Projects & Profiles

Back To Projects

Playwright in Residence, 2010-2011: Theresa Rebeck, O, Beautiful

(ENG and THEA)

The intention of this project was to commission a prominent American playwright to create a new play for UD’s professional theatre company, the Resident Ensemble Players (REP) and, while doing so, to be a guest instructor in a variety of English Department courses in fiction writing and drama. An additional aspect of this commission was for the author to deliver a public lecture on a topic of her or his choice.

A commission was offered to Theresa Rebeck, Broadway and off-Broadway playwright (winner of the PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award for an American Playwright in Mid-Career) and successful author/producer for television (L.A. Law, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, NYPD Blue, NBC’s new series Smash), as well as critically acclaimed novelist.

Ms. Rebeck delivered a public lecture for the Freshman Experience, participated in seven English Department courses (including a special meeting of English students and faculty), and three large Theatre Department lecture courses. In these courses Ms. Rebeck interacted with a total of approximately 958 students.

The play she created for REP, titled, O Beautiful was the subject of a cover story in the New York Times arts section on April 14, 2011.

The production was designed by a team of top professionals and directed by REP Producing Artistic Director, Sanford Robbins.

Subsequently, O Beautiful has been produced at Connecticut Repertory Theatre in fall 2012. O Beautiful will open the season at the Alley Theatre in August of 2013.

Matt Kinservik is the Associate Dean for the Humanities and a Professor of English at the University of Delaware. His research specialization is eighteenth-century British literature and theatre history and he enjoys teaching courses in Shakespeare, drama, and British literature. As Associate Dean for the Humanities he has promoted Arts and Humanities programming that brings the campus and the surrounding community together, connecting faculty, artists, students, and lifelong learners.

Theresa Rebeck is a widely produced playwright whose many plays include Broadway’s Seminar, Mauritius, and Dead Accounts. Her novels, Three Girls and Their Brother and Twelve Rooms, were published by Random House/Shaye Areheart. Ms. Rebeck created NBC’s series Smash, and has produced and written for Law and Order: Criminal Intent, and NYPD Blue. Her produced feature films include Harriet the Spy, Gossip, Sunday on the Rocks and Seducing Charlie Barker. Ms. Rebeck has an MFA in Playwrighting and a PhD. in Victorian Melodrama both from Brandeis University. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.

Sanford (Sandy) Robbins is the Producing Artistic Director of UD’s Resident Ensemble Players (REP), the professional theatre at the University of Delaware, as well as the founder and Director of Training for the University’s MFA program, the Professional Theatre Training Program (PTTP. Theatres for which he has directed include the Alley Theatre, Oregon Shakespearean Festival, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Los Angeles Shakespeare Festival, and American Players Theatre, as well as multiple productions for the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, where he served for several years as a resident director and remains a frequent guest director.