UNT Theatre, College of Arts and Sciences bring Oscar-winning actress Olympia Dukakis to campus

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 16:40

DENTON, Texas (UNT) – UNT’s College of Arts & Sciences and the Department of Dance and Theatre welcome Oscar-winning actress Olympia Dukakis to campus Feb. 3. The actress will appear in a forum that is open to the public that afternoon and the university will have a reception in her honor that evening at UNT on the Square.

“We’re very excited to welcome her,” said Dr. Lorenzo Garcia, chair of the Department of Dance and Theatre. “Olympia will be here to discuss her career in film, television and theatre, including the successes and challenges. The discussion of her diverse acting background will appeal not only to theatre students, but to radio, television and film students as well as others.”

Dukakis most notably won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her portrayal of “Rose Castorini,” Cher’s character’s mother in the 1987 film Moonstruck. She has also appeared in the films Steel Magnolias, Mr. Holland’s Opus and Mighty Aphrodite. She’s been nominated for Emmys for her television work and has made several guest appearances on TV shows, including Law and Order: SVU and The Simpsons. Dukakis also has extensive theatre credits and won an Obie for Bertolt Brecht’s A Man’s a Man.

Dukakis was invited to give a master class to theatre students, as well as appear at the public forum and the evening reception by Associate Professor of Voice and Acting Sally Vahle. Vahle was selected as the 2011 fellow in the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program. It was during that weeklong retreat that she met Dukakis during a master class and the two have continued to keep in touch.

“Olympia is one of the great actresses of our time. What makes her special, in my opinion, is not just her immense talent, but her deep love of teaching and her passion for activism,” said Vahle. “During my fellowship week at Ten Chimney’s, I found her to be an inspiration. I’m thrilled that UNT students and the Denton community have the opportunity to me such an exceptional artist and woman.”

The following activities will be open to the public during the Feb. 3 visit. Media, please note that if you would like to conduct an interview with Dukakis, she will have time to answer questions following the 2 to 3:20 p.m. forum. Please schedule interviews through Margarita Venegas, 940-565-3510 (office), 609-792-9199 (cell) or margarita.venegas@unt.edu.

  • A reception will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 3 (Monday) at UNT on the Square, 109 N. Elm St., Denton. Tickets are $50 per person and are limited. Proceeds from the tickets will benefit the UNT Theatre Performance Scholarship.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

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