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MIAC, Voices for Independence partner in film discussion

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Mercyhurst Institute for Arts & Culture will be joined by Voices for Independence in presenting a special screening of The Theory of Everything on Sunday, Feb. 8, in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center.

The film, a biopic on world-renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife Jane, before and after Hawking’s diagnosis of ALS and confinement to a wheelchair, will serve as the centerpiece for a discussion on disability awareness.

“The partnership between MIAC and Voices for Independence represents a wonderful opportunity to harness the power of the arts to start a conversation on the experiences of people with disabilities in our community,” said Christine Olivier, director of programming at MIAC. “Furthering education through the arts is at the heart of our mission, and we’re thrilled to partner with this wonderful organization to do just that.”

Representatives from Voices for Independence, a nonprofit disability awareness and empowerment organization, will be in the lobby before the screening with information on Americans with disabilities. Following the screening, MIAC will host a discussion on disabilities with a panel of experts, including Voices for Independence Executive Director Shona Eakin.

"Much has happened relating to disability since the ’60s: the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, the advancement of technology and the rise of independent community living. This film is a useful tool to aid in explaining the changed state of disability today,” Eakin said. “Voices for Independence welcomes this opportunity.”

The Theory of Everything, a contender for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress at the 2015 Academy Awards, has already garnered much acclaim during the awards season, including a Best Actor Golden Globe for Eddie Redmayne.

The film will screen on Sunday, Feb. 8, at 2 p.m. in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, and $1 for Mercyhurst students with ID. For tickets, visit or call 814-824-3000.