STEUBENVILLE – With credits to his name, including movies “Stage Beauty” and “Casanova” stage productions of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and “Ella” and TV show episodes “Colombo” and “The Mentalist,” Jeffrey Paul Hatcher has extensive writing experience.
He will share this knowledge of his craft with residents of the Tri-State area on Nov. 2 when the Herald-Star Speaker Series, presented by Eastern Gateway Community College, continues.
Hatcher, a Steubenville native and 1976 graduate of Wintersville High School, will speak at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Indian Creek High School.
“We are delighted with this year’s presentation,” said Ross Gallabrese, editor of the Herald-Star and Weirton Daily Times. “Jeff has a lot of experience writing for film, stage and television. It will be able to offer an inside look at the industry as well as an overview of some of the films that have been made in our region.
The location of the presentation is also important.
“We are proud to be able to present the lecture series at the new Indian Creek High School,” said Gallabrese, a classmate of Hatcher. “The auditorium is a state-of-the-art facility, and we are delighted to be doing one of the first presentations there. It was great working with Indian Creek Superintendent TC Chappelear and Assistant Superintendent John Belt.
Hatcher’s works have been performed on Broadway, off Broadway and locally in the United States and around the world. The son of the late Virginia and Paul Hatcher transitioned from acting to writing shortly after graduating in theater and film in 1980 from Dennison University.
His work for the stage includes adapting the bestselling book “Tuesdays with Morrie,” which he wrote with the book’s author, Mitch Albom; “Complete beauty of the female scene”, which he adapted to the cinema “Scene beauty”, which starred Claire Danes and Billy Crudup; “Three viewings;” “She”, the musical biography of jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald; “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde;” and “Holmes and Watson”. His film credits include “Casanova” which starred Sienna Miller and Heath Ledger; “Mr. Holmes”, which starred Ian McKellen; and “Good Liar” which starred Helen Mirren and McKellen.
Hatcher’s TV credits include episodes of “Colombo” and “The Mentalist” and the TV movie “Murder at the Cannes Film Festival.”
He never really lost the desire to act either and returned to the stage in several productions, including “Jeffrey Hatcher’s Hamlet” a one-man show about preparing to adapt, directing and acting in his fifth-year production of “Hamlet” at the old Stark Elementary School.
“It’s a smart and funny show that stays far from complacency”, Eric Ringham wrote for Minnesota Public Radio in a 2014 profile.
Among his recent works was a collaborative adaptation of the film noir classic “Largo key.” Hatcher and Andy Garcia co-wrote an update that brought the story full circle – it first appeared on stage in 1939 before being adapted into the iconic 1948 film version starring Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart. Garcia played Johnny Rocco in the Los Angeles stage production in 2019.
“(The) adaptation leans heavily on modern parallels, creating a parable of the small versus the mighty and a sense of helplessness in the face of cowardly greed and power,” Maureen Lee Lenker wrote in her November 22, 2019 review for Entertainment Weekly.
Hatcher’s work has won numerous awards. These include the 2013 IVEY Lifetime Achievement Award, Charles MacArthur Fellowship Award, Barrymore Award for Best New Play for “A Picasso” and the LA Critics Award for Best Adaptation for “Cousin Bette.” He is a member or almunus of the Playwrights Center, Dramatists Guild, Writer’s Guild and New Dramatists.
“Jeff Hatcher will bring a local touch to our series” says Gallabrese. “We are sure it will be a special night.”
Hatcher’s presentation will be the 12th in the series, which dates back to Nov. 14, 2012, when former Secret Service agent Clint Hill and author Lisa McCubbin spoke. Other speakers included Tony and Jonna Mendez, Capt. Richard Phillips, Retired Air Force Col. Mark Tillman, Rebekah Gregory, Mark Geist, Jeanine Pirro, Retired Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden, John Quinones, Matthew Charles and Eddie Olczyk.
Tickets will be available starting Monday at the Herald-Star office, 401 Herald Square, Steubenville. The cost is $25 for a general admission ticket. Tickets are also available at heraldstaronline.com and weirtondailytimes.com.
A VIP package is available that includes admission to a private reception to be held from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Gaslite Restaurant at 820 Canton Road in Wintersville. This package includes a meet-and-greet with Hatcher, transportation to and from school, and preferred seats for the presentation. The price is $125 for a couple and $75 for a single ticket.
For more information on tickets and VIP package availability, contact Diana Brown at the Herald-Star at (740) 283-4711.
Area high school and college students will have the opportunity to attend the presentation for free, thanks to the support of area sponsors.
Joining the Herald-Star and Weirton Daily Times as sponsors of the presentation are Eastern Gateway Community College, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Main Street Bank, Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce and WTRF-TV.
Special support is provided by the local Indian Creek School District, Em-Media, Gaslite and the Steel Valley Regional Transit Authority.