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Actor F. Murray Abraham, 2011 Waldman Chair

Academy Award-winning actor F. Murray Abraham is this year’s Waldman Chair in Theater Arts. Among many other achievements, he’s known for his role as Antonio Salieri in Amadeus (1984), for which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor.

Abraham will be at Emerson from January 23 to 28 to teach master classes and hold forums on campus. On January 26, he’ll participate in a conversation (open to the public) on Shakespeare’s Jews at the Paramount Mainstage. And this spring, Abraham will return to campus to star as Shylock in the Merchant of Venice, showing at the Cutler Majestic from March 29 to April 10.

Established in 2007, The Waldman Chair in Theater Arts in the Department of Performing Arts is funded by Honey Waldman and her sister, Gladys Waldman Brownstein, in honor of their parents, Harry Waldman and Dora Winiker. The position is filled annually by “a distinguished and broadly recognized figure in theater arts.” Past Waldman Chairs include renowned theater, opera, and festival director Peter Sellars; internationally acclaimed musical theater and opera composer Adam Guettel; and actor Marian Seldes, recipient of a Tony Award for lifetime achievement.

Ms. Waldman majored in English at Emerson, with a minor in speech and drama. She appeared in a number of student theatrical productions and was active in the Hillel organization. After graduation, she performed on stage and in films.

In 1958, Waldman personally oversaw the renovation of the former Broadway Theater in Nyack, New York, and renamed it the Tappan Zee Playhouse. She guided its critically acclaimed creative efforts, and for more than a decade, the playhouse was well known as a summer stock theater. It established a national reputation for professional productions and all-star casts that included performers such as Jack Benny, Helen Hayes, and Liza Minnelli.

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