Category: Theresa Rebeck

Interview with Playwright Theresa Rebeck

Posted December 16, 2010 - 4:10pm

David Gardner: How did The Understudy come about?

Theresa Rebeck: I had been asked to write a monologue or a short one-act for a fundraiser at Playwright’s Horizons, and I wrote this monologue that was pretty crazy — it went a lot of different places. But there was something about it that I liked: you didn’t know who this person was, you didn’t really know what was going on, and that became the seed of the opening monologue for The Understudy. And the confusion, the sort of mystery around it — are people there, or are they not there in the house — was built into that moment. And when I decided that it was an understudy rehearsal and that he would be the understudy, I then had to come up with what’s the play. And I’ve also had a life-long fascination for Kafka: I love his work, and I felt like the kind of mysterious, you know, surreal tragedy of his work could echo in a comedic way. That’s what I was interested in — could the things that were at stake tragically in the play being rehearsed be turned upside down and remain the same existential issues, only presented in a comedic way in the play that held the other play. Who is running the show here, and what does it mean to be human, and why are we so out of control of our lives? 

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Something to think about AFTER the holidays

Posted December 3, 2010 - 12:22pm

We hope you got some great Cyber Monday deals (perhaps you took advantage of the $25 deal here at the Wilma?) While I am still not over the fact that it is already December and the second full day of Chanukah, I am totally getting into the holiday spirit. I even found a 4’ ‘holographic’ fiber-optic Christmas tree in my basement that now stands proudly on a table in my sitting room.  It's in extremely poor taste, but it stands as a reminder that for the next month, there will be cocktail parties, cookies, and cards - and at the end of it all, a kiss with a loved one to ring in another new year.

Even after my tacky Christmas tree is put back in its box and placed in the dark closet in the basement, I will have something to look forward to – the Wilma’s upcoming production of The Understudy, Directed by David Kennedy.

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