ABSENCE Opens at Boston Playwrights' Theatre Next Week

ABSENCE Opens at Boston Playwrights' Theatre Next Week

Boston Playwrights' Theatre (BPT) opens the final show in its 2013-14 season of new plays next week, Peter M. Floyd's award-winning Absence.

Running from February 6 to March 2, this new drama is directed by Megan Schy Gleeson. Absence features Joanna Merlin as Helen, who finds herself trapped in the ever-changing and confusing world of dementia. Merlin is a luminary of the American stage, whose resume includes a Broadway debut opposite Lawrence Olivier in Becket and the original cast of Fiddler on the Roof. Merlin's career as an actor has spanned more than 50 years; she is also familiar to television audiences from her recurring roles on Law & Order SVU and Homeland. The production also includes local favorites Anne Gottlieb, Bill Mootos, Dale Place and Cheryl D. Singleton along with newcomer Beverly Diaz.

Absence was a co-winner of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival's Jean Kennedy Smith Award in 2012. The play was also a 2012 finalist in the ALLIANCE THEATRE's Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition. Playwright Floyd is a graduate of Boston University's Playwriting M.F.A. Program.

BPT will also host a number of related special events during the run of the play:

· A post-show conversation with playwright Peter M. Floyd and the cast of Absence after the 8 p.m. performance on Feb. 8.

· A discussion with Elinor Fuchs. Fuchs is a professor of dramaturgy and dramatic criticism at Yale University and the author of the family memoir Making an Exit. She will be joined in conversation with BPT Artistic Director Kate Snodgrass, playwright Peter M. Floyd, and Joanna Merlin and members of the cast of Absence after the 7:30 p.m. performance on Feb. 27.

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