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January 31, 1986 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-01-31

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1:`1 , •

14 Friday, January 31,' 1986


his is a success story.
• l' ,
A new play, called Mirrors, will
open tonight at Detroit's State Fair
Theatre. For at least one theater-
goer, the first lines of dialogue will
signify more than just "another opening, an-
other show."
That theatergoer is Kitty Dubin, and she
wrote the play.
Once upon a time, when Kitty Dubin was
a college student at Wayne State University,
working toward a graduate degree in
English, she decided to take a class in play-
writing, simply because it fit more neatly
than other classes into her busy schedule. .
During the semester, the class — taught
by Prof. Vincent Wall — was given only one
assignment: to write a play. At the end of the
term, most of the students handed in short,
one-act plays. But the manuscript Kitty
Dubin submitted was a full-length, three-act
comedy-drama she called Cookies.
Wall was struck by what he saw as a
remarkably authentic, natural-sounding
dialogue in Dubin's play. In fact, he was so
impressed that when he returned the papers
to the class several days later he advised
Dubin to enter her play in the Detroit Motion
Pictures-Playwriting Awards contest. Top
prize was $350 and production of the play at
Wayne State University's Studio Theatre.
Dubin took Wall's advice, entered the
play, and won.
Cookies was the only play Dubin had
ever written. In fact, although she had taken
a couple of writing classes' as an under-
graduate student, she says the idea of taking
herself seriously as a writer 'had never oc-
curred to her.
"I was going to be a teacher," says Dubin
today, a small, slender woman, now 40, who
lives in Birmingham with husband, Larry (a
University of Detroit law professor), and
8-year-old son Nicolas. "That was the expec-
But somewhere along the line, between'
writing the play, winning•the award, and see-
ing the play produced, Kitty Dubin changed
her mind.
"I loved writing that play," she says, tak-
ing off her shoes, putting her feet up, and set-
tling into an oversized sofa. (Soft-spoken and
a little shy sometimes, she's also charmingly
frank about what she sees as her strong
points: "I am extremely well-organized," she
says. Or, "I have a real talent for dialogue.")
"Cookies was fun — and easy — to write.




Looking I

Tonight's first staging of
a Kitty Dubin play
has taken
many years of looking inward.


Special to The Jewish News

It was about a woman who's going through a
protracted adolescence, who is -kind of
`merged' with her parents, then with the men
in her life, who can't become a person in her
own right. I think it was so easy to write be-
cause the subject was totally about me, a
kind of catharsis play. But, even .though it
was about me, I think it described a lot of the
female dilemma now and — even more so ---
then. You know, women always hooking up
with someone else and never being able-. to
have an identity of their own."
In 1972, encouraged by her earlier suc-
cess, Dubin wrote another play, Reunion, for
her master's thesis. It, too, was a project
which seemed almost effortless to create, she
says. Professors grading the thesis gave it the
highest mark possible, and soon Dubin began
to entertain thoughts of herself as a cele-
brated playwright, crafting hit after smash
hit on Broadway.
Remembering that time, Dubin confesses


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