Jeremy Piven and his mother, Joyce, at the Sundance Film Festival.Photo courtesy of Piven Theater

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On Jan. 25, at the Sundance Film Festival, Jeremy Piven presented his mother, Piven Theatre Workshop founder Joyce Piven, an award at the Teachers Making a Difference Awards Luncheon presented by the Creative Coalition. The annual event recognizes outstanding teachers and support for education.

Actress Cheryl Hines hosted the event as Entourage co-stars Adrian Grenier and Jeremy Piven were reunited with the teachers who made a difference in their lives. Both actors reflected on how these teachers served as mentors and helped make them who they are today.

During the afternoon at Bing Bar in Park City, Mr. Piven appeared to fight back tears as he discussed what it was like having his own mother as his mentor. “The hardest role I’ve ever had,” he said, “is not crying right now.”

Mrs. Piven retold anecdotes of Mr. Piven’s training and childhood at the Piven Theatre Workshop, including the time she learned he would be performing his first Shakespeare role. “Did he read his lines? This is going to be a disaster,” she joked. Jeremy turned to the audience and said, “this coming from the woman I studied under for 10 years.”

As Mr. Piven presented his mother with the award, he stressed one last time how education runs deep in his family. “My mom grabbed Michelle Obama by the arm, looked her in the eyes and said, ‘Don’t forget about the arts.