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Academy Award winning actor Richard Dreyfuss comes to Kean University

By DeWayne Harper
On March 1, 2012

Academy Award winning actor, Richard Dreyfuss, will be visiting Kean University for the Premiere Artists series, conducted by Premiere Stages, the professional Actors' Equity Association theatre in residence on campus.

The series spotlights prominent artists during their visit to the University campus to conduct master classes and panel discussions with Kean students. 

Dreyfuss' series will be conducted in three parts. The first of which will be an hour-long talk on the importance of Civics education.

"The Dreyfuss Initiative" is his organization whose goals are to expand civics education as a part of early childhood education extending beyond secondary education.

Dreyfuss has been outspoken on the issue of media informing policy, legislation and public opinion. He has spoken and wrote about the right to privacy, freedom of speech, democracy and individual accountability.

He also spoke to the National Press Club in Washington D.C. in hopes of bringing about a national discussion about impeachment charges against president George W. Bush.

The Civic talk portion of the series will be produced in conjunction with the Department of History and the Center for History, Politics, and Policy. 

For the second portion of the series Dreyfuss will lead a discussion with the Kean Department of Theatre students and will field questions about the evolution of acting.  John Wooten, Premiere Stages Producing Artistic Director, will be moderating this session. 

Dreyfuss is an accomplished stage and screen actor who has won several awards including an Oscar for "The Goodbye Girl." 

The series will conclude with a public reading of The Commandant, a staged play Frederic Morton. Dreyfuss will star in the reading and will be supported by a professional equity cast of actors. 

The reading will also be followed by a Q&A session with the playwright. The Department of Jewish Studies and World Affairs, the Kean Masters Program in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and the Holocaust Resource Center will co-produce this segment of the series. 

Donations will be accepted following the reading for the Hannah Senesh Annual Humanitarian Fellowship.

The event will be held on March 5th at the University Center Little Theatre.  All three segments of the series will have free admission, but reservations are required. Contact Premiere Stages at 908-737-4360, or e-mail them at   

Premiere Stages is funded in part by The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Geraldine R. Doge Foundation, The Northfield Bank Foundation, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance, and The Westfield Foundation and through support of individual patrons.

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