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The Understudy

The Understudy
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Theresa Rebeck
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 52
Pub. Date: 2010
ISBN-10: 0822224534
ISBN-13: 9780822224532
Cast Size: 1 woman, 2 men

About the Play:

The Understudy is a full-length comedy by Theresa Rebeck. When a smug Hollywood action star lands a prestigious role in Franz Kafka's newly discovered play on Broadway, things couldn’t be better…until he meets his understudy. Can a love-sick, charmingly ditsy stage manager prevent a battle royale from developing between the two rival actors?

The Understudy reveals the inner-workings of the theatre and examines the beauty and futility of the theatre artist. Charged with running the understudy rehearsal for Franz Kafka's undiscovered masterpiece in its Broadway premiere, Roxanne finds her professional and personal life colliding when Harry, a journeyman actor and her ex-fiancé, is cast as the understudy to Jake, a mid-tier action star yearning for legitimacy. As Harry and Jake find their common ground, Roxanne tries to navigate the rehearsal with a stoned lightboard operator, an omnipresent intercom system, the producers threatening to shutter the show and her own careening feelings about both actors and her past. Will the show go on? The Understudy is a dazzling and humanistic look at people trying to do what they love in the face of obstacles that mount until all anyone can do is dance.

The Understudy premiered in 2008 on the Nikos Stage during the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, Massachusetts. It opened off-Broadway at Roundabout's Laura Pels Theatre in New York a year later. The play has been performed in regional repertory, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 1 woman, 2 men

What people say:

"…deliver[s] a clever indictment of contemporary theatre while making the characters' personal circumstances ever more Kafkaesque: They are no more in control of the forces of celebrity, art, money, and Broadway than they are of their own fates." — The New Yorker

"A masterpiece of comic clockwork, raucously funny." — The Wall Street Journal

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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