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John J. Witmeyer III Dean’s Colloquium 2010

Bryan Batt

Tuesday, November 16, 2010
6:00 p.m.
Kendall Cram Room, Lavin-Bernick Center
Free and open to the public.

Discussion led by actress, Broadway veteran and Tulane ‘85 graduate Leslie Castay.

Book signing to follow. Copies of Batt’s memoir, She Ain’t Heavy, She’s My Mother, will be available for purchase.

Bryan BattThe John J. Witmeyer III ’68 Dean’s Colloquia invite distinguished alumni back to campus to meet with students, visit classes and give a public lecture. This year’s speaker Bryan Batt ‘85 is an accomplished actor, designer and civic activist. He has portrayed “Salvatore Romano” on AMC’s critically acclaimed dramatic series Mad Men, which has won six Emmys, three Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild award and a Peabody award. Batt is also currently playing “Spencer Cannon” on TV’s Ugly Betty.

As a Broadway veteran, his leading and principal roles include the 2005 revival of La Cage Aux Folles, Beauty And The Beast, Seussical The Musical, Sunset Blvd, Saturday Night Fever, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Starlight Express, and Cats. Off Broadway performances include Forbidden Broadway (Drama Desk Nomination). Theatrically, Batt is most proud of originating the role of Darius in both the New York and Los Angeles (Drama Logue Award) productions and the filmadaptation of Paul Rudnick’s groundbreaking comedy Jeffrey.

He and his partner of 20 years, Tom Cianfichi, are the nationally-recognized creative forces behind Hazelnut, a fine gift and home accessories shop in his hometown of New Orleans. Hazelnut has been featured in the New York Times, House Beautiful, In Style, Traditional Home, Southern Accents and more.

As a civic activist, Batt champions many causes including Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS, Habitat For Humanity, Second Harvest Food Bank, the Human Rights Campaign (Equality Award), the SPCA, The Preservation Resource Center, The Point Foundation, NO/AIDS Task Force (board member, Humanitas Award), and Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré (board member and interim Artistic Director).

Batt’s recently released memoir, She Ain't Heavy, She's My Mother, chronicles his life - and his mother's supportive presence in it. From growing up gay below the Mason-Dixon Line to landing his first role on Broadway as a roller-skating, singing and dancing boxcar in Starlight Express, to his role on TV’s award-winning Mad Men, to opening the popular Hazelnut boutique on Magazine Street with his partner, Batt weaves a touching and hilarious story of the South, showbiz and an unshakable bond between mother and son.

To learn more about Bryan Batt, visit

This event is sponsored by the Newcomb-Tulane College Office of Cocurricular Programs. For more information, contact 865-5728 or

Previous Dean’s Colloquia
2016-17 Dean's Colloquium: Roger Ervin
2015-16 Dean’s Colloquium: Steven Paul
2014-15 Dean’s Colloquium: Meria Carstarphen
2013-14 Dean's Colloquium: Alex McMurray
2012-13 Dean's Colloquium: Attorney Ira Sorkin
2011-12 Dean's Colloquium: NASA Astronaut Doug Hurley
2009-10 Dean's Colloquium: EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson
2008-09 Dean's Colloquium: NPR Correspondent Gwen Thompkins
2007-08 Dean’s Colloquium: Appraiser and “History Detectives” star Elyse Luray