Olympia Dukakis to Lead MDR'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 perform with MDR company members in a staged reading of ABSENCE, a new play about memory loss.

Former-actress turned director Margaret Whitton will stage 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 http://www.sopacnow.org/673/MDR-in-the-Loft-Jan5 or by calling 73-313-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.

Following its successful development of Rated P (for parenthood), MDR's Theatre in the Loft aims to do the same for other previously unseen material. Midtown Direct Rep is currently running a Rockethub crowd-funding campaign for this important development series in which MDR presents monthly readings or workshops of new plays and musicals. With a cash bar and post-show discussions with the casts and creative teams, MDR's Theatre in the Loft fosters a fun and collaborative environment to nurture the development of top-notch theatre. Please consider donating here: http://rkthb.co/33502 and find the campaign on social media at #GiveMDR.

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