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Department: Theatre

Niven lecture rescheduled for March 11

January 29, 2014

Is it possible to have a successful career as an actor right here in Kansas? Professional actor Kip Niven, an alumnus of The University of Kansas, will present his insights on that question at the 2013-14 Pflaum Memorial Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 11, in R.Q. Frederickson Theatre in Roosevelt Hall on the Emporia State University campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Niven has chosen the title “‘There’s no place like home’ — to have a life as a performer.” While on campus, Niven will also be a guest instructor in ESU Theatre classes and present a master class on performing in musical theatre. The locations and times of those events will be announced later.

Niven was raised in Prairie Village and graduated in 1963 from Shawnee Mission East High School. After spending a year at Baylor University, he changed his mind and entered the theater program at The University of Kansas, where he performed in dozens of plays.

He has an impressive resume that includes films such as Magnum Force (1973), Earthquake (1974) and Midway (1976). He has performed on countless television shows, including memorable parts on The Waltons (1971), Law & Order (1990) and Walker, Texas Ranger (1993). He has also had roles on Broadway, in regional theater and episodic radio shows. For three seasons he played Steve Marsh on the TV sitcom Alice (1976) starring Linda Lavin, whom he later married. The marriage ended in divorce.

Niven is a member of the award-winning radio comedy show RIGHT BETWEEN THE EARS. He has appeared locally at The Coterie, Starlight, Kansas City Repertory, Kansas City Actors Theatre, Musical Theatre Heritage, AHT, Spinning Tree Theatre and the New Theatre (most recently as the Mayor in NEVER TOO LATE). He is the Members’ Project Coordinator for E.A.R.Th (Equity Actors’ Readers’ Theatre). Niven has a grown son and daughter, four (soon to be five) grandchildren and a daughter who is a freshman at Stephens College.

His appearance at Emporia State University is presented by the Department of Communication and Theatre and is supported by the Performing Arts Board. The Pflaum Lecture is held annually to honor the memory of Dr. George R.R. Pflaum who came to Kansas State Teacher’s College in 1923 and served on the faculty for more than 40 years. Doc Pflaum was an active member of the Emporia community until his death in January 1977.  

Previous Pflaum Lectures in theatre were presented by Dr. Jennifer Martin, the Hall Family Foundation Professor of Theatre at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Dr. Ronald Frederickson, professor emeritus. 

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