Coming up! Professional play reading of ‘SMASH' TV creator Theresa Rebeck

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'Smash' creator and prolific playwright, Theresa Rebeck.

Theresa Rebeck is the guiding hand of the new television series, Smash, that debuted after the Super Bowl, and is a realistic backstage look at making a Broadway musical. She’s also a prolific (and that’s a mild word, really!) playwright. There’s probably some sort of record being broken due to four of her plays being world premiered in the past 12 months! Let’s say that again: four brand-new plays by Theresa Rebeck have had their debut professional productions since February, 2011!

One of those plays, What We’re Up Against, which premiered at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco in February, 2011, is having a professional reading done by Mirror Stage Company as part of their Feed Your Mind series. They’ll do two readings, one Saturday, Feb. 25 at 8:00pm and Sunday, Feb. 26 at 2:00pm, at the Ethnic Cultural Theatre near UW campus. For more information, visit www.mirrorstage.org.

This will be the 41st offering of FYM from Mirror Stage. They have done fully staged productions in their past and are fundraising for a lovely play they read as a FYM in 2007, but they haven’t yet raised the full freight for the production.

If you’ve never heard of Mirror Stage or their Feed Your Mind readings, there’s something completely unique about them: after each reading, there is an audience discuss. But that discussion is different than most of the post-play discussions you have around Seattle after readings. Most of those discussions are after new play readings in development and are focused on what you liked or disliked about the play script itself.

FYM discussions are on the topic of the play, the intent of the playwright, the relevance of the subject to our world. These discussions are fascinating, especially to Artistic Director Suzanne Cohen, who prizes the discoveries made as ideas are exchanged. “50 people can sit in the same room and see the same play and have 50 different reactions,” Suzanne explains.

“Things that audience members say in discussion might be aspects that don’t even occur to us. It brings a different viewpoint. I might have been living and breathing this play for months and you could hear it once and have a startling insight. The path of discovery is always so fun.”

A new effort by Mirror Stage to encourage audiences is to offer ten pay-what-you-can tickets as “rush” tickets before each performance. The first ten people who come and ask for them can gain admittance for as low as $1.00 each.

Mirror Stage will have at least one more FYM reading in the spring, and hopes to have enough money to mount Odin’s Horse by Rob Koon as a full production in the fall.

You can also see another Theresa Rebeck play in a full production, The Bells, now at Strawberry Theatre Workshop staging in the Erickson Theatre on Harvard. More information here.

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