Sebastian Arcelus, Jenny Bacon & More to Join Olympia Dukakis in Midtown Direct Rep's ABSENCE Reading, 1/5

Midtown Direct Rep (MDR), the resident theater company at South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), has announced that Academy Award-winner Olympia Dukakis will be joined by Midtown Direct Rep company members Sebastian Arcelus, Jenny Bacon, Emily Bauer and Stephanie Kurtzuba, plus special guests Kendra Jain and Dan Ziskie in a one-night-only staged reading of ABSENCE, a new play about memory loss. Former-actress turned director Margaret Whitton stages this new work by emerging playwright Peter M. Floyd that was honored by the Kennedy Center's 2012 Jean Kennedy Smith Award and the 2012 Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition. The performance, part of MDR's Theatre in the Loft series focusing on new and innovative American theatre, is Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 7 pm at SOPAC (One SOPAC Way, South Orange, NJ, 07079). Tickets, which are $15, are available at or by calling 973-313-ARTS (2787). The performance will be followed by a discussion with the playwright, the cast and creative team. In ABSENCE, an excitingly theatrical play about aging, power, grace and imagination, Olympia Dukakis plays Helen, an iron-willed woman who suffers from memory loss. As her sense of self dissolves with her memories, she struggles to find meaning in her new existence.

The reading of ABSENCE stars Sebastian Arcelus (House of Cards), Jenny Bacon (My Name is Asher Lev), Olympia Dukakis (Academy Award/Golden Globe for Moonstruck), Kendra Jain (New Year's Eve), Stephanie Kurtzuba (The Wolf of Wall Street) and Dan Ziskie (Treme.)

Emily Bauer reads stage directions and James Latus is the stage manager.

"Midtown Direct Rep is thrilled and honored that Olympia Dukakis, an actress of unmatched stature, will join MDR company members, guest actors, and director Margaret Whitton in helping to launch this important new American play," said MDR Artistic Producer Steven Tabakin. "We're indebted to Peter M. Floyd for such a beautiful piece of writing, and we are excited that our audience at SOPAC will be among the first to be exposed to this extraordinary new work."

Photo by Walter McBride

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