Actor, Playwright, Alumnus to Donate Papers and Perform Popular One-Man Scripts

Laurence Luckinbill.
Photo Submitted

Laurence Luckinbill.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Actor, playwright and University of Arkansas alumnus Laurence Luckinbill is returning to campus as a McIlroy Family Visiting Professor in Performing and Visual Arts. During his weeklong stay, the donation of his papers to the University of Arkansas Libraries will be celebrated, and Luckinbill will bring two historic personalities to life on stage.

The Libraries will celebrate the acquisition of Luckinbill’s personal and professional papers with a press conference and reception at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, June 18, in the Helen Robson Walton Reading Room in Mullins Library at the University of Arkansas.

Guest speakers include Luckinbill; Carolyn Henderson Allen, dean of Libraries; and Timothy G. Nutt, interim head of special collections.

After Luckinbill’s collection is processed, it will be open to researchers in the special collections department in Mullins Library.

“The Luckinbill papers document the varied acting and writing career of an Arkansas native,” said Nutt. “From Broadway to Star Trek to one-man shows, Luckinbill has honed his craft while becoming one of the most respected names in the industry. His 40-plus year career is well-documented in his personal and professional papers through correspondence, photographs, props, and even an action-figure, among other materials. The University of Arkansas Libraries is proud to be the home to this prestigious collection. Once organized, the collection will provide researchers, scholars and future thespians a view into the actor’s studio.”

Luckinbill was born in Fort Smith. He graduated from the department of drama in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences in 1955 and earned a master of fine arts in playwriting from the Catholic University of America in 1958. He was a Tony nominee for The Shadow Box and a recipient of the New York Critics Circle Award for The Memory Box. Luckinbill works extensively as an actor, writer and director for the stage and screen. His humorous, complex and heartfelt one-man scripts examine the lives of iconic men whose challenges and struggles are as relevant today as when they lived. A graduate of the department of drama, Luckinbill currently tours the world in his award-winning solo performances portraying Lyndon Johnson, Clarence Darrow, Theodore Roosevelt and Ernest Hemingway. He has been writing and acting in such performances portraying great Americans for almost two decades. 

On Friday, June 22, he will present Clarence Darrow Tonight!, about the celebrated attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union who fought for civil rights, decent working conditions and the abolition of the death penalty. The performance is at 7:30 p.m. in the University Theatre and will be followed by a talkback with Luckinbill.

He will also perform Teddy Tonight!, one of his favorite and most famous works, based on the life and adventures of President Theodore Roosevelt. The performance is at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, at the University Theatre. It will be followed by a reception including remarks and presentation of the McIlroy Professor medallion by Fulbright College Dean Robin Roberts.

Each performance is $5. Free tickets are available for University of Arkansas students with a valid university ID. Summer passes, allowing patrons admission to all shows, are available for $15. Tickets are available at the University Theatre box office. For ticket information, please call 479-575-4752, email or visit the box office, open weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center.

Free parking is available in the Stadium Drive Parking Facility, where parking is free after 5 p.m. Entrance to the parking facility is on Stadium Drive, and the facility’s elevator will take patrons to Level 4, which is street level directly across from the Fine Arts Building.

Parking for Nadine Baum Studios can be found in lots across from Walton Arts Center on West Avenue, at the corner of West Avenue and Spring Street and behind the Arts Center on School Avenue. Parking rates are $1 per hour.

Luckinbill is the fourth in a series of guest scholars brought to campus this year as McIlroy Family Professors in Performing and Visual Arts endowment. Other McIlroy Professors include Tony Award-nominated writer and director Moisés Kaufman, master of stage combat Bret Yount and casting director Elizabeth Barnes.


Ashley Cohea, business manager, University Theatre
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences

Jennifer Rae Hartman, public relations coordinator
Universities Libraries

Darinda Sharp, director of external affairs and alumni outreach
School of Journalism and Strategic Media


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