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Mario Lopez

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Page 28 of 147

MIAMI LIVING 27 The New Theatre in Coral Gables is a place where living playwrights can have their work produced in exceptional ways. Theresa Rebeck is one of these playwrights —who happens to also be a novelist and writer of numerous television shows, which include writing/producing for Law and Order: Criminal Intent and NYPD Blue. Rebeck holds an M.F.A. in Playwriting and a Ph.D. in Victorian Melodrama from Brandeis University. Her play, Omnium Gatherum, co-written with Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2003. Mauritius, her play about two half-sisters vying for the rights to an extremely valuable inherited stamp collection, was brilliant! And most recently, The Understudy, starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar, opened in New York at the Roundabout Theater. ML: Mauritius was your Broadway debut --how did your friends and family in your hometown react? Theresa Rebeck: My friends in Cincinnati were excited and most of my family came to see it. ML: Where did you come up with the idea for writing Mauritius? TR: I've been interested in writing a play about a valuable object for several years. I wrote a few pages about a valuable bottle of wine at one point—and then I found some information about those stamps when I was poking around some websites. ML: Can you tell me if you have a specific writing schedule? TR: Most people are impressed by the fact that I'm prolific, but honestly I'm not terribly interested in a lot of other things. My "schedule" is that I write a lot. ML: Do you have a particular writing style? TR: My work tends to fall in the area of heightened realism. I write stories with characters, which reveal themselves through action and dialogue. I believe in musical language and not interested in deconstructing the universe, at least not at this time. ML: Do you have any role models? TR: I really admire Edward Albee for the way he survived a long period when he was not welcome in New York. I think he is edgy and interesting. I like David Ives for the way he lives a complicated life as a writer and thinker. Marsha Norman and John Weidman are wonderful theater artists who have provided enormous psychological support to other artists, including me. ML: You're on the board of the Dramatists Guild, Inc. --when did you first become involved? TR: I became a member when I was in graduate school. I urge everyone who is interested in writing for the theater to join. ML: What celebrities have you worked with? TR: Jimmy Smits, Dennis Franz when I was writing for NYPD Blue. I did a movie with Kate Hudson and James Marsden. In the theater: Kevin Bacon, Tony Goldwyn and Kate Burton. I did a couple of readings with Michael C. Hall, who plays Dexter. I did The Scene in New York with Tony Shaloub and Patricia Heaton. ML: Tell me about your first novel, Three Girls and Their Brother. TR: I've always loved and respected fiction --it was one of my life's dreams to write a novel. I finally had an idea that I thought would work well as fiction. ML: What's next? TR: My second novel, Twelve Rooms with a View, comes out in England in November, here in the spring. For more information on Theresa Rebeck, go to: Upcoming New Theatre productions include: In Development until November 8; 26 Miles, November 19 - December 20; The Hour of the Tiger, January 14 - February 14; Equus, February 25 - March 28, TBA, April 8 - May 9. Call the box office at (305) 443-5909. ML ON THE SCENE Spotlight, Please! Enter Playwright Theresa Rebeck Words by Marla E. Schwartz Photo credit: Monique Carboni. Israel Garcia & Michaela Cronan / photography by Eileen Suarez

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