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Comic Actor Tom Papa Headlines Rider’s Film & Media Studies Symposium

Acclaimed comic actor and Rider alum Tom Papa ’90 will give the keynote address at the annual symposium on Wednesday, Feb. 27, on the university's Lawrence Township campus, The event is free and open to the public.

Editor's Note: The following is a news release issued by Rider University.

here’s something funny going on at Rider this month. Acclaimed comic actor Tom Papa ’90 will give the keynote address at the annual Film and Media Studies Symposium on Wednesday, Feb. 27, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Sweigart Auditorium, located on Rider's Lawrence Township campus, 2083 Lawrence Rd. 

Papa, the former host of NBC’s The Marriage Ref and the star of Comedy Central’s highly rated 2012 stand-up special, Tom Papa Live in New York City, will share his experiences about preparing for a life in comedy and the media as part of the two-day symposium on Feb. 27 and 28.

The event is sponsored by the Film and Media Studies Program, and the Department of English Cinema Studies concentration program. The event is free and open to the public.

Handpicked by comic legend Jerry Seinfeld to open for the latter’s stand-up act on tour, Papa has since become a laughs luminary in his own right, starring in such major motion pictures as Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant!, with Matt Damon, and in the animated feature The Haunted World of El Super Beasto, opposite Paul Giamatti.

A 1990 Rider graduate who appeared in a number of student stage productions, Papa is also the host of the popular comedic talk show Come to Papa on Sirius/XM channel 99, which airs Fridays at 6 p.m. Eastern.

The annual symposium will feature film screenings, faculty roundtables, student/faculty presentation panels, a student film festival, and addresses by author Kevin Lally and noted film scholar Dr. Thomas Doherty.

Lally is the author of Wilder Times: The Life of Billy Wilder, a biographical look at the Academy Award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter whose credits include Sunset Boulevard, Some Like It Hot, and The Apartment. Lally will speak on Wednesday, Feb. 27, from 7 to 8 p.m. in Sweigart Auditorium.

Doherty, a professor of American Studies at Brandeis, is a cultural historian with a particular interest in Hollywood cinema. His presentation, “Hollywood Comedy Before, Under and After the Production Code,” will examine the rigid set of moral censorship guidelines to which the film industry adhered between 1930 and 1968.

Doherty, a senior Fulbright scholar who has lectured abroad and had commentary published in The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post, will speak on Thursday, Feb. 28, from 7 to 8 p.m. in Sweigart Auditorium.

For more information about the Symposium, contact Dr. Cynthia Lucia, associate professor of English, at 609-896-5206.

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