UNCG alumnus in Best Picture Oscar winner

by Mike Harris, UNCG University Relations

The film “Twelve Years A Slave” received the Best Picture award at the 2014 Academy Awards Sunday evening.
Chris Chalk, a 2001 alumnus of UNCG Theatre, is featured in the film.
He plays the character Clemens Ray, who was included in a clip compilation of great movie scenes about an hour into the telecast.
The actor spoke of some of his gut-wrenching "Twelve Years a Slave" scenes in a recent LA Times article.
Chalk’s screen acting career so far has included such productions as Showtime’s “Homeland,” HBO’s “The Newsroom” and the film “Rent.” He won a Theatre World Award for his Broadway debut in “Fences.”
He returns to UNCG on occasion to conduct master classes and speak with students.
UNCG Theatre Professor Michael Flannery - who as a UNCG graduate student was a cast mate of Chalk's and later taught him in a class - was pulling hard for his fellow alumnus and the film. He explains that Chalk was "such a vital part of the theatre department when he was in school." He adds that in the years since, "He's been a great friend to the school."

The Oscar-winning movie is based on the historical 1853 narrative “Twelve Years a Slave,” which UNCG professor Dr. Noelle Morrissette spoke about in a recent article. In the narrative, Solomon Northup writes of being a free man from New York state taken hostage and sold into slavery, where he labors and survives under brutal conditions for 12 years in Louisiana. His freedom is finally restored.

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