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'Roots,' 'All That Jazz' star Ben Vereen coming to ETSU

Staff Report • Apr 11, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Tony Award-winning actor and motivational speaker Ben Vereen will appear at East Tennessee State University next week in a public speaking engagement.

Vereen, known for his roles in the TV miniseries "Roots" and the Oscar-winning film "All That Jazz," will speak April 19 at 7 p.m. in the D.P. Culp University Center’s Martha Street Culp Auditorium.

Vereen has appeared on Broadway in numerous shows and claimed a Tony Award for his performance in "Pippin" and a Tony nomination for "Jesus Christ Superstar." In 2005, he portrayed the Wizard of Oz in the Broadway musical "Wicked."

On television, Vereen has starred and guest appeared in several shows and miniseries, including "Webster," "Silk Stalkings" and "How I Met Your Mother." Among his most recent film works was the movie "Mama, I Want to Sing!"

Vereen was involved in a serious car accident in 1992 that required him to undergo months of extensive rehabilitation. In 2007, he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Vereen has spoken openly about his personal journey with diabetes as well as on topics such as overcoming adversity and the value of continuing education.

Sponsored by ETSU’s Office of Disability Services and Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society, the event is co-sponsored by the Department of Communication and received funding from the Student Government Association.

For more information, or to request special accommodations for person with disabilities, call (423) 439-8346 or email Michelle Byrd at byrdt@etsu.edu.

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