Two Scenes from Aphasia (show in rehearsal), by Marc Straus

Performed by Nellie O’Brien, Directed by Mara Mills, to be produced fall 2024

Studio Theater in Exile @ Hudson Valley MOCA


Mute, in a nursing home, and entirely alive and brilliant, Dora’s story of her life and family, loves, and hates unfolds in this one-woman show.

Marc J. Straus

Marc J. Straus is the author of 4 poetry collections, 3 from Tri-Quarterly Northwestern University Press. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Robert Penn Warren Award in the Humanities from Yale. His poems have appeared in most of the leading literary journals in the U.S. He is an oncologist and former Chairman of Oncology and Professor of Medicine. He has authored some 100 scientific papers and edited three textbooks on lung cancer. He is the recipient of Boston’s Young Leader Award previously given to John F. Kennedy. Marc, and his wife Livia, have been avid collectors of contemporary art since age 20, focusing on new discoveries. Their collection has now had eleven museum exhibits and they are listed among the top collectors in the U.S. Marc lectures worldwide on building an art collection. He has written nearly 50 articles on art. In 2004 Marc and Livia founded Hudson Valley MOCA, a public museum in Peekskill, NY, one hour north of NYC, in an economically challenged multicultural community. HVMOCA has been the spark for the revitalization of the area. In 2011, Marc opened an art gallery on the Lower Eastside of Manhattan, MARC STRAUS, which represents 24 artists from 16 countries and is among the leading galleries today.

Nellie O’Brien

Nellie O’Brien is an actor, director, singer, and President of Compelle! Communications. The number of productions she has been involved runs into the hundreds. She has worked extensively with director Mara Mills to create new works that have been produced from New York City to Zoom.

As President of Compelle! Communications, she provides Media Skills, Speaker Skills, Message Development, Spokeswork, Speechwriting, Win/Win Conversations, Sales Training, etc. A former TV/Radio Anchor, News Director, Producer & Correspondent, Nellie O'Brien has conducted 1000s of interviews with celebrities, CEO's, doctors, and others. A popular keynote speaker/speechwriter and broadcast host, she's appeared on the major networks in all the top markets, has been quoted in the NYTimes, ChicTribune, WashPost, RealSimple, Parenting, Redbook, Woman’s World, etc & has hosted 100's of editorial seminars. She acts as a Media Spokeswoman and/or Communications Consultant for countless companies and issues in virtually every industry including Healthcare, Consumer, Travel, and Finance. She frequently moderates medical science meetings, mrkt research programs & advisory boards. She specializes in working with CEOS, executive teams, celebrities and KOLs and leads a team of talented consultants who are available for training large groups.

Partnerships: Arts Westchester