Thursday, January 24, 2013

ACT Partners with New Umbrella to Present "Rubble"

TV fans should head out to the theater  for an evening in which the TV screen and the stage collide.

Mike Reiss, Emmy-award winning writer and producer of The Simpsons, brings his new comedy Rubble to ACT’s Mainstage on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 7:30 pm for a professional reading by an NYC and Asheville-based team of artists. This is the premiere reading of the play. Tickets are free to the public, but reservations are strongly recommended. For reservations, please call ACT at 828-254-1320 or email

Rubble is a ridiculous and absurdist comedy that follows the journey of a middle-aged TV writer as he has a near death experience in Hollywood…in more ways than one! It’s a laugh-out-loud commentary on the state of entertainment today, and anyone who has ever turned on the television is bound to find it stimulating, and painfully funny.

Local favorite actors Willie Repoley, Ralph Redpath, and Charlie Flynn-McIver will be joined in performance by Ken Keeler, former writer for The Simpsons and Futurama, who will play the role of the middle-aged TV writer. “I guess this is method acting,” Keeler says.

New Umbrella Artistic Director Elisabeth Gray will round out the cast, playing all of the female roles—ranging from a bossy studio exec to a French bimbo. Gray will make her Broadway debut this spring in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, while performing her one-woman show Southern (dis)Comfort Off-Broadway, which originated at ACT. “In this reading, each of us gets to play about five different characters. It’s exciting to be involved in such an accessible piece of theater. I can safely say this is a great time to bring along friends who think they hate the theater. They’ll be surprised!” Gray says.

The reading will be directed by NYC-based film and theater director Daniel Zimbler. “I grew up raised on Mike Reiss’s writing on The Simpsons,” Zimbler says. “Directing a reading of his work is like having a chance to direct an episode of The Simpsons. A childhood dream come true!”

The comedy reading will be followed by a Q&A session with celebrated TV writers who have all left Hollywood and made Asheville home. Ken Keeler, writer and producer of both Futurama and The Simpsons, will be joined by Patricia Green, Emmy-award winning writer and producer of such shows as Christy, Cagney & Lacey, Chicago Hope and LA Law, and by Brenda Lilly, co-creator and executive producer of the award winning TV series State of Grace and numerous other works for the screen and for the stage, many of which have graced local stages. She was elected to the Writers Guild Board of Directors and currently teaches at the College of Stage and Screen at Western Carolina University.  

The Q&A session will be open to the public for questions.

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