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Abstract Expression

Abstract Expression
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Theresa Rebeck
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 104
Pub. Date: 2010
ISBN-10: 0573642451
ISBN-13: 9780573642456
Cast Size: 3 women, 6 men

About the Play:

Abstract Expression is a full-length dramatic comedy by Theresa Rebeck. After a scathing review 15 years ago, a once-celebrated painter faded into impoverished obscurity. Can one chance encounter resurrect this volatile artist from obscurity and re-launch him to overnight success?

Abstract Expression is about a jaded, bitter painter whose sudden rediscovery sends his life into a tailspin. A famous and now nearly forgotten artist has been working in seclusion for years, supported by his high-school drop-out daughter. When he is rediscovered and launched to fame, questions are provoked: Who gets to define which art is good? Can one divorce the art from the artist? Who owns a work of art? Undercurrents of social injustice and hypocrisy run beneath this drama filled with biting humor and tragedy, all set in the complex realities of the New York art world. Theresa Rebeck skillfully compares the gritty urban realities of lives lived on the edge with the capricious intrigues of the uptown gallery scene where fame might just be a matter of who you know and reputations can be bought and sold.

Abstract Expression premiered in 1998 at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut. Since then the play has been mounted by colleges and community theatres.

Cast: 3 women, 6 men

What people say:

"Ms. Rebeck writes passionlessly about passion, colorlessly about art, self-importantly about the poor, tritely about the rich, humorlessly about the ludicrousness of art as commerce." — The New York Times

"Meaningful questions of morality, aesthetics and class conflict." — The Seattle Times

"Underneath her satirical surface, equal to the best of Richard Brinsley Sheridan in The School for Scandal, Rebeck rekindles the troubling assertion that it was the support of the political, financial and artistic establishment that made possible the triumph of absract expressionist paintings and transferred the capital of the art world from Paris to New York." — New Haven Register

About the Playwright:

Theresa Rebeck is a leading American playwright, screenwriter and author. Her plays include Bad Dates, Omnium Gatherum (co-written, Pulitzer finalist), Spike Heels, and Mauritius, which won Boston's prestigious IRNE and Elliot Norton Awards. Her work in television includes NYPD Blue for which she has won the Peabody, the Writer's Guild, and the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar awards. She holds a Ph.D. from Brandeis University and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.

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