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Acclaimed Actress Celia Weston Visits USC Upstate

09- 15- 2006

Spartanburg, S.C. Acclaimed actress and Spartanburg native Celia Weston will visit the University of South Carolina Upstate campus on September 20 and 21 to talk with students and to attend a reception in her honor that includes a screening of screen her 1999 film, Snow Falling on Cedars.

This film incorporates the theme of the Japanese internment during the WW II years, which is also the subject of this year’s Freshman Reading and Writing Experience entitled Preface. The assigned reading for Preface is Julie Otsuka’s book When The Emperor Was Divine Across campus and across departments, students are being exposed to Japanese culture and to this often-neglected event in America’s political/social history. Later in the semester, the students will hear a lecture about trade with Japan, attend a mock USO show staged by faculty and staff, have the opportunity to learn sushi making, participate in a Japanese tea ceremony, and experience other aspects of the culture. The freshman students will use their reading to discuss issues of culture and social justice and to hone their writing skills.

A reception will be held for Weston on Wednesday, September 20 at 5:00 p.m. at the Campus Life Center Ballroom on the USC Upstate campus. The reception, also sponsored by Hub-Bub Film Society and the Student Film Society of USC Upstate, will include a visit by Mayor Bill Barnet. The film will begin at 6:00 p.m. Weston has a significant role in Snow Falling on Cedars, a beautifully filmed story of a Japanese-American fishing community in the San Juan Islands (Washington). Following the screening, Weston will answer questions about her career and her experience with this film. 

On Thursday, September 21, Weston will meet with USC Upstate students to discuss her career and other business at 9:25 a.m. in the Humanities and Performing Arts Center, Room 129. 

Weston’s film credits also include The Talented Mr. Ripley, Junebug, The Village, Kapax, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and Dead Man Walking, for which she received an Oscar nomination. Her Broadway credits include Last Night at Balleyhoo. She is perhaps best known for her role as Jolene Hunnicutt on Alice. In general, she is known for her ability to play believable Southern women, whether they are down-to-earth, genteel or aristocratic.

Weston is a graduate of the Spartanburg Day School, Salem College, and the North Carolina School of the Arts. She is the sister of Dr. Robert M. Watson of Spartanburg, a pediatric dentist who is active in local theatre.

For further details, please call Susan Hodge, senior director of development at USC Upstate, at (864) 503-5275 orshodge@uscupstate.edu.