Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Meeting Theresa Rebeck

I'm Andrew Volkoff, director for Chamber Theatre's upcoming production of Mauritius. I currently live in New York City, but I can't tell you how excited I am to be back in my hometown, directing at MCT. Blogging's a little new to me, but I thought I'd share a New York story with you about meeting Theresa Rebeck, playwright of Mauritius. It really shows that New York is really just a large small town....


I was at Drama Bookshop in New York City last year looking for a few scripts and they're winding up this wine and cheese shindig in the store. I'm poking around on a lower bookshelf and I hear someone say (regarding a woman standing near the wine), "Well, yeah, that's Theresa Rebeck". I chalk it up as insider humor, but I do stand up and poke my nose over the bookshelf to look at who they're referring to. The man at the counter repeats it to the disbelieving woman holding a script: "No, seriously, that IS Theresa Rebeck". I'm bowled over at my luck! I walk over to her and say, "You're REALLY Theresa Rebeck?" She laughs and says, "Yes", and I say "Holy cow! I'm directing a production of MAURITIUS at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre in February!"

The long and the short of it is: she couldn't have been nicer, and when I said I had some questions about the play (Me: "about Mary.." She: "yeah, she's the one everyone has questions about...there are two ways you can play her."), she graciously gave me her email address. I've corresponded with her a few times and it's been great to get some clarification about character and motivation straight from the playwright's mouth, as it were.

After briefly speaking with her, I quickly ran to the Theresa Rebeck section of the store, bought an additional copy of Mauritius and had her sign it, donating it to last year's MCT gala. What she wrote was very cute: she signed it "To You. Theresa Rebeck. May 2010." She even let me take a picture with her... :)

I'm not generally superstitious, but I certainly consider that an auspicious beginning!

Looking forward to beginning rehearsal today,
Andrew Volkoff

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