Academy Award Winning Actor To Visit Kean University

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UNION–Kean University continues the Premiere Artists series as Academy Award-winning actor and Civics activist Richard Dreyfuss visits on Monday, March 5. Premiere Artists is a project of Premiere Stages, the professional Actors’ Equity Association theatre in residence at Kean University. Premiere Artists features high-profile actors, directors, producers, designers, playwrights and other theatre professionals who conduct master classes with Kean University students. These guest artists engage in question and answer sessions with the campus community and local patrons.

Dreyfuss begins the day at 2 p.m. with an hour-long lecture focusing on the importance of civics education in public schools. The Department of History and the Kean University Center for History, Politics, and Policy sponsor this portion of the day.

From 3:20 to 4:20 p.m., Dreyfuss will lead a discussion with Kean Department of Theatre students and will also take questions concerning the evolution of acting. Produced in partnership with the Kean Department of Theatre, the session is moderated by John Wooten, Premiere Stages Producing Artistic Director.

The day culminates in a staged reading of the play, “The Commandant” by Frederic Morton, starring Dreyfuss at 7 p.m. Set in the final months of World War II, the piece follows the harrowing story of a famous Austrian Jewish Actor who is offered the role of a lifetime by a concentration camp commandant.

“The life and death stakes of the play explore the fine line between art and reality and question what a man is willing to do to survive,” explains Wooten. The reading features a professional equity cast and is followed by a question and answer session with the playwright. The reading is produced in partnership with the Department of Jewish Studies and World Affairs, the Kean Masters Program in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and the Holocaust Resource Center.

Donations will be accepted at the reading for the Hannah Senesh Annual Humanitarian Fellowship, which lends support to students earning a Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Kean University.

Admission is free, but seating is limited and reservations are required for each segment of the event. Call 1-908-737-4092. All events are held in the University Center Little Theatre, located at Kean University, 1000 Morris Avenue, Union. For further information about Premier Stages, visit

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