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Bill Hillman

(1922-1999)

Bill Hillman, for many years a prominent news broadcaster specializing in science and cultural affairs, who served as national president of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and as a trustee of AFTRA's health & retirement funds, died Aug. 3 of congestive heart failure at Marin General Hospital in Marin County, Calif. He was 76.

A member of AFTRA since 1948, Hillman was a long-time vice president of the 80,000-member union of performers and broadcasters before being elected AFTRA's president, a post he held from 1979 to 1984. He also served on the national board for more than 30 years. During his five-year tenure as president, AFTRA's membership grew from 41,000 to over 66,000. Hillman also held every elected office in the union's San Francisco local, including four terms as president.

In 1984, he received AFTRA's highest honor, the George Heller Memorial Gold Card, awarded for "distinguished service to AFTRA and its members." Hillman was a leading architect of the AFTRA health & retirement funds which, due in part to his vision and leadership, are now among the most progressive employee benefits programs in the broadcast/entertainment industry. A former chairman of the funds, he served as a trustee from 1979 until his death.

Hillman was born in Rexburg, Idaho, on Dec. 10, 1922, and began his broadcasting career at KIDO, Boise, in 1942. During World War II, he was a first lieutenant assigned to the Army Signal Corps Signal Intelligence as a cryptanalyst. Following the war, he returned to California where he was affiliated with radio and television stations in Oakland, Vallejo, and San Francisco. He joined the staff of KPIX-TV, San Francisco, in 1953 as an announcer and was a news broadcaster with that station until his retirement in 1992. From 1957 to 1973, Hillman also served as Northern California correspondent for the United States Information Agency. His reports were heard throughout the world on the Voice of America.

No funeral services are planned, but a memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Aug. 21, in the Golden Gate Room, Fort Mason, San Francisco. Contributions in Hillman's memory may be made to: The Bill Hillman Television Archive Fund, San Francisco State University (SFSU), c/o Carole Hayashino, 1600 Holloway Ave., San Francisco, CA 94132, (415) 338-1042. Credit card donations are accepted.

Off The Wire...

EAST COAST-New York's Spanish language theatre company Repertorio Espa˜ol is seeking full-length plays in English or Spanish focusing on subjects about the Hispanic experience and/or of interest to the Hispanic community for its "Nuestras Voces" playwriting competition. The deadline is Sept. 15. Entrants must be at least 18 years old. Scripts must be unproduced (meaning Equity production and not reviewed). First place will receive $3,000 and a full production. (212) 889-2850.

SOUTHWEST-The Utah Shakespearean Festival's 1999 new play series will feature John D. and James A. Bell's Autumn in the Valley, Ann Chamberlin's The Lamentable Tragedy of Sir Thomas More, Paavo Hall's E Pluribus Anarchy, and Jonathan Graham's Disputed Bones, through Sept. 3. (435) 586-7880.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST-Seattle's Theatre Schmeater will present the eighth annual "free classics in the park" production of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, Aug. 20-22 in Volunteer Park, Aug. 27-Sept. 5 in Gasworks Park, and Sept. 10-19 in Warren Magnuson Park. (206) 324-5801 or www.schmeater.org.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA-San Jos Repertory Theatre has announced its 1999-2000 season, which will include Tom Dudzick's Over the Tavern, Eugene O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms, Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker, John PiRoman's Sons of Don Juan, Hugh Leonard's Love in the Title, and Emily Mann's adaptation of Amy Hill Hearth's Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years. (408) 291-2255...

Eleven young actors, ranging in age from 13 to 18 will perform Timothy Mason's Time on Fire, a new play commissioned by the American Conservatory Theater Young Conservatory's New Plays Program, Aug. 21-22 in A.C.T's Hastings Studio Theater in San Francisco. The play follows the lives of a group of New England young people in 1775, caught up in the turbulence of the American Revolutionary War. Admission is free, but reservations are required. (415) 439-2362.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA-Actor Perry King (Melrose Place, Slaughterhouse Five) will kick off "Hollywood Speaks at the Adler," a free series of theatrical seminars, on Aug. 21 at the Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood. King will discuss the economics of the film industry and the actor's daily routine of building a successful career. Future guests slated to appear include James Coburn, Melanie Griffith, and John Ritter. (323) 465-4446...

