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Theresa Rebeck Headlines 4th Wall Theatre's Inaugural Play Reading Festival

4th Wall Theatre Company launches its inaugural play reading festival, 4th Wall Reads: Women's Voices. Running March 2nd - March 12th at STUDIO 101, the festival showcases five exceptional female playwrights, including Pulitzer Prize finalist and renowned playwright Theresa Rebeck who is headlining the event. The five plays, which are new to Houston audiences and range from insightful comedies to hard-hitting dramas, will be read twice over the 10-day festival with each reading to be followed by moderated talk-backs. All general admission tickets are Pay What You Can, with a limited number of reserved seats available for advance purchase.

Suzanne Bradbeer's comedic play Shakespeare in Vegas opens the festival on March 2nd. Directed by Jennifer Dean, Shakespeare in Vegas is a frothy romp about a classically trained actress trapped in the land of slot machines and showgirls, but on a deeper level, the play is a story about the power of art to inspire anyone, anywhere. Theresa Rebeck's The Water's Edge will be read on March 3rd and March 9th, with Ms. Rebeck herself directing both readings and moderating the March 9th talk-back. The festival also includes Skeleton Crew (the third play in the critically-acclaimed Detroit trilogy) directed by Julia Traber, written by Dominique Morisseau, recent recipient of the esteemed Edward M. Kennedy prize for drama. The Alley Theatre's Resident Assistant Director and Festival Curator Brandon Weinbrenner directs the reading of Martyna Majok's Ironbound-a deeply moving dramedy and New York Times' Critics Pick about a Polish immigrant fighting for love and survival in America. Rounding out the list of the festival's must-see play readings is a highly-relevant adaptation of Medea, directed by Trish Rigdon and written by celebrated British novelist and 2016 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist Rachel Cusk.

Reflecting on the genesis of the festival, 4th Wall Theatre's co-Artistic Director Kim Tobin-Lehl notes that, "one of our creative objectives for the theatre is to bring as many new and innovative plays to Houston audiences as possible. A play reading festival is the ideal platform to accomplish this goal, and we are extremely excited that 4th Wall's first festival focuses exclusively on the powerful voices of five outstanding female playwrights, including the incomparable Theresa Rebeck. By designating the entire festival as "Pay What You Can", Philip and I hope to bridge any economic barriers and bring all of Houston's artists and audiences together for two amazing weekends of theatre!"

4th Wall Reads: Women's Voices Festival Schedule:

Thursday, March 2, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - Shakespeare in Vegas by Suzanne Bradbeer*

Friday, March 3, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - Ironbound by Martyna Majok*

Saturday, March 4, 2017 @ 2:30 pm - Medea by Rachel Cusk*

Saturday, March 4, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau*

Saturday, March 4, 2017 @ 10:00 pm -The Not Silent Majority - Poetry Slam/hosted by Luis Galindo

Sunday, March 5, 2017 @ 2:30 pm - Ironbound by Martyna Majok*

Thursday, March 9, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - The Water's Edge/talk-back moderater: Theresa Rebeck

Friday, March 10, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - Medea by Rachel Cusk*

Saturday, March 11, 2017 @ 2:30 pm - Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau*

Saturday, March 11, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - The Water's Edge/talk-back moderater: Kim Tobin-Lehl

Sunday, March 12, 2017 @ 2:30 pm - Shakespeare in Vegas by Suzanne Bradbeer*

*Talk-back moderated by Dr. Robert Shimko/Director of the University of Houston's School of Theatre and Dance

Join 4th Wall Theatre on March 2nd - March 12th for its inaugural play reading festival, 4th Wall Reads: Women's Voices at STUDIO 101, 1824 Spring Street, Houston, TX, 77007. Award-winning playwright Theresa Rebeck will headline the festival, which spans two weekends with play readings and talk-backs held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 pm, with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:30 pm. Additionally, on Saturday, March 4th at 10:00 pm, Luis Galindo will host a The Not Silent Majority - Poetry Slam featuring some of Houston's best female slam poets. All attendees to the festival's final reading on March 12th at 2:30 pm are invited to attend the closing party, to be held immediately following the reading and talk-back at STUDIO 101. Festival general admission tickets are Pay What You Can at the door, with a limited number of reserved premier seating priced at $29.00 and $49.00. 4th Wall Theatre's season subscribers are eligible for free festival admission by e-mailing with requested dates and ticket number. To purchase reserved tickets for 4th Wall Reads: Women's Voices and for more festival details, please call the Box Office at 832-786-1849 or visit the theatre's website at

