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BackstageFor an actor seeking material, this anthology could prove a valuable resource. With Haley, the sole onstage character in Bad Dates (originally played by Julie White), Rebeck offers female performers in their late 30s/early 40s a smorgasbord of monologue possibilities. For the middle-aged male, there's a delightfully scathing two-page tirade on "the bankruptcy of the American character" delivered by Charlie (the husband-in-crisis in The Scene). Acting teachers who want to do ensemble work with their students will find sharply rendered group scenes in such plays as The Butterfly Collection and Abstract Expression.
Happily, Rebeck is as prolific as she is talented: A volume of her short plays was published at the same time as this title. The first Smith and Kraus collection of Rebeck's full-length plays, published in 1999, covers the years 1989 through 1998 and includes the work that put her on the theatrical map, Spike Heels. In late 2007 Rebeck's new play Mauritius was produced on Broadway. So with luck, we can expect a fourth volume in 2016 or so.
—Mark Dundas Wood