June 14, 2010
Iowa Summer Rep 2010 begins with Theresa Rebeck's 'The Scene'
The Iowa Summer Rep 2010 festival of plays by Theresa Rebeck will open with the biting comedy "The Scene," at 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 22, in Theatre B of the University of Iowa Theatre Building. Other performances will be at 8 p.m. June 23-27, 29 and 30, and July 6, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 4.
Director Brandon Bruce, who recently received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the UI Department of Theatre Arts, says, "What attracts me most to Theresa Rebeck is her ability to show us something that is simultaneously beautiful and ugly."
"The Scene" follows Charlie, a man who once had a beautiful New York City acting career but is now in an ugly downward spiral of self-deception and self-destruction. Speeding his descent is Clea, an ambitious, heartless seductress who destroys Charlie's marriage without a flicker of conscience.
Curtain Up review called the play "a throughly modern, sharply written . . . sendup of our celebrity-conscious culture," and Charles Isherwood, writing in the New York Times, described it as a "sharp-witted, sharp-elbowed comedy about the savage economies of sex and show business in contemporary Manhattan."
Bruce says that Rebeck is not bashing New York's "scene," but, like the characters in the play, the audience forced to question whether giving in to "the scene" is the best choice for lives and careers.
"The Scene" had its first production at New York City's Second Stage in 2007 and has since been turned into a film. Directed by Amy Glazer, "Seducing Charlie Barker" is making its way through the festival circuit this summer.
The Iowa Summer Rep cast includes Theatre Arts graduate student Patrick Reynolds; Equity actor Katie Consamus, a UI graduate student who was a 2009 Kevin Kline Award nominee; graduate acting student Kendall Lloyd; and UI alumna Sarah McDermott (above) (http://www.sarahmcdermott.net), who is building a career on stage, and in television and cinema.
Other artistic contributors to "The Scene" include scenic designer R. Eric Stone, costume designer Jenny Kelchen, lighting designer Paul Collins and sound designer Mark Bruckner.
Dinners, prepared by Iowa Memorial Union Chefs, will be available opening night beginning at 7 p.m. A menu is available by email from the Hancher box office. Dinners will also be available before each Thursday, Friday and Saturday performance throughout Iowa Summer Rep, as well as on Tuesday, July 13.
The Summer Rep 2010 schedule, which runs through July 25, will also feature Rebeck's "The Family of Mann," and "Mauritius," which was her Broadway debut, and a staged reading of her Pulitzer Prize-nominated "Omnium Gatherum."
"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.
Rebeck is best known for her writing for television, including many episodes of "NYPD Blue," "L.A. Law," and "Law and Order." With her many published stage plays, three produced screenplays, two published novels, and one book of essays to her credit, she is a growing force in American theater and entertainment.
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 comic 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," was published this spring.
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 Scene" contains material of an adult nature. Potential audience members who are concerned about whether it is appropriate for them should call the Department of Theatre Arts at 319-335-2700 for additional information.
Iowa Summer Rep is an U/RTA (University/Resident Theatre Association) professional company employing Equity actors and stage managers, as well as students who earn points toward their Actors Equity card.
The Department of Theatre Arts is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Tickets for each Iowa Summer Rep show are $24; senior citizen $22; youth $12 and UI students $5. Both individual performance and advance ticket sales will be available at the door one hour before each performance. Simultaneous purchase of both Iowa Summer Rep productions qualifies for a substantial series discount.
Tickets are available in advance from the Hancher Box Office, now located in the Old Capitol Town Center. Tickets also may be ordered online 24 hours a day at http://www.hancher.uiowa.edu.
Hancher Box Office summer business hours, for walk-up and phone sales, are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays. From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.
Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UI arts events are searchable on the UI Master Calendar: http://calendar.uiowa.edu. Exhibitions are searchable at http://calendar.uiowa.edu/exhibitions. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to http://list.uiowa.edu/archives/acr-news.html and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.
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