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Martin Sheen performs at King’s College as Visiting Artist April 8-10

The Emmy, Golden Globe, and SAG Award-winning actor will appear in a special production of “8” by Dustin Lance Black on April 10 in the King’s College George P. Maffei II Theatre.

Hollywood actor Martin Sheen, most known for his roles in Badlands, Apocalypse Now, and The West Wing, will visit King’s College on April 8, 9, and 10, 2024, to meet with students and appear in a limited engagement staged reading of the play “8” by Dustin Lance Black.

As Visiting Artist, Sheen will participate in a closed-door session and rehearsal with theatre department students on April 8 and 9. His visit will culminate in the staged reading of “8,” by Dustin Lance Black and researcher Kate Sullivan Gibbens, where he will perform as Judge Vaughn Walker alongside King’s College students, faculty, and staff. The play will be presented as a limited engagement with two performances on April 10 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the George P. Maffei II Theatre.

“I’m honored to return to King’s College, which 40 years ago awarded me an honorary degree,” said Sheen. “My affection for King’s and for the Holy Cross community are rooted in their dedication to truth and justice. This play is important in that it represents a major and foundational judicial decision affirming the fundamental right to be who we are. It is especially important at this time when rights and justice that we take for granted are in question.”

“8” is a federal trial reenactment of the closing arguments for Perry v. Schwarzenegger, which overturned California’s Proposition 8, and is based on court transcripts, firsthand observations, and collected interviews. It first premiered on Broadway in September 2011 under the direction of Tony Award-winning director Joe Mantello and starring Bob Balaban, John Lithgow, Morgan Freeman, and Bradley Whitford. It was performed as a benefit telecast in 2012, where Sheen starred as Theodore Olson alongside Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Kevin Bacon. The American Foundation for Equal Rights and Broadway Impact, sponsors of the play, have licensed the script for free educational readings nationwide on college campuses and in community theaters.

“As a small liberal arts theatre program, we educate students on the varied aspects of theatre that they can expect in a professional setting,” said Dave Reynolds, M.F.A., chair and professor of theatre at King’s. “Mr. Sheen’s visit highlights the kind of innovative ensemble theatre that is the hallmark of our program here. Students on stage and off will learn so much from this invaluable opportunity and Mr. Sheen’s years of experience and wisdom.”

Limited tickets for “8” are available to the public for purchase online through Brown Paper Tickets at . The George P. Maffei II Theatre is located on the first floor of the College’s Administration Building. Parking is available on nearby streets and in the Holy Cross Hall (matinee and evening) and McGowan School of Business (matinee only handicapped, all evening) parking lots, both of which are accessed via the cul-de-sac on North Franklin Street. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

Sheen made an impromptu appearance on campus last October when visiting his friend and King’s College law professor, retired Judge Joe Cosgrove. Having spontaneously met with students in the College’s theatre department during that visit, Sheen was inspired to return for a more formal program.

“At his previous impromptu visit to our campus, Martin Sheen did what our faculty and staff do every day,” said Rev. Thomas P. Looney, C.S.C., Ph.D., president of King’s College. “He engaged our students ‘with personal attention’ honoring their experience and mentoring them by sharing his passion. I am deeply moved by Martin’s generosity in returning to King’s to work with our amazing students.”

Multiple Emmy- and Golden Globe-winner Martin Sheen is one of America's most celebrated and accomplished actors. Sheen has appeared in more than 65 feature films, including Francis Ford Coppola's landmark film Apocalypse Now (1979), which brought him worldwide recognition. Other notable credits include Wall Street (1987), Gandhi (1982), Catch Me If You Can (2002), The Departed (2006), the Spider-Man film series, and a Golden Globe nominated breakthrough performance in The Subject Was Roses (1968), a role he originated on Broadway and for which he received a Tony Award nomination as Best Featured Actor. On television, Sheen is best recognized for his six-time Emmy nominated performance as President Josiah “Jed” Bartlet in The West Wing. Sheen won six of his eight Golden Globe nominations as well as an ALMA Award and two individual SAG Awards for the series.

Sheen is also known for his activism and support of social justice causes including human rights, animal rights, consistent life ethics, environmental conservation, fair labor, peace efforts, and prison reform among others. He worked with Mother Teresa, is a supporter of the Catholic Worker Movement, an ambassador of Free the Children, an international charity and educational partner, and has long been involved with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Sheen and his wife Janet have been married for 62 years; together they have four children, all of whom are actors: Emilio Estévez, Ramon Estévez, Charlie Sheen, and Renée Estévez.