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Playwright Theresa Rebeck hopes new play comes to Playhouse in the Park
CINCINNATI (Laure Quinlivan) -- Many famous artists were born and raised in Cincinnati, but one keeps coming back.
Dozens of Cincinnati theatre lovers came to a staged reading of a unique play in New York City as part of Cincy in NYC week.
Theresa Rebeck grew up in Sycamore Township, the second daughter of six kids. Rebeck won writing contests starting in the third grade at the school behind her childhood home, All Saints Elementary.
"According to her classmates, Theresa always won [writing contests], and then she'd have to go around and read her stories to the upper class people," says Theresa's mother, Joan Rebeck.
Theresa went to Ursuline Academy, then Notre Dame, and ended up in New york writing plays. Her mom remembers walking in Manhattan and seeing a theatre marquee.
"It had 'Theresa Rebeck, "Spike Heels"', and she wasn't real famous then and they had her name first, and i remember thinking, 'Ah, where's my camera?'" Joan laughs.
Her hometown friends got to see her play, "Bad Dates" at Cincinnati's Playhouse in the Park. Theresa answered questions from the audience, and then Joan threw a party.
All of Theresa's friends and teachers were there, including Sister Claire from Ursuline. Then came Hollywood.
"Theresa walked into this restaurant and she said, 'Guess who called me tonight', and I said, 'I don't know', and she said, 'Steve Spielberg!'" says Joan.
Spielberg asked Rebeck to write the pilot for "Smash" a musical drama about bringing a show to Broadway. It lasted two seasons on NBC, but Rebeck's heart is in theatre.
So in lower Manhattan in May, dozens of Cincinnatians came to Pearl Studios in Room D to hear a staged reading of "Fool", Theresa's new play.
"I was pretty delighted with it. There's a couple new actors in it that I'd never seen before, and I'm excited to know their work," says Theresa.
Theresa Rebeck is a Pulitzer nominated playwright who has already had three plays on Broadway. One of them, Dead Accounts, got its world premiere in 2012 at Playhouse in the Park. It's about a guy living in New York who comes home to Cincinnati.
The show later went to Broadway starring actress, Katie Holmes, but Rebeck was more excited about the world premiere at Playhouse.
"That was a high point of my life honestly," she says. "It was a dream come true. Of course, when I was a kid, I just dreamed of working at the Playhouse. They seemed like gods to me."
Actors feel the same way about Rebeck.
"Theresa's fantastic. I've done several plays with her, and I kind of love speaking her language, It's so natural, you read and then say it and it flows, and it's so funny. She's such a great writer," says actor, Carine Montbertrend.
So will "Fool" come to Playhouse in the Park?
Blake Robison, Playhouse Artistic Director 3:30-34)
"This is an opportunity for us to test out her most recent play with a live audience and see how people are responding, which is so important in comedy, and that will lead to discussions about the future life of the play," says Blake Robison, Playhouse Artistic Director.
"I would love to see it in Cincinnati, it would mean a lot to me. C'mon Blake!" says Theresa.
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