Award-Winning Playwright and Screenwriter Douglas Carter Beane Headlines University of the Arts' 135th Commencement

Professor Emeritus Kenneth Hiebert to receive HDFA; 'The Office' star Kate Flannery '87 (Acting) and artist Jayson Scott Musson '02 (Photography) are Silver Star Alumni Award recipients

Updated April 30, 2013

Tony Award-nominated playwright and screenwriter Douglas Carter Beane (above, left) will be the keynote speaker at the University of the Arts' 135th Commencement ceremonies on May 16, 2013, at Philadelphia's Academy of Music.

Beane, who will also receive an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts (HDFA) degree, has two shows currently on Broadway: his adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella," which just earned him a Best Book of a Musical Tony nod, and his new play "The Nance," starring Nathan Lane. Beane was a writer of the musical "Sister Act," which was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Musical and Best Book. His "The Little Dog Laughed" was nominated for a Tony for Best Play. "Xanadu," with a book by Beane, was nominated for Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Musical, and won a Drama Desk Award for Best Book. In 2012, his musical "Lysistrata Jones" was also nominated for a Tony Award for Best Book.

Also receiving an HDFA will be Professor Emeritus Kenneth Hiebert, an innovative designer and educator who founded the UArts Graphic Design department and was its chair for 14 years. A fellow of the AIGA and a founder of its Philadelphia chapter, his work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Design Zürich and other institutions.

The University will also present its Silver Star Alumni Awards at the Commencement ceremony. Honorees include Kate Flannery BFA '87 (Acting) [above, right], who has starred for the past decade as Meredith on NBC TV's hit comedy "The Office."

The other Silver Star recipient is Jayson Scott Musson BFA '02 (Photography), acclaimed for his edgy, intellectual YouTube art critiques as the hip-hop character "Hennessy Youngman" and for his "paintings" crafted from disassembled, colorful Coogi sweaters, made famous by "The Cosby Show" and rapper Notorious B.I.G.

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