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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 11, 2010

Iowa Summer Rep selects 2010 playwright, sets auditions

Iowa Summer Rep, the professional company of the University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts, has selected Theresa Rebeck -- winner of many honors as a TV scriptwriter for shows including "NYPD Blue," "L.A. Law" and "Law and Order" -- as its 2010 playwright and will hold public auditions for its 2010 company on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 20 and 21.

Eric Forsythe, artistic director of Iowa Summer Rep comments, "One reason 'Law and Order' and 'NYPD Blue' have been so popular and so good over the years is writer Theresa Rebeck. She knows her work and she knows what works for her audiences. Her theater is always compelling, often funny, sometimes chilling -- a great delight for us to work on this summer."

General auditions will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, in Room 172 of the UI Theatre Building, with callbacks from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21. Callbacks will be posted Saturday evening on the Theatre Building callboard. Rehearsals will begin on May 25.

Auditioners should prepare either one two-minute contemporary monologue or one four-minute contemporary scene with a partner. They may also be asked to perform cold readings from the festival shows.

Auditioners should also bring a resume and headshot/photo to the auditions. Perusal copies of the scripts may be borrowed from the main office of the Theatre Building.

Sign-up sheets for the audition are posted on the callboards in the north hallway of the Theatre Building. Out-of-town auditioners should contact David McGraw at 319-335-3906 or to sign up for an audition slot.

Actors of all ages and levels of experience are encouraged to audition. No connection with the UI or the Department of Theatre Arts is required and color-blind casting is followed.

Iowa Summer Rep is an Actors Equity company, but membership in the union is not required for participation in the company. Because it is an U/RTA company, actors in the company can earn points toward their Actors Equity card.

The Theresa Rebeck Festival will feature productions of "The Scene," "The Family of Mann" and "Mauritius," which was her Broadway debut. She has said that her plays are about "betrayal and treason and poor behavior. A lot of poor behavior." She has also said, "As a writer, I have always considered it my job to describe the world as I know it; to struggle toward whatever portion of the truth is available to me.

"I am a feminist in that I believe that women are as fully human as men and that their experiences are as worthy of representation, as universally significant, as men's. I believe that the hero's journey is both male and female. I believe that, as a rule, women are as deeply flawed as men are. I'm interested in writing about the way both genders make mistakes and the ways we grow, or don't grow."

In addition to her work for stage and television, Rebeck wrote the screenplays for the films "Harriet the Spy," "Gossip" and "Sunday on the Rocks." She also wrote "Free Fire Zone," a book of comedic essays about writing and show business; she has written for American Theatre magazine; and excerpts of her plays have been published in the Harvard Review. Rebeck's first novel, "Three Girls and Their Brother," was published in 2008, and her second novel, "Twelve Rooms With A View," will be published this year.

"Family of Mann" won the National Theatre Conference Award and "Mauritius" received the 2007 IRNE Award for Best New Play, as well as the Eliot Norton Award.

Among her many other honors are the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award, the Writers Guild of America Award for Episodic Drama, the Hispanic Images Imagen Award and the Peabody Award for her work on "NYPD Blue."

The Department of Theatre Arts is part of the UI Division of Performing Arts in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

UI arts events are searchable on the UI Master Calendar: Exhibitions are searchable at To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Artistic Director Eric Forsythe,; Winston Barclay, University News Services, 319-430-1013,