Theresa Rebeck’s Spike Heels was the first play by this multitalented writer to gain wide notice. Originally staged as a workshop piece by the New York Stage and Film Company at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1990, the play was first produced in New York at the Second Stage Theatre in 1992. That first production starred the well-known movie actor Kevin Bacon as Edward. The play explores issues of sexual harassment, the control and use of women, self-determination and identity, and changing expectations of men in a feminist era. Its discussion of sexual harassment was particularly timely, coming as it did soon after Anita Hill was hostilely questioned by Congress about her assertions that Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had harassed her. Although the important New York critics were not universally fond of the play, it was a success in that over the next decade it was produced all over the country. As Rebeck has gone on to fame and recognition as a screenwriter for television and film, the play remains an important early milestone in her career as well as an intelligent examination of issues that are as important today as they were in 1990.
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