New Jersey Stage

Friday, December 2, 2011

Academy Award-Winner Ellen Burstyn to visit Kean University

(UNION, NJ) -– Kean University continues the Premiere Artists series with a visit by Academy Award-winning actress and best-selling author Ellen Burstyn on Monday, December 5.  Premiere Artists is a project of Premiere Stages, the professional Actors' Equity Association theatre in residence at Kean University, produced in partnership with the Kean Department of Theatre.  Premiere Artists features high-profile artists as they visit the Kean University campus to conduct master classes with Kean University students and engage in question and answer sessions with the campus community and local patrons.

The evening begins at 5:15 PM and includes: Open Master Class: Kean BFA Acting Students prepare scenes that they will be performing in their upcoming January Showcase in NYC.  Ellen will critique and discuss the scenes (5:15 pm to 6:15 pm ); Question and Answer Session: Ellen will discuss her career and take questions from the students and patrons in the audience.  Producing Artistic Director John Wooten will moderate. (6:15 to 7:00); Reception (7:00 to 7:30).

Ellen Burstyn's illustrious acting career encompasses film, stage and television.  She became a "triple crown winner" when she won an Emmy for her guest appearance in "Law & Order: SVU" (2009) to add to her Oscar win for "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" (1974) and her Tony Award for "Same Time, Next Year" (1974) on Broadway.  Ellen has been nominated for an Academy Award five other times for "The Last Picture Show" (1972), "The Exorcist" (1973), "Same Time, Next Year," (1979), "Resurrection" (1981), and "Requiem for a Dream" (2000).

Ms. Burstyn's many theater credits include the Broadway productions of "84 Charing Cross Road", "Shirley Valentine" and "Sacrilege".  She received glowing reviews in Stephen Adley Guirgis' play "The Little Flower of East Orange" (2008), directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman at The Public Theater in New York.  Earlier this year, she appeared in London's West End in Lillian Hellman's "The Children's Hour" to rave reviews.

Ellen was the first woman elected president of Actors Equity Association (1982-85), and served as the Artistic Director of the famed Actors Studio, where she studied with the late Lee Strasberg.  She continues to be active there as co-president with Al Pacino and Harvey Keitel.  Academically, Ellen holds four honorary doctorates, including a doctorate from Pace University where she teaches in The Actors Studio M.F.A. program.  Ellen became a national best-selling author with the publication in 2006 of her memoir, "Lessons in Becoming Myself," published by Riverhead Press.  In addition to a continuing and thriving acting career, Ellen is writing a screenplay, as well as planning a book of her photography accompanied by her favorite poetry.

Tickets for the event are free  The event will be held in the University Center Little Theatre, located at Kean University, 1000 Morris Avenue, Union, N.J.  Space is limited.  To reserve tickets, please call 908-737-4092. Premiere Stages offers air-conditioned facilities and free parking. All facilities are fully accessible spaces. Patrons should call for a list of sign-interpreted, audio-described or open-captioned performances. Large print programs are available at all times.  Publications in alternate formats and other assistive services are available with advanced notice. For further information call 908-737-4092, email or visit

Premiere Stages is made possible in part through funding from The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Northfield Bank Foundation, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance, and through the generous support of individual patrons.