Waite to speak as part of 2003-04 Walton Series

Release Date: 8/19/2003

Clarksville, Ark. ---Former Beirut hostage Terry Waite will speak at the University of Ozarks on April 20, 2004, as part of the 2003-04 Walton Arts & Ideas Series.

The theme for the upcoming season will be "A Tour of the British Isles" and will include six events throughout the year, ending with an appearance by Waite, who served as the Archbishop's Envoy to Beirut in the mid-1980s. He gained international recognition after being held hostage for almost five years, including four years in solitary confinement.

In 1987, while negotiating the release of hostages in Beirut, Waite was himself taken hostage. In captivity for 1,763 days, he was chained to a wall, often left in darkness, beaten and subjected to mock executions. Since his release, Waite has tirelessly devoted his time to humanitarian efforts throughout the world.

In his lectures,Waite gives audiences a perspective of world affairs founded on open communication, cooperation and a deep understanding of diverse cultures. He is the author of "Taken on Trust," and "Footfalls in Memory: Reflections from Solitude," both of which recount his experiences in captivity.

The WAIS season begins on Oct. 14 with an appearance by Martha Hannah, a Medieval "teller of tales who will take you back to an earlier time by weaving a vivid verbal picture of Medieval history, fantasy and ghost stories in an entertaining and educational show for the whole family."

On Nov. 11, Red Priest, a Baroque music group takes the stage. The musical comedy group The Scholars of London will perform on Dec. 5. The series continues on Feb. 17 with a performance from the unique Shakespeare troupe, Shakespeare off the Shelf. On March 18, the Irish band and step dance group Banish Misfortune will perform.

Individual tickets are $10 each and season tickets are $50 for all six events. Individuals, couples and businesses can also join Friends of the Arts, an organization dedicated to supporting the arts in Johnson County. For more information on the 2003-04 Walton Arts & Ideas Series, please contact director Ginny Sain at 479-979-1346.