News and Events
Pepperdine Hosts Actor Francesco Quinn for Italian Cultural Exchange
Pepperdine University hosted the Italian Heritage Culture Foundation of Los Angeles in early March for a reading of Pontius Pilate, as performed by Francesco Quinn in the title role and James Parks in the role of Jesus. The play, an excerpt from The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, was staged as an Italian cultural exchange and included a red carpet rollout for the 300 invited guests.
Paola Lorenzi, Italian Language Coordinator at Seaver College, helped to produce the black-tie event with actress and fashion designer Valentina Castellani, wife of Quinn. Italian-born Quinn is the son of legendary Mexican-American actor Anthony Quinn; he starred as Rhar in the Oliver Stone Vietnam epic, Platoon, and has made a number of memorable appearances on television shows such as 24, JAG, Crossing Jordan, and The Young and the Restless.
Pontius Pilate is a dialogue between two very different minds: the ruler of Jerusalem and the young man who called himself the Son of God. Pilate is under pressure to sentence Jesus but the young man’s sincerity and openness leaves him with a world of doubt.
The reading was accompanied by an Israeli multi-instrumental duo named Maetar, adding to the evening’s theme of internationality that was present throughout the event with cross-cultural sponsors—including the Los Angeles Mexican Consulate and Italy’s TV RAI—and an international buffet. In addition, the Smothers Theatre lobby displayed Castellani’s handbag and fashion pieces designed for international brands such as Prada, Thierry Mugler, and Jean Paul Gaultier.
For more information about the Italian program at Pepperdine, visit the International Studies and Languages Division website.