Theresa Rebeck (born February 19, 1958) is an American playwright, television writer, and novelist. Her work has appeared on the Broadway and Off-Broadway stage, in film, and on television. Among her awards are the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award. In 2012, she received the Athena Film Festival Award for Excellence as a Playwright and Author of Films, Books, and Television. Her works have influenced American playwrights by bringing a feminist edge in her old works.
|Born||February 19, 1958|
Kenwood, Ohio, U.S.
|Residence||Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.|
|Education||University of Notre Dame (BA)|
Brandeis University (MA, MFA, PhD)
|Occupation||Playwright, writer, novelist|
Early life and education
Rebeck was born in Kenwood, Ohio, and graduated from Cincinnati's Ursuline Academy in 1976. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Notre Dame in 1980, and followed that with three degrees from Brandeis University: an MA in English 1983, a M.F.A. in Playwriting in 1986, and a Ph.D. in Victorian era melodrama, awarded in 1989.
Past New York productions of her work include Mauritius on Broadway at the Biltmore Theatre in a Manhattan Theater Club production; The Scene, The Water's Edge, Loose Knit, The Family of Mann and Spike Heels at Second Stage Theatre; Bad Dates and The Butterfly Collection at Playwrights Horizons; and View of the Dome at New York Theatre Workshop. Omnium Gatherum (co-written, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2003) was featured at the Humana Festival, and had a commercial run at the Variety Arts Theatre in 2003. Her play The Understudy, premiered at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in the summer of 2008, with a cast including Reg Rogers, Bradley Cooper and Kristen Johnson, and ran in New York at the Roundabout Theatre from October 2009 - January 2010, featuring Julie White, Justin Kirk, and Mark-Paul Gosselaar in the cast. The off-Broadway and regional theatre hit comedy premiered in 2015 at Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland. Rebeck was attached as a book writer for the new musical Ever After, based on the Drew Barrymore movie of the same name. That show was expected to start pre-Broadway tryouts in San Francisco in April 2009, but was postponed. Her play, Mauritius, ran at the Pasadena Playhouse in California from March 27 through April 26, 2009.
Her play Seminar played on Broadway starting in October 2011, and starred Alan Rickman. In May 2014 Seminar premiered in San Francisco at San Francisco Playhouse receiving outstanding reviews. Her play Fool premiers at the Alley Theatre, Houston, Texas, in February 2014. The theme of the play Seminar was women empowerment through sexuality and the struggles of what it is to be a female in an industry dominated by men.
In television, Rebeck has written for Dream On, Brooklyn Bridge, L.A. Law, American Dreamer, Maximum Bob, First Wave, and Third Watch. She has been a writer/producer for Canterbury's Law, Smith, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and NYPD Blue. Through March 2012 she was one of the executive producers for the NBC musical series Smash, which she created, and which also debuted on February 6, 2012. Her produced feature film screenplays include Harriet the Spy, Gossip, and the independent feature Sunday on the Rocks.
Rebeck's other publications include Free Fire Zone, a book of comedic essays about writing and show business. She has written for American Theatre magazine and has had excerpts of her plays published in the Harvard Review. Rebeck's first novel, Three Girls and Their Brother, was published in 2008 by Random House/Shaye Areheart Books.
She has received awards including 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, all for her work on NYPD Blue. She has won the National Theatre Conference Award (for The Family of Mann), and was awarded the William Inge New Voices Playwriting Award in 2003 for The Bells. Mauritius was originally produced at Boston's Huntington Theatre, where it received the 2007 IRNE Award for Best New Play as well as the Elliot Norton Award. In 2010, Rebeck was honored with the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for an American playwright in mid-career.
Rebeck is a board member of The Dramatists Guild and the Lark Play Development Center in New York City, and has taught at Brandeis University and Columbia University. In 2014 she will join the faculty of the University of Houston School of Theatre and Dance as a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Playwriting.
Rebeck is married, residing with her husband, Jess Lynn, and two children, Cooper and Cleo in Brooklyn. "Three Girls and their Brother" is dedicated to both Cooper and Cleo.
In an article in the New York Times in September 2007, she said that her plays were about "betrayal and treason and poor behavior. A lot of poor behavior."
Rebeck is Distinguished Professor of Playwriting and holds the Lyndall Finley Wortham Chair in the Performing Arts at the University of Houston.
