University Lectures : Sedaris lecture expects crowd of 1,500 people
The witty social criticism and satirical mastery of best-selling author David Sedaris helped sell out a 1,500 seat lecture for Tuesday night.
As part of the University Lectures series, Sedaris will give a reading at 6 p.m. in the Goldstein Auditorium in the Schine Student Center, followed by a book signing. The lecture is sponsored in cooperation with the Pulse Performing Arts Series, the LGBT Resource Center, the Humanities Center, the Office of the University Performing Arts Presenter and the School of Education.
Though free and open to the public, the event required first come, first served tickets for admission, a policy rarely conducted by the University Lectures series, said Esther Gray, senior administrator for academic affairs. The ticket procedure was enacted for Sedaris’ lecture for security and safety reasons, she said.
Ticket holders will be required to be in their seats by 5:30 p.m., and afterward, tickets will no longer be valid, allowing doors to be opened for the general public to fill any remaining available seats. Due to the event’s popularity, Goldstein will consider allowing an overflow room, Gray said.
Gray, who exclusively works with Sedaris’ agent, was able to persuade Sedaris to come to Syracuse University despite his already established tour dates and locations. Sedaris agreed to start the tour a day earlier and come to SU before all other tour locations, which Gray said was very fortunate.
Sedaris, who has a large fan base, posted his speaking schedule on his Facebook page, noting the Syracuse lecture would be free.
‘Thanks to that great publicity, there are folks attending from pretty far away, including Canada, Albany, Cohoes, Buffalo, Rochester and Ithaca, as well as a wide area around Syracuse,’ Gray said.
Though the event was able to give away all 1,500 tickets, many students still expressed interest in attending. Some students expressed concern about the ticket policy and said they weren’t aware they needed a ticket for the lecture.
‘I got an email about the lecture, but I was never told how to get a ticket. I thought it was a lecture like all the others,’ said Chris Loftus, a sophomore international relations major.
Eric Chung, a senior television, radio and film major, said he would consider attending the general admission period after 5:30 p.m. He said he would have preferred, however, to have known about the ticket procedure.
‘I think the university should have done a better job promoting the tickets and letting people know since I would have wanted an actual ticket,’ he said.
Sedaris is the author of best-selling novels ‘Barrel Fever’ and ‘Holidays on Ice,’ along with several collections of personal essays, including ‘Naked,’ ‘Me Talk Pretty One Day’ and ‘Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.’ Seven million copies of his books have been printed, and his works have been translated into 25 different languages, according to the David Sedaris page on the Steven Barclay Agency website.
His pieces frequently appear in the The New Yorker, and he has written six plays in collaboration with his sister, Amy. His newest work, a collection of fables called ‘Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary,’ released in 2010 and instantly hit the New York Times Bestseller Fiction List, according to the release.
Following the lecture, Sedaris will hold a book and CD signing, with books and CDs made available to purchase through the SU Bookstore in the Schine lobby. Gray said she expects the event to be a success.
‘Sedaris has a huge number of fans for his wit, writing, creativity and sense of humor,’ she said. ‘And in these times, we can all use something to laugh at and an evening to sit back and enjoy ourselves.’
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