Los Angeles' Geffen Playhouse has announced that Kathleen Chalfant will reprise her performance as Vivian Bearing in Margaret Edson's Wit (Jan. 18-Feb. 20, 2000) as part of the upcoming season. (310) 208-5454...

The J. Paul Getty Museum, in association with the Center Theater Group/Mark Taper Forum will present the world premiere of Frank Dwyer's The Affliction of Glory: A Comedy About Tragedy, Aug. 19-Sept. 5 at Los Angeles' Getty Center. Directed by Corey Madden, associate artistic director of the Mark Taper Forum, Dwyer's comedy explores the life and art of Sarah Siddons, the celebrated 18th-century British actress whose portrayals of grand victims inspired hysterics and incited riots among fans stricken with "Siddons fever." The play is being presented in conjunction with two related exhibitions, one at the Getty and the other at the Huntington Library. (213) 628-2772...

Santa Ana's Alternative Repertory Theatre has announced its 1999-2000 season, which will include Edward Albee's Three Tall Women, Carolyn Carpenter's Six Random Women, Eugene O'Neill's A Long Day's Journey Into Night, Athol Fugard's Valley Song, and John Patrick Shanley's Psychopathia Sexualis. (714) 836-7929...

Black Artists Network Development Inc. continues its run of Leslie Lee's Ninth Wave through Sept. 12 at the Lillian Theare in Los Angeles. Presented in honor of the 50th anniversary of President Truman's order to desegregate the U.S. military, the play tells the story of two African-American soldiers and their German prisoners in France during WWII. (323) 655-8587...

Georgia Durante, Hollywood stunt-woman and author of The Company She Keeps, is throwing a gala book party to celebrate Women's Equality Day and raise awareness on domestic abuse on Aug. 26 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. All proceeds will go to Haven House, whose mission is to help battered women and children on their way towards a life free of violence and substance abuse. (323) 769-7264...

Santa Monica Playhouse summer stock '99 will present Chris DeCarlo, Evelyn Rudie, and M. Wrather's musical Can'teen: Letters to the Front, Aug. 26-30 at the Santa Monica Playhouse. Set in a USO canteen in 1942, the musical follows the lives, loves, and letters of nine teenagers as they navigate their way through the turmoil of war. (310) 394-9779 ext. 1...

Burbank's Falcon Theatre will present the comedy Heavy Breathing by Scott Carter, executive producer/writer of Politically Incorrect, on Aug. 21. The Falcon will also present Melba Thomas and Muriel Robinson's new musical Goodbye and Good Luck, Aug. 22-23. Based on the story by Grace Paley, the musical takes place on New York's Lower East Side, 1918-1946. (818) 955-8101...

Hollywood's American Cinematheque at the Egyptian will present "Twisted Hollywood Shorts," a showcase of short films on Aug. 24. The films feature Karen Black (Five Easy Pieces), drag superstar Jackie Beat, girl band L7, and Exene Cervenkova of the punk band X. The screening will be followed by a "spirited therapy session" and Q & A with filmmakers and cast members. (323) 461-2020...

Silverlake's Moving Arts has announced the winners of its sixth annual one-act competition. First place went to Matt Pelfrey's Monkey, about a young father who returns home to demand the fulfillment of a childhood promise-a pet monkey-to set his life straight, only to find his own father trying to launch a new religion under a freeway overpass in a desperate attempt to start over. Pelfrey will receive $300 and a full production in Moving Arts' upcoming one-act festival in October. Jeffrey Ewing's The Road Into Town and Richard Sewell's Oakfall won second and third place respectively. (323) 665-8961...

Comedian/actor Brandon Bowlin will present his newest one-man show, Dark, a fusion of comedy, drama, and social commentary, Aug. 23-25 at Los Angeles' Tiffany Theatre. (310) 659-9705...

Highways in Santa Monica will present a benefit reading of Plato's Symposium, devised and directed by David Schweizer in a translation by Paul Schmidt. The play depicts a dinner party where a group of famous men take turns competing with each other to make the best speech about love. Socrates answers them with a rhapsodic monologue tracing the journey to attain absolute beauty. Los Angeles performers Tony Abatemarco and John Fleck, who appeared in the original production and in a touring version in London, return for this performance on Aug. 22. (310) 315-1459...

