On October 13, the Seton Hall Student Activities Board (SAB) hosted actor Gaten Matarazzo for their fall SHU Speaks event in Bethany Hall. SHU Speaks is an annual event hosted by the SAB that brings together the campus community for an inspiring and intellectual conversation with a distinguished guest. Past speakers have included actress and changemaker Yara Shahidi, sociopolitical television host W. Kamau Bell, Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York, Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez, and actress Keke Palmer. SHU Speaks was part of our First 56 Days activities and, this year, was co-sponsored by the Dare the Care Program.
Hailing from New Jersey, Gaten Matarazzo began performing at age eight. He started his career on Broadway in notable roles such as Benjamin in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and Gavroche in Les Misérables. Matarazzo later successfully transitioned to the screen with his breakout role as Dustin Henderson in Stranger Things, a performance which earned him an Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series SAG Award in 2017. After his Stranger Things success, Matarazzo returned to the stage with the Pinelands Thespians' 2018 production of Cinderella and the Hollywood Bowl's 2019 production of Into the Woods. Currently, Matarazzo can be seen as the host of the Netflix show Prank Encounters and in the upcoming fourth season of Stranger Things.
Matarazzo's passions also expand outside of acting. The actor is the vocalist of the six-person band, Work in Progress, which broke out onto the music scene in late 2017 and has been making waves with their invigorating on-stage energy. Moreover, as an individual living with cleidocranial dysplasia (CCD), a congenital disability affecting the bones and teeth, Matarazzo is a proud advocate for those touched by the condition. He speaks openly about his experiences, even documenting a surgery, to destigmatize and raise awareness for CCD. Using his platform as a public figure, Matarazzo fundraises for "CCD Smiles," an organization that helps people with CCD by covering the costs of their oral surgeries.
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Categories: Campus Life