Freedom of Expression: What Does it Mean in Today’s World?
Ms. Alexander looks at the complications of First Amendment Rights in the media, in public places and on the internet. Drawing on her years in Washington D.C. and her many controversial roles on stage, television and in the movies, Ms. Alexander offers an insightful and witty perspective on the issue of freedom of expression.
The Creative Mind
Focusing her keen intellect and expertise on the importance of arts education for today’s schools, Ms. Alexander explains the importance of fine arts in academic achievement.
Ending the War on Wildlife
We are in the midst of a mass extinction; as many as 50% of all land and marine species could be gone by 2100. Unlike other extinctions in Earth’s history the blame for this one points squarely at us. Climate change is altering landscapes and warming the oceans. Human beings continue to plunder species for wildlife trafficking in body parts; we desecrate lands and seas for the insatiable demands of a growing population; we repudiate the word of scientists for political and economic gains and in our arrogance we have lost our connectedness to the earth itself. We are as predatory as any species we have ever feared. But we humans are also the most adaptable, the most emphatic and the most ingenious creatures on the planet. We are at a crossroads and how we move forward will affect everything for the generations that follow us. Fortunately we are living in the great age of technological wizardry. Can we turn things around? How do we do it? Jane Alexander discusses the problems and possible solutions in this provocative lecture.
Jane Alexander's distinguished acting career includes her Tony Award-winning performance in The Great White Hope directed by Ed Sherin and Tony-nominated roles in Honour, The Sisters Rosensweig, The Visit, First Monday in October, Find Your Way Home, and 6 Rms Riv Vu, all on Broadway. In addition, she received a Drama Desk and Theatre World Award for The Great White Hope, and an Obie for The Sisters Rosensweig. She also appeared in Shadowlands opposite Nigel Hawthorne, both on Broadway and in London's West End. Her regional theatre work includes performances at Arena Stage and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., as well as at the Mark Taper Forum, Alliance Theatre Company, McCarter Theatre, and American Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford Connecticut. She has appeared in over 100 stage roles throughout her career.
A four-time Oscar nominee for the films Testament, Kramer vs. Kramer, All The President's Men, and The Great White Hope, she has also appeared in over 50 screen roles; among them being Brubaker, City Heat and The Cider House Rules. Ms. Alexander was also seen in the feature films: Fur with Nicole Kidman, directed by Steven Shainberg, The Ring, and John Sayles' The Sunshine State.
On television, Jane won an Emmy Award for the movie Playing for Time and a Television Critic's Circle Award for her portrayal of Eleanor Roosevelt in Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years. She was in the tele-film Jenifer on CBS, which was directed by her son, Jace Alexander. Jane received a Daytime Emmy nomination for her cameo role in Showtime's film Carry Me Home also directed by Jace Alexander. Ms. Alexander received the Emmy Award for 'Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie' for her portrayal of Sara Roosevelt in HBO's Warm Springs.
Ms. Alexander had attended her share of protest marches in the 1960s and 1970s, but she had never been involved in mainstream politics and was happily engaged in her acting career when she was asked to consider becoming head of the ever-embattled National Endowment for the Arts. Ms. Alexander's NEA tenure coincided with the ascent of the Gingrich Congress and its attempt to sabotage arts funding. In her book, Command Performance: An Actress In The Theatre of Politics, Ms. Alexander describes these years, offering a sharp and sometimes hilarious take on those sometimes surreal days, and a gimlet-eyed portrait of Washington at work, play, and cocktail receptions.
Active in wildlife conservation for decades, Ms. Alexander received the Indianapolis Prize’s inaugural Jane Alexander Global Wildlife Ambassador Award in 2012. She has served as a Trustee of the Wildlife Conservation Society and as a founding board member of the American Bird Conservancy. She currently serves as a Commissioner of New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the Taconic Region, and on the board of the National Audubon Society. Ms. Alexander is also a member of Panthera’s Conservation Council.
Ms. Alexander is married to director and producer Ed Sherin, and lives in the country north of New York City.