Beginning December 4, 2016, The Negro Ensemble Company, a seminal force in American theater, will kick off its 50th anniversary celebration by presenting a week-long benefit run of Day of Absence at Theatre 80. Day of Absence won the 1966 Drama Desk Award for writing, and the then controversial play still offers important commentary on race in America at a time when race and bigotry are again in the news and forefront of our national consciousness. Day of Absence will be directed by Arthur French, a member of the original NEC company. The performances honor co-founders Douglas Turner Ward, Robert Hooks and Gerald Krone. NEC benefit performances are made possible through a grant from HOFOPRO. Information on casting will follow.