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Vermont Actors’ Rep gives intimate performance of “The Understudy”

Nov. 7-11 at 7:30 p.m.-RUTLAND-Vermont Actors' Repertory Theater is proud to start off its eighth season with a production of the critically acclaimed "The Understudy". The Repertory is a nonprofit organization that uses local actors to produce small shows. Judi Pompkins, who is on the board of directors, described it as "small, intimate and sometimes provocative theater in a small space. This year we will be using the Brick Box in Rutland for all of our shows." The group specializes in shows that work best in small spaces. One act plays and smaller scale productions are best; the group does not do musicals. Four other shows, produced by ART will appear at the Brick Box this season, the first one being My First Time starting at the end of January.

Pompkins explains how "The Understudy" was chosen by the director, "The director, Joanne Greenberg had chosen another play but felt that the actors who came and auditioned and were ultimately chosen, were better suited for "The Understudy". She had just the right people for the show so she requested to change it." The show, written by Theresa Rebeck, was very popular off Broadway in 2008 and 2009 and New York Times writer Charles Isherwood had this to say: "The primary object of Ms. Rebeck's comic scorn - the corruption of the American theater by the public's and the industry's obsession with celebrity - is certainly both dart-worthy and timely. Ms.  Rebeck happens to split her time between Dorset, VT and Brooklyn, NY. She is one of the most produced playwrights in the country right now and she has worked on TV shows like "L.A. Law" and "Law and Order". She won a Peabody award for her writing on "NYPD Blue" and she has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Currently, she is a writer for the TV hit "Smash".

The Brick Box is next to the Paramount Theater and it was renovated just a few years ago to reveal the 100 year old brick walls. The space is perfect for the Actors' Repertory because it only seats 75 people. One of the producing director's, Peter Marsh explained that "I think it's a very very special experience to be in an audience of 45 or 50 people and to be as close to the actors as you are. At the Brick Box, you sit within a few feet of the performers and it creates a very special theater experience. "The Understudy" can be seen between November 7-10 and 15-17 at 7:30 p.m. as well as during a special performance on November 11 at 2 p.m. All performances are at the Brick Box on Center Street in Rutland. Due to the intimate nature of the show, seating will be limited and tickets are available at www.paramountvt.org.