Sacred Fools in Hollywood will present Lilith Fear, a special presentation on Aug. 21 of the Fools' late-night hit Crime Scene, co-created by the late Danielle Surrette, who passed away on July 1. A send-up of murder mystery, noir, and other genre pieces, Lilith Fear is written, produced, and directed entirely by women. Sacred Fools will also present its open mike, "Ten Tops," the last Monday of every month. Ten acts may sign up for slot of seven minutes each. Every Friday after the mainstage show, Sacred Fools will also present Fool, an improv comedy troupe. (310) 281-8337...

The Matrix Theatre in West Hollywood will present a 30th anniversary engagement of Leonard Gershe's romantic comedy, Butterflies Are Free, which centers on the life of a handsome, young, blind singer-songwriter and stars Randee Heller (Karate Kid, Soap), Aug. 27-Sept. 19. (310) 289-2999...

Actor's Studio teacher Geraldine Baron-who trained with Lee Strasberg, worked with Elia Kazan, Orson Welles, and was casting director for Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope Studios-will host an acting workshop in the Temescal Canyon Retreat Center, Aug. 20-22. (310) 392-3192...

The Whitmore-Lindley Theatre Center in North Hollywood will present Matty: An Evening with Christy Mathewson, starring Eddie Frierson. Proceeds from the Aug. 20 performance will go to benefit Theatre Partnership Fund and the Mathewson Foundation. (818) 761-0704...

Santa Monica Playhouse will present the fifth "one time only" cabaret, featuring Matt Wrather, Chris DeCarlo, and Evelyn Rudie, and a variety of music "from Beck to Bach," Aug. 21-22. (310) 394-9779, ext. 1...

Women's Image Network will present its inaugural Win Femme Film Festival, a screening of short, feature, and documentary films which present a positive female protagonist. The festival will include Paola di Florio's Speaking in Strings and John Putch's Valerie Flake. The festival will also feature an industry panel discussion of executives and writers, and a staged screenplay reading of Paula Brancato's The Wanting. (323) 655-8587...

The Afterglow Theater Co. in Santa Monica will present "the Line Up," a performance showcase featuring a variety of original performances emphasizing self-expression through music, spoken word (with multimedia accompaniment), monologues, and comedy Aug. 21-29. (310) 453-1661...

Lula Washington Dance Theatre will perform on Aug. 21 at Hollywood's John Anson Ford Amphitheater as part of the "Summer Nights at the Ford" outdoor concert series. The show will include Washington's "Mahal dances," set to the music of Taj Mahal. (323) 461-3673...

Malashock Dance & Company will present "Summer Fun," a series of modern dance performances featuring Malashock dancers, Tammy Dunsizer, Ali Fischer, James Healey, Michael Mizerany, and the company's summer workshop students, Aug. 21 at San Diego's Sushi Community Space at the Reincarnation Project. (619) 235-2266...

South Coast Repertory's Summer Players will present John Glore's Wind of a Thousand Tales, a musical play for children on the theatre's Second Stage, Aug. 21-22. (714) 708-5555...

The Write Act Repertory Company will host "Sex à la Carte," a fundraising evening "of lustful food and delicious innuendo"on Aug. 21 at Lush in Santa Monica. The upcoming season will include Ellen Byron's Old Sins, Long Shadows, Gene Franklin Smith's Devil's Consort, and Daniel Sussman's Top Dogs. (323) 860-8894...

Los Angeles-based dance-troupe Instincts Live Media Dance Company will present Possibilities, a courtroom saga where humanity must prove to the universe that it deserves to exist beyond the beginning of the next millenium, Aug. 20-28 at the Assistance League of Southern California Playhouse in Hollywood. (310) 392-1482...

Dragonvale's 1999 Carnivale, a medieval style festival, will be held Aug. 21-22 at Cal State Northridge and will feature sword swallowers, magicians, mystics, pirates, crafts, music, dance, and more. (661) 252-5662...

Occidental College and Bali & Beyond will present "The Mahabarata in Shadow," a free performance featuring shadow artist Maria Bodman and the Gamelan Musicians performing traditional stories from the Mahabarata. (818) 768-7696.

-Laura Weinert

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