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LEGENDARY ACTRESS OLYMPIA DUKAKIS BRINGS WEST END AND BROADWAY HIT "ROSE" TO GMU
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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS
IN THE WEST END AND BROADWAY HIT PLAY
BY MARTIN SHERMAN
Saturday, May 8, 2010 at 8 p.m.
FAIRFAX, Va., April 5, 2010 – “A tour de force! [Olympia Dukakis’] command of this intimate epic is extraordinary.” (The New York Times) George Mason University’s Center for the Arts is proud to present Olympia Dukakis, one of the greatest actresses of contemporary cinema and an Academy Award winner, in a concert version of the West End and Broadway hit “Rose,” the story of a true survivor. Playwright Martin Sherman’s unforgettable portrait of an 80-year-old Jewish woman, “Rose” takes the audience on a remarkable journey from the tiny shtetl, or village, in Ukraine where Rose lived as a young girl to war-torn Warsaw, the borscht-belts of post-war Atlantic City and modern day Miami Beach. This is not only the story of a feisty survivor, but also a timely reminder of the extraordinary events that have shaped the last century. Dukakis performs this one-woman play at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Saturday, May 8 at 8 p.m. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III. Pre-performance discussions are sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts.
Rose recounts her life story while sitting shiva (a Jewish form of mourning) on a park bench for a young Palestinian girl who was shot and killed during a riot in the West Bank, as well as the many losses in her own life – from her father who was killed during a Cossack raid on their shtetl, to her mother who never embraced her children or told them that she loved them. She shares memories of her first husband who was taken away by the Nazis, and her marriage of convenience to her second husband. She laments her lost dream of living in the Jewish homeland. While the historical events Rose recounts are tragic, this spirited octogenarian is funny and self-deprecating and exudes remarkable strength. The play first premiered in London in 1999 starring Dukakis, and moved to Broadway the following year. Time magazine praised Dukakis for her “magnificent” acting, while WCBS-TV remarked that her performance was “astonishing.”
An actress, director, producer, teacher, activist and author, Dukakis has starred in more than 50 feature films, including “Steel Magnolias,” “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” “Mighty Aphrodite,” the “Look Who’s Talking” series, “In the Land of Women” and Norman Jewison’s “Moonstruck,” for which she received an Academy Award in the Best Supporting Actress category, the New York Film Critics Award, the Los Angeles Film Critics Award and the Golden Globe. She has received two Obie Awards for Bertolt Brecht’s “A Man’s A Man” and Christopher Durang’s “The Marriage of Bette and Boo” at the Joseph Papp Public Theater in New York City. She has also appeared onstage in “Curse of the Starving Class” by Sam Shepard, “Titus Andronicus,” “Electra” and “Peer Gynt.” As a founding member and a producing artistic director of the Whole Theatre in Montclair, N.J. for 19 years, she directed and appeared in many productions and received the 1992 New Jersey Governor’s Walt Whitman Creative Arts Award for her work. Dukakis is also a founding member of the Actor’s Company and the Charles Playhouse in Boston. She taught acting classes to graduate students at New York University for 15 years and currently teaches master classes at universities and colleges around the country. Dukakis has earned several Emmy nominations, as well as Screen Actor’s Guild and BAFTA nominations for her television work. In addition to acting, Dukakis actively participated in her cousin Michael Dukakis’ 1988 presidential campaign, and is a founding member of Voices of Earth and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and a member of the National Organization for Women, Women in Film and Amnesty International. She has also spoken at women’s expos and conferences throughout the United States on issues affecting women’s health. Dukakis’ best-selling memoir, “Ask Me Again Tomorrow” was published by HarperCollins Publishers in 2003.
The only child of Russian Jewish immigrant parents, Sherman was raised in Camden, N.J. and developed an interest in theater at an early age. In addition to “Rose,” his plays include “Absolutely! (Perhaps)” “Aristo,” “A Madhouse in Goa” and the Tony-nominated “Bent,” depicting the Nazi persecution of homosexuals during World War II, which was later adapted into a film. He has lived in London since 1980, and has also been nominated for several Laurence Olivier awards.
Tickets for OLYMPIA DUKAKIS IN “ROSE” are $44, $36, $22. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K. Visit cfa.gmu.edu.
About Great Performances at Mason
Great Performances at Mason is a program of George Mason University's Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). CVPA provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance and Art, the Department of Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.
About George Mason University
Named the #1 national university to watch in the 2009 rankings of U.S. News & World Report, George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university.