson said. “We had such a great experience, we wanted to do it again. It is doubly great to be able to talk with Estelle Parsons.”

Students also got to participate in a distance learning conversation with Tom Hanks, who was at the playhouse last year.

For those students not familiar with the play, Samson has had them watch segments of it that are featured on You Tube.

“We have some aspiring actors and this is a really great opportunity for them,” she said.

The host for the interview will be Colleen Porter, director of arts education at the Playhouse Square. Other schools participating with Fairland will be Berea, Lorain Admiral King, Jackson and MidPark high school.