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Women’s Theater League Interviews Mercedes Ruehl

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Thursday Jan 9, 2014

The League of Professional Theatre Women presents actress Mercedes Ruehl on Jan. 13 at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Bruno Walter Auditorium. The award-winning actress will be interviewed by Andrea Chapin as part of their Oral History project.

Betty Corwin, who produces the Oral History series, expressed her "delight that award-winning actress Mercedes Ruehl, highly acclaimed for her performances on stage, screen and on television, has agreed to be interviewed for our series."

Ruehl won an Academy Award, Golden Globe, L.A. Film Critics, and Venice Film Festival awards for best actress in the film "The Fisher King." After studying with Uta Hagen in New York, she performed the classics in major theatres throughout the country and performed in plays by Albert Innaurato, Christopher Durang, Len Jenkins and Herb Gardner.

Her film credits include "BIG," "Married to the Mob," "Heartburn," "Funny People," "Last Action Hero" and "Another You." After returning to Broadway in "Lost in Yonkers" (Tony, Outer Critics' Circle, Drama Desk, Helen Hayes Award), she reprised the role in the film. Other TV films include "Indictment," "North Shore Fish," "Guilt by Association," "A Girl Like Me" and "GIA" and independent films "Amati Girls," "What's Cooking" and "Minus Man."

Ruehl created roles for the television series "Frasier," "Luck," "Entourage," "Law and Order" and "Monday Mornings." She appeared in "Shadowbox" by Michel Christopher (Tony Nomination) and Tennessee Williams' "Rose Tattoo," starred in Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, on Broadway in Edward Albee's "The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?" (Drama Desk Award and Tony nomination) and won a second Obie Award for "Woman Before Glass."

More recently she created the role of Louise Nevelson in Edward Albee's "Occupant" and starred in Richard Greenberg's "The American Plan" and in a revival of Neil Simon's "Prisoner of Second Avenue" at London's Old Vic Theatre. Over the years, Ruehl has taught a series of master classes at Juilliard.

She will be interview by Chapin, an editor at art, movie, theater and literary magazines including The Paris Review, Conjunctions and The Lincoln Center Theater Review. Her fiction has appeared in literary journals, and her articles and essays have appeared in magazines such as More, Redbook, Town & Country, Self, Martha Stewart Living and Marie Claire UK.

Chapin has contributed to several anthologies, including "The Day My Father Died" and "Kiss Tomorrow Hello: Notes from the Midlife Underground" and "The Honeymoon’s Over: True Stories of Love, Marriage & Divorce," of which she was co-editor. "The Tutor," her novel about Shakespeare’s fictitious muse and editor during his "lost years," is forthcoming from Riverhead Books/Penguin Group USA. Chapin has acted professionally, touring Germany in Edward Albee’s "Seascape." She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.

The discussion will be filmed as part of the Oral History Project, which chronicles and documents the contributions of significant theatre women in many fields. The interviews are videotaped and preserved for posterity in the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.

The series is supported this season by the Betty R. and Ralph Sheffer Foundation and produced by Betty Corwin. In October, the League of Professional Theatre Women interviewed Tyne Daly; another interview will take place on Monday, May 5, 2014. Last season through the generous support from the Edith Meiser Foundation, the League interviewed Patti LuPone, Christine Ebersole and playwright Kia Corthron. The prior season included Donna Murphy and Frances McDormand. The ongoing Oral History Project

The League of Professional Theatre Women is a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) organization. It presents numerous events each year as part of its mission to promote visibility and increase opportunities for women in the field. None of its work is possible without generous philanthropic support. The League, celebrating its thirtieth anniversary, now boasts a membership of nearly 500 women representing a diversity of theatre professionals in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.

League members are actors, administrators, agents, arrangers, casting directors, choreographers, company managers, composers, critics, designers, directors, dramaturges, dramatists, educators, general managers, historians, journalists, librettists, lyricists, press agents, playwrights, producers, stage managers, and theatre technicians.

To find out more about how you can support its endeavors, please visit the website www.theatrewomen.org and click on the "Support Us" tab.

Mercedes Ruehl will appear as part of the Oral History Project at 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 13 at the Bruno Walter Auditorium of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, 65th Street and Amsterdam Ave. in New York City. Admission is free, seating on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, visit http://theatrewomen.org/2013/11/27/oral-history-january-13-at-6pm/.

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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