Taking the Stage

Actress Kathleen Turner to work with UC Santa Barbara students, give public talk on campus as UCSB’s Michael Douglas Visiting Artist for 2016

Matty Walker. Joan Wilder. Peggy Sue. Barbara Rose. Memorable characters all, and all played by the acclaimed Oscar- and Tony-nominated actress Kathleen Turner. Her next role: teacher.

A lauded star of both stage and screen, Turner is the 2016 Michael Douglas Visiting Artist in UC Santa Barbara’s Department of Theater and Dance. Her residency on campus concludes with a public talk at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 21, in Hatlen Theater.

“I’m excited to be coming to UCSB to teach in Michael Douglas’ series,” said Turner, who starred with Douglas, a UCSB alumnus, in “Romancing the Stone,” sequel “Jewel of the Nile” and “War of the Roses.”

“I’m looking forward to meeting and working with the students there,” Turner added of her upcoming visit to UCSB.

A Golden Globe winner for her work in “Romancing the Stone,” “Prizzi’s Honor” and “Body Heat,” Turner was Globe-nominated for “War of the Roses” as well as “Peggy Sue Got Married.” The latter also earned her an Academy Award nomination. She scored Tony Award nominations for her Broadway roles in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.”

“We are honored to have this amazing and highly accomplished artist join us this year,” said Risa Brainin, professor and chair of theater and dance at UCSB. “The opportunity for our students to engage with a person of Ms. Turner’s experience and stature is golden. As young artists about to embark on a career in the theater, our students are hungry to learn from Ms. Turner. We are very excited to provide a forum for these vital interactions.” 

During her multiday visit to campus, Turner will lead several workshops for acting students pursuing bachelor of fine arts degrees and offer a department-wide acting class. She also will meet with graduate students and faculty, and participate as the featured guest in a film and media studies course moderated by Cheri Steinkellner. 

The culminating Michael Douglas Artist Talk, “An Intimate Conversation with Kathleen Turner,” will be moderated by UCSB theater professor Irwin Appel. The event is free but ticket reservations are required.

A gift from Douglas ’68, an Academy Award-winning actor and still-involved Gaucho alum, established the residency in 1993. The Michael Douglas Visiting Artist program brings renowned artists to UCSB to work with students, faculty and the community. Most recently, the campus hosted MacArthur winner and dance luminary Bill T. Jones. Previous Douglas visitors include actor Bill Irwin, playwright Tony Kushner and actress and playwright Anna Deveare Smith.

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