Her other work as a playwright includes:
- Bernhardt/Hamlet (Broadway, 2018)
- What We're Up Against (2017)
- Seared (2016)
- Dead Accounts (2012)
- Seminar (2011)
- Poor Behavior (2011)
- O Beautiful (2011), written for the professional actors at the University of Delaware
- The Understudy (2007)
- Mauritius (2007)
- Our House (2009)
- The Scene (2006)
- The Water's Edge (2006)
- The Bells (2005)
- Omnium Gatherum (2003) (co-written with Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros)
- Bad Dates (2003)
- Dollhouse (2000)
- The Butterfly Collection (2000)
- Abstract Expression (1998)
- View of the Dome (1996)
- Sunday on the Rocks (1994, Final version - 1996)
- The Family of Mann (1994)
- Loose Knit (1992)
- Spike Heels (1990, Final version - 1992)
- One Acts
- Mary, Mother of God, Intercede for Us (2006)
- Aftermath (2005)
- Off Base (2005)
- How We Get to Where We're Going (2004)
- Train to Brooklyn (2003)
- Deliver Me (2003)
- The Actress (2002)
- Art Appreciation (2002)
- Funeral Play (2001)
- Josephina (2001)
- First Day (2000)
- Walk (1999)
- Great To See You (1998)
- The Contract (1997)
- Katie and Frank (1996)
- Does This Woman Have a Name? (1993)
- What We Are Up Against (1992)
- Candy Heart (1992)
- Drinking Problem (1991)
- Big Mistake (1991)
- Sex With The Censor (1990)
- The Bar Plays (1990)
Her work as a screenwriter (or story writer) includes:
- Twelve Rooms with a View (2011)
- Three Girls and Their Brother: A Novel by Theresa Rebeck (2009)
- I'm Glad About You (2016)
- "Free Fire Zone: A Playwright's Adventures on the Creative Battlefields of Film, TV, and Theater" (2007)
Rebeck lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn with her husband, Jess Lynn, and two children.
- Rebeck, Theresa (1999), Theresa Rebeck: Complete Plays Volume I, 1989 - 1998 (1st ed.), Smith & Kraus, ISBN 1-57525-172-8
- Rebeck, Theresa (2007), Theresa Rebeck: Complete Plays Volume II 1999 - 2007 (1st ed.), Smith & Kraus, ISBN 1-57525-444-1
- Rebeck, Theresa (2007), Theresa Rebeck: Complete Plays Volume III Short Plays 1989 - 2005 (1st ed.), Smith & Kraus, ISBN 1-57525-447-6
- The Athena Film Festival: http://athenafilmfestival.com/
- Kiesewetter, John. title = Kenwood native delves into criminal mind on Law & Order. Cincinnati Enquirer. November 18, 2001.
- "The Women of the Years". Ursuline Academy.
Theresa Rebeck '76
- FTT Talks presents Theresa RebeckAuthor, playwright, and screenwriter“Writing for the Stage, Screen and Page Archived 2012-07-08 at Archive.today. University of Notre Dame Film, Television, and Theatre Department. September 18, 2008. "ND '80".
- "Class Notes: 1980s". Brandeis Magazine. Brandeis University. Summer 2011.
Theresa Rebeck, M.A.'83, M.F.A.'86, Ph.D.'89
- Brantley, Ben."Theater Review; A Feisty Feast Of Wicked Wit". The New York Times. September 26, 2003.
- Laura Pels Theatre. Roundabout Theatre Company.
- Artists Repertory Theatre.
- "Kathleen Marshall Will Direct Broadway Debut of 'Ever After' Based On 1998 Cinderella Film" Archived 2014-01-04 at the Wayback Machine playbill.com
- McNulty, Charles. "Review: 'Mauritius' at Pasadena Playhouse". LA Times. April 5, 2009.
- Jones, Kenneth. Broadway's Seminar, Starring Alan Rickman, Available in Presale Sept. 6-16; General Sale Starts Sept. 17" Archived 2011-09-28 at the Wayback Machine. Playbill.com, September 6, 2011.
- "San Francisco Theatre". Retrieved 2014-05-14.
- Hetrick, Adam. "Theresa Rebeck's 'Fool' Opens at the Alley Theatre Feb. 26" Archived 2014-03-02 at the Wayback Machine playbill.com, February 26, 2014
- Acclaimed Playwright Theresa Rebeck Joining UH School of Theatre & Dance by Mike Emery. University of Houston News & Events, 2 Jun 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
- Hetrick, Adam."Ethics and Infidelity: Theresa Rebeck Comedy Poor Behavior Opens Off-Broadway Tonight" Archived 2014-08-19 at the Wayback Machine playbill.com, August 17, 2014
- Simonson, Robert. "An Acute Interest in Bad Behavior". The New York Times. September 23, 2007.
- Bernhardt/Hamlet ibdb.com
- "Seared | World Premiere at San Francisco Playhouse" sfplayhouse.org, August 19, 2016
- Hetrick, Adam."Katie Holmes to Return to Broadway in Theresa Rebeck's 'Dead Accounts' This Fall" Archived 2012-12-30 at the Wayback Machine playbill.com, July 19, 2012
- Healy, Patrick. Staging the Politics of Abortion. New York Times. April 13, 2011.
- "Review: The Understudy". http://timeoutboston.com/. Time Out Boston. Retrieved 22 January 2014. External link in
- Archived 2008-03-21 at the Wayback Machine pasadenaplayhouse.org
- Official website
- Theresa Rebeck on IMDb
- Theresa Rebeck at the Internet Broadway Database
- Who's Who entry from Playbill
- Channeling Theatre: A Chat with Theresa Rebeck, a January 2004 Playbill article
- Her Notre Dame study theatre work in the late 1970s, from the university's website
- Theresa Rebeck at Random House
- Theresa Rebeck: "I Am a Populist", an L Magazine article from December 11, 2009