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Jason Alexander to Host Scripter Gala

12/12/07
The veteran actor will emcee the 20th annual black-tie event at Doheny Memorial Library.
By Dan Knapp
In 2002, the USC School of Theatre named Alexander the inaugural George Burns Distinguished Visiting Professor in Performance.

Tony Award-winning actor Jason Alexander will serve as master of ceremonies for the 20th annual USC Libraries Scripter Award gala to be held Feb. 2 at Doheny Memorial Library.

Established in 1988, the Scripter is bestowed annually by the Friends of the USC Libraries in recognition of the best film adaptation of a book or novella. The Scripter is unique among literary and entertainment awards in that it recognizes the screenwriter and the author of the book upon which the winning film is based.

“As we celebrate the Scripter’s platinum anniversary, it is an honor to welcome Jason Alexander to Doheny Memorial Library,” said USC Libraries Dean Catherine Quinlan. “The Scripter is our signature event, and with Mr. Alexander as master of ceremonies, it’s certain to be an elegant, lively evening for friends and supporters of the USC Libraries.”

Alexander joins a distinguished list of previous emcees including Henry Winkler, Sharon Gless, Hal Kanter and the late John Ritter who have presided over the libraries’ black-tie gala.

“I am very honored and flattered to be asked to participate in this wonderful event and this prestigious award,” Alexander said. “I look forward to a great experience and to meeting this year’s recipients.”

Alexander is best known for his portrayal of George Costanza on the NBC series Seinfeld, a role for which he earned seven Emmy nominations as best supporting actor.

In addition to that long-running comedy, Alexander starred in the TV series Listen Up and Duckman. He also appeared in the films Pretty Woman, Shallow Hal and Love! Valour! Compassion!

Theatre buffs will recall Alexander’s many roles on stage in the musicals Merrily We Roll Along, Broadway Bound and Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, for which he won a Tony.

In 2003, Alexander enjoyed a successful run in the Los Angeles production of The Producers. He is currently the artistic director at L.A.’s Reprise! theatre company, where he adapted and directed a successful production of Damn Yankees this fall.

Alexander is no stranger to USC. In 2002, the USC School of Theatre named him the inaugural George Burns Distinguished Visiting Professor in Performance, a position established through a $1-million gift from the estate of the late comedian.

To mark the 20th anniversary of Scripter, the USC Libraries’ flagship event, the Friends of the USC Libraries have created the Scripter Literary Achievement Award, to be presented in addition to the annual Scripter prize. This new award will recognize an individual whose body of work exemplifies excellence in literary storytelling. The USC Libraries will announce the first winner of the Scripter Literary Achievement Award later this month.

The gala will take place in the Los Angeles Times Reference Room of the Doheny Memorial Library. Proceeds benefit the USC Libraries’ mission of encouraging the discovery, creation and preservation of knowledge and developing collections and services that support the academic endeavors of USC.