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Kristian Nairn speaking at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con International, for "Game of Thrones", at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore.
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‘Game of Thrones’ actor among CSUSM series guests

SAN MARCOS — The famed HBO show “Game of Thrones” will make its way to California State University-San Marcos as part of the university’s fall Arts and Lectures series.

Kristian Nairn, the Irish actor and DJ, will be on campus Oct. 15 for a moderated question and answer session, followed by audience questions. The show completed its eighth and final season in May.

The “Game of Thrones” star is one of nine people to come to the university between Sept. 16 and Nov. 12. Others include a poet slated to speak about indigenous rights and immigration, military veterans to discuss post-traumatic stress disorder, a journalist who reports on the U.S.-Mexico border and an academic who will discuss poor students’ experience at elite universities.

Arts and Lectures’ Sept. 16 kickoff will feature a one-woman theatrical production, titled “Intrusion,” which focuses on the issue of rape culture. It is directed, written and performed by actress Qurrat Ann Kadwani, who in a single hour plays eight different characters.

Kadwani said she wrote “Intrusion” prior to the dawn of the #MeToo movement.

“I started writing it in 2015, well before the #MeToo movement started,” she said. “In fact, I finished the script two months before the Weinstein scandal. I was initially going to write about India’s rape culture but after researching, I realized that the U.S. is the 10th most sexually violent country in the world. I felt I had a responsibility to show audiences how important it is that we move swiftly to find solutions for sexual violence.”

And though it has been performed outside of the campus context, including at the 2018 San Diego Fringe Festival, Kadwani said she wrote it “with the intention of performing it at colleges.”

“Students are the new voters. I feel I can play my part in society through theater and entertainment by creating art that presents our social woes with accuracy, logic, and impetus so that students can be changemakers,” Kadwani said. “I strive to give students a voice, to speak up if they have been assaulted, and to speak out against injustice.”

Later in the season on Nov. 4, San Diego’s Alex Montoya will have the spotlight on his own motivational message, as well. Montoya only has one leg and is reliant on prosthetics for mobility and functionality.

The author of six books, Montoya formerly worked as the manager of Latino affairs for the San Diego Padres and as director of communications for the San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He has penned books including “Swinging for the Fences,” “See the Good,” “Swinging for the Fences” and others.

“My story is about the power of education enabling me to overcome being an immigrant and triple amputee,” said Montoya, adding that he gives about four talks per month, with one usually taking place on a college campus. “What better setting than CSUSM, known for being progressive, innovative, and a beacon of hope for all people?”

In previous years, Arts & Lectures has brought in guests such as the founder of the #MeToo movement, Tarana Burke; Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza; CNN correspondent Lisa Ling; African-American public intellectual Cornel West; the musician behind the famed television show “Seinfeld” and a long list of others.

“We have a very exciting and diverse lineup coming up this fall, with big names, topical and important conversations happening in word and performance, and multiple authors and motivators,” Gina Jones, Arts & Lectures program planner, said. “There are certainly many must-see events this semester.”

Photo Caption: Kristian Nairn speaking at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con International, for “Game of Thrones”, at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore