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Theresa Rebeck Volume II: Complete Full-Length Plays 1999-2007
     

Theresa Rebeck Volume II: Complete Full-Length Plays 1999-2007

by Theresa Rebeck
 
In The Butterfly Collection - indeed in all the plays in this anthology - Theresa Rebeck asks big questions: What does it mean to be human? How do we hold onto our humanity? What's it like on the dark side? What are the limits? What do we risk? What are the consequences? What endures? In marriage? Family? Art? The world? Her questions are epic in scope, but rooted in

Overview

In The Butterfly Collection - indeed in all the plays in this anthology - Theresa Rebeck asks big questions: What does it mean to be human? How do we hold onto our humanity? What's it like on the dark side? What are the limits? What do we risk? What are the consequences? What endures? In marriage? Family? Art? The world? Her questions are epic in scope, but rooted in specific people, places, and events, all with the tang of lived history.
In Rebeck's 1998 drama Abstract Expression, a woman supports her aging father by toiling as a cater-waiter at wealthy people's dinner parties. Thoughtless remarks and unwanted scrutiny are the price Jenny pays to put food on the table (even if it is rich folks' leftovers), but her labor helps protect something precious. Her father, a once-famous Abstract Expressionist painter, hasn't shown his work in years but has steadfastly continued to pursue his vision, creating works that are seen by no one but Jenny. With biting humor and a deep undercurrent of love and sorrow, father and daughter are forced to face what happens when art and the marketplace collide. It's a classic Theresa Rebeck play: life as we know it, but heightened, deepened, and sharpened to a knife edge.
Her characters are human beings with all that makes them human. Whether it's a character whose wit and charm we'd all like to possess (like Haley in Bad Dates), someone who forces us to face our own dark potential (like Helen in The Water's Edge), or one who actively courts self-destruction (like Charlie in The Scene), Rebeck's characters get under the skin. Their passions, their tenderness, their rage, their weaknesses, their joys become our own.

Editorial Reviews

Backstage
For 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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781575254449
Publisher:
Smith & Kraus, Inc.
Publication date:
09/01/2007
Series:
Plays for Actors Ser.
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
308
Sales rank:
884,123
Product dimensions:
5.52(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.66(d)

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