A Conversation at Ten Chimneys with Television and Film Director John Erman ~ May 16th, 2015

SATURDAY, MAY 16th | 7pm

Remember the days of Dr. Michael Rossi and Catherine Peyton of the series whose title became synonymous with “drama” … Peyton Place?! Or perhaps you recall the antics of the novice nun Sister Bertrille as she exasperated her Mother Superior in The Flying Nun? Stories of these classic episodes and more will be part of our Conversation at Ten Chimneys with television and film director John Erman.

Mr. Erman will begin the evening with an overview of the history of American theatre, including The Fabulous Lunts and the role they played in advancing theatre on the American stage. He will then sit down for an intimate conversation reminiscing on his long and successful career directing the crème-de-la-crème of Hollywood.

Mr. Erman is an Emmy Award-winning television and film director, actor and producer. He directed the miniseries Roots, as well as numerous hit primetime television series, including Peyton Place, The Fugitive, The Outer Limits, Stoney Burke, Ben Casey, My Favorite Martian, That Girl, The Flying Nun, Marcus Welby, M.D., Star Trek, and many others.

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At 24 he became head of Television Casting at 20th Century Fox. The turning point in his career came when he was asked to direct the first "off Broadway" production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at the Player's Ring Theater in West Hollywood. The play proved to be a huge success with the result that he now found himself highly acclaimed as a comedy director.

It was while directing the television comedies My Favorite Martian and That Girl that he was hired to direct the series, Peyton Place. With a preference for drama over comedy, he then went on to direct Marcus Welby, M.D.

Then came Green Eyes, a film which starred Paul Winfield and Rita Tushingham. This earned him the Humanitas Prize and the opportunity to direct Roots, for which he won an Emmy nomination as best Director, and the first of his Director's Guild Awards.

Also to his credit are several more productions such as the Emmy-nominated Moviola; The Letter; Eleanor, First Lady of the World; and Roots - The Next Generations. He directed Who Will Love My Children starring Ann-Margaret, which earned him an Emmy for Best Director as well as the first of his Christopher Awards and also won its star a Golden Globe together with an Emmy nomination. After that, they went on to do many more films together. Those films included A Streetcar Named Desire, which won him yet another Emmy nomination as Best Director and Ann-Margaret another Golden Globe; The Two Mrs. Grenvilles, which was nominated for an Emmy in the Best Picture category, and which also starred the legendary Claudette Colbert; Our Sons, his second movie tackling Aids, in which Ann-Margaret's co-stars were Julie Andrews and Hugh Grant; Queen, with Halle Berry and Danny Golver; and Scarlett with Julie Harris and John Gielgud - an 8 hour miniseries for CBS.

Mr. Erman's work with Gina Rowlands and Sylvia Disney in An Early Frost and with Mary Steenburgen and Paul Scofield in The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank added yet more awards. An Early Frost won Mr. Erman his second Director's Guild Award and his fourth Emmy nomination for Best Director. It also received an Emmy nomination for Best Picture. The Attic, which was also nominated for an Emmy as Best Picture, earned its director the Peabody Award together with his second Christopher Award.

Since then, John Erman has gone on to direct Bernadette Peters in David, Bette Midler and John Goodman in Stella, Mary Tyler Moore and Bernadette Peters in The Last Best Year, Tyne Daly in The Last to Go, and Louis Gossett Jr. and Bruce Dern in Carolina Skeletons. He directed Joanne Woodward and James Garner in the Hallmark Hall of Fame adaption of Anne Tyler's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Breathing Lessons and Nathan Lane, Mare Winningham, and Tony Goldwyn in The Boys Next Door.

He has done three mini series for CBS, including Only Love with Marisa Tomei and Rob Morrow, Doris Duke Story with Lauren Bacall and Richard Chamberlain, and Victoria and Albert with Nigel Hawthorne, Diana Rigg, and Jonathan Pryce. Mr. Erman completed his fourth film for the Hallmark Hall of Fame, The Blackwater Lightship, starring Angela Lansbury and Dianne West.

In addition, he has also returned to his first love - the theatre. He directed Under the Blue Sky at the Williamstown Festival. It starred Vera Farmiga, Marsha Mason, and Tate Donovan.

Mr. Erman teaches at NYU and Fordham University.


What is Ten Chimneys?

Ten Chimneys, the estate lovingly created by theatre legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, is open to the public as a world-class house museum with a progressive mission to serve the arts.

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