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    Actress, director, producer, teacher, activist – this is how Olympia Dukakis defines herself. The Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning star of such films as Moonstruck, Steel Magnolias, Picture Perfect and the top rated mini-series Tales of the City, Olympia Dukakis is a woman of uncommon achievement and dedication. A 30 year veteran of stage and screen, she also founded and served as artistic director of New Jersey′s whole theater for 19 years, and sits on the boards of several influential arts organizations.

    Believing deeply in social activism, she is a leading advocate for women’s rights and environmental concerns. In an effort to combine these beliefs with her art, Dukakis launched “Voices of Earth,” a theater project featuring four actresses who explore the relationship between women and “Mother Earth” from an historical perspective.

    Rooted in this social commitment, her lecture presentation looks at life as a journey of growth and possibility, and includes dramatic readings that showcase her remarkable talent. Whether addressing the richness of life after 50, the immigrant experience in America or the thought-provoking relationship between maternal and environmental concerns, her moving performances inspire audiences to reach for new and exciting heights.


Olympia Dukakis Speaker Videos Back to top

Keynote Speech


Olympia Dukakis shares the story of how a special brunch changed the way she viewed transgendered individuals and moved her to become an LGBT advocate. While portraying a transgendered character in the film Tales of the City, Dukakis expressed her concern to the director that despite researching her role, she didn’t understand her character well. To ease her worries the director arranged a brunch between her and a woman who had undergone a sex change.

Dukakis describes being taken aback by the dramatic presence of the 6’2” tall woman who arrived at her doorstep and even more surprised by her motive for becoming a woman. “This is what she said to me: ‘All my life I yearned for the friendship of women,’” she tells. “She came from a place in her heart where she knew she was a girl all those years, but didn’t have access to that life, that language, for those kinds of intimacies that I’d had as a young girl.”

Panel Discussion


Academy-award winning actress and busy social activist, Olympia Dukakis entertains the audience with a celebrity’s perspective on what makes an ideal personal assistant. “Patrick has no problem being the bad cop,” she jokingly reveals about her current assistant. “I have to kind of restrain him,” explaining that often times he manages any potential problems she might have with an organization so that any tension or negative sentiments are directed at him instead of Dukakis.


Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


An honest and emotionally powerful speaker, Olympia Dukakis captivates audiences with her eloquence while sharing eye-opening insights on a variety of topics. A keynote speaker at events and universities nationwide, she has spoken on the importance of the arts, LGBT rights, domestic violence, and acting as a caregiver for her mother who was diagnosed with dementia.

Suggested Programs:

  • A Life in the Theatre
  • The Immigrant Experience: Diversity in America
  • The Richness of Life After Fifty




* Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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    Ask Me Again Tomorrow
    From her fame as the Oscar-winning actress who uttered the famous line, "I know who I am," in Moonstruck, to her lauded role as Mrs. Madrigal, the landlord of indeterminate gender in Tales of the City, Olympia Dukakis has captured the imagination of a broad audience.

    But before the overnight success that came with Moonstruck, came twenty-eight years of hard work. For nineteen of those years, Olympia was an integral part of running The Whole Theater Company in Montclair, New Jersey, while she and her husband raised their three children. She also cared for her aging mother, who developed Alzheimer′s and moved into the family home.

    In Ask Me Again Tomorrow, this internationally known film and stage star reveals her struggle to assimilate as a first-generation Greek-American, her long alienation from her mother, her battles with addiction, her volatile personal relationships, and the efforts it took for her to achieve excellence in her professional calling.
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Suggested Programs:

  • A Life in the Theatre
  • The Immigrant Experience: Diversity in America
  • The Richness of Life After Fifty


Keynote Speech


Olympia Dukakis shares the story of how a special brunch changed the way she viewed transgendered individuals and moved her to become an LGBT advocate. While portraying a transgendered character in the film Tales of the City, Dukakis expressed her concern to the director that despite researching her role, she didn’t understand her character well. To ease her worries the director arranged a brunch between her and a woman who had undergone a sex change.

Dukakis describes being taken aback by the dramatic presence of the 6’2” tall woman who arrived at her doorstep and even more surprised by her motive for becoming a woman. “This is what she said to me: ‘All my life I yearned for the friendship of women,’” she tells. “She came from a place in her heart where she knew she was a girl all those years, but didn’t have access to that life, that language, for those kinds of intimacies that I’d had as a young girl.”

Panel Discussion


Academy-award winning actress and busy social activist, Olympia Dukakis entertains the audience with a celebrity’s perspective on what makes an ideal personal assistant. “Patrick has no problem being the bad cop,” she jokingly reveals about her current assistant. “I have to kind of restrain him,” explaining that often times he manages any potential problems she might have with an organization so that any tension or negative sentiments are directed at him instead of Dukakis.