Creative Team for 4th Wall Reads: Women's Voices:*

Theresa Rebeck (Playwright/Special Guest Artist) is an award-winning playwright, whose works are widely produced throughout the United States and abroad. New York productions of her work include: Dead Accounts, Seminar, Mauritius, The Scene, The Water's Edge, Loose Knit, The Family of Mann, Spike Heels, Bad Dates, The Butterfly Collection, Our House, The Understudy and View of the Dome. Omnium Gatherum (a finalist for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize) was featured at the Humana Festival, and had a commercial run at the Variety Arts Theatre. All of Ms. Rebeck's past produced plays are published by Smith and Kraus as Theresa Rebeck: Complete Plays, Volumes I, II III, and IV and in acting editions available from Samuel French or Playscripts. Ms. Rebeck's other publications are Free Fire Zone, a book of comedic essays about writing and show business. She has written for American Theatre Magazine and has had excerpts of her plays published in the Harvard Review, and is the author of two novels-Three Girls and Their Brother and Twelve Rooms With A View. For television, Ms. Rebeck was the creator of the NBC drama Smash, a writer/producer for Canterbury's Law, Smith, Law and Order: Criminal Intent and NYPD Blue and she has written for Dream On, Brooklyn Bridge, L.A. Law, American Dreamer, Maximum Bob, First Wave, and Third Watch. Ms. Rebeck has produced numerous feature films including: Harriet the Spy, Gossip, Sunday on the Rocks and Seducing Charlie Barker (an adaptation of her play, The Scene). In addition to being a 2003 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Omnium Gatherum, Ms. Rebeck was named one of the 150 Fearless Women in the World by Newsweek Magazine in 2011. Highlights of other awards received by Ms. Rebeck include: Mystery Writer's of America's Edgar Award, Writer's Guild of America award for Episodic Drama, Hispanic Images Imagen Award, and the Peabody, all for her work on NYPD Blue. She won the National Theatre Conference Award for The Family of Mann, and was awarded the William Inge New Voices Playwriting Award in 2003 for The Bells. Ms. Rebeck holds an MFA in Playwrighting and a PhD. in Victorian Melodrama from Brandeis University. She is a proud board member of the Dramatists Guild, a Contributing Editor to the Harvard Review, an Associate Artist of the Roundabout Theatre Company, and Playwright Adviser and Board Member of the LARK.

Kim Tobin-Lehl (Producer and Talk-Back Moderator) is co-Founder and co-Artistic Director of 4th Wall Theatre Company. Kim has acted in and directed numerous productions for 4th Wall Theatre and has extensive acting, directing and producer credits in both NYC and in LA. A Houston native, Kim has a BA in acting and directing from the University of Houston with a minor in creative writing. After relocating to New York, she trained with/at a number of elite teachers and conservatories, including: Stella Adler & The Stella Adler Conservatory, Gene Frankel, Circle In The Square, The Shakespeare Lab at The Public Theatre, Seth Barrish & Lee Brock at The Barrow Group, as well as SAndy Marshall and Larry Moss. In New York, Kim served as an officer with the New Mercury Theatre Company, and she was also Artistic Director of Blue Sphere East theatre company (the New York sister company to the acclaimed Blue

Sphere ALLIANCE THEATRE company based in Los Angeles). In addition to her extensive body of work, Kim is a highly sought-after acting teacher (based on the teaching principles of Meisner,Adler and The Barrow Group). More details about Kim's background and her current class offerings can be found at her studio website:

Philip Lehl (Producer) is co-Founder and co-Artistic Director of 4th Wall Theatre Company, and has appeared in and directed many of the company's productions. Since arriving in Texas in 2001, Philip has been a mainstay of the Houston theatre scene, including performing in over 30 productions at The Alley. On Broadway, Philip's acting credits include roles in Blood Brothers and The Kentucky Cycle, the Off-Broadway production of Hundreds of Hats as well as the first National Tour of Titanic, the Musical. Philip has worked with numerous regional theatres throughout the country, including: St. Louis Repertory, Cleveland Play House, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Missouri Repertory Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Portland Stage Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, The New Harmony Theatre and Weston Playhouse. Film and Television credits include Tripwire, The Nanny, Martial Law and Hollywood Off-Ramp. Philip graduated from the Drama Division of the Juilliard School and Drake University, and trained with the National Theatre Institute as well as the Moscow Art Theatre School. Philip also teaches at the Kim Tobin Acting Studio and more information about his classes can be found at

Brandon Weinbrenner (Festival Curator) is the Resident Assistant Director at the Alley Theatre, where he has directed Venus in Fur and the workshop production of Roan @ The Gates as part of the 2017 Alley All New Festival. At the Alley he has assistant directed over 20 productions. Around town, he directed Sam Shepard's Fool for Love at The Landing Theatre Co., Sarah Ruhl's Stage Kiss at Stark Naked Theatre Co., and will helm Karen Zacarias's Native Gardens at Main Street Theater this Spring. Past theatrical credits include serving as the Bret C. Harte Directing Fellow at Berkeley Rep, producing the 2013 Out of the Loop Fringe Festival in his hometown of Dallas, Texas, and acting in productions at the Guthrie Theater, The Children's Theatre Co., Illusion Theater, WaterTower Theatre, and Undermain Theatre. Brandon is a graduate of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Acting Training Program.

Dr. Rob Shimko (Talk-Back Moderator) is the Director of the University of Houston School of Theatre & Dance and the Executive Director of the Houston Shakespeare Festival (HSF). He is a recipient of the University of Houston Teaching Excellence Award. Before becoming Executive Director of HSF, he served for six years as the festival's Literary Director and still oversees all dramaturgy work for HSF. Dr. Shimko is also the Company Dramaturg for The Catastrophic Theatre; other freelance professional dramaturgy credits include productions at the Alley Theatre, the Guthrie Theater, Stages Repertory Theatre, Harlem Stage, Stark Naked Theatre, and the Classical Theatre Company, among others. Dr. Shimko's scholarly writing has appeared in several journals and anthologies. He is co-editor of the book Public Theatres and Theatre Publics (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2012), the Book Review Editor for the journal Theatre History Studies, and a recipient of the Robert A. Schanke Theatre History Research Award. He is the author of the play Specks, available through Samuel French, Inc.

In addition to Theresa Rebeck, playwrights whose works will be featured in the festival are: Suzanne Bradbeer, Rachel Cusk, Martyna Majok, and Dominique Morisseau. Festival directors include: Theresa Rebeck, Jennifer Dean, Trish Rigdon, Julia Traber, and Brandon Weinbrenner. Please visit for further details.

* 4th Wall Theatre Company productions are funded in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance.

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