Into the WhirlwindInto the Whirlwind


Rebecca Schull


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    Rebecca Schull

Into the WhirlwindInto the WhirlwindInto the Whirlwind

Press Release
Rebecca Schull in Journey Into the Whirlwind
adapted for the stage by Rebecca Schull

Los Angeles Times
“Can this be entertaining?
You bet.”
“It offers something rare in theatrical,
literary and human terms: revelation.”
The Irish Times

Rebecca Schull is both the adapter and solo performer in Journey Into the Whirlwind based on the memoir of Russian wife, mother, educator, journalist and Communist, Eugenia Ginzburg.

Working with a few props: a knapsack, telephone and large desk, Schull takes us into the Ginzburg home in Stalin’s Russia of 1937 where she, a dedicated Communist member, is preparing breakfast for her husband and two sons. In a few hours, her arrest and imprisonment abruptly terminate any future of family life. It is so sudden we hardly have time to understand. By simply walking ten or fifteen feet across the stage floor, Schull suggests the enormous separation placed between Ginzburg and her loved ones.

The tale gathers momentum: from courtroom to prison, from prison to boxcar, from boxcar to Vladivostok to the Gulag. Ginzburg will spend eighteen years in “exile.”  On the way we meet other female friends, many of whom will perish, fish-eyed guards implacable in their persecution and most importantly, we meet and come to know Eugenia Ginzburg.  By all logic she should have ended as a statistic, a nameless victim of history.  Ginzburg, however, fixes in her memory the everyday tedium and assaults of oppression keenly aware of what is happening around her. With a journalist’s eye for detail and a novelist’s evocation of time, place and character, Ginzburg writes two stunning memoirs upon her release in 1955: Journey Into the Whirlwind and Within the Whirlwind.  The art, humanity and reach of her story forced Russia to look into its soul and acknowledge its past.

Rebecca Schull’s performance is masterful. The scenes she evokes of harrowing events, struggling comrades and cold blooded enemies are clear and controlled without the need to rage or weep. The drama is in the detail and when weeping does come it is genuine and heartrending. Schull reveals a woman rooted in an ability to remain unalterably herself, a woman whose soul emerges more or less intact and who can still love, still hate and still believe in people.

Rebecca Schull



Rebecca Schull is one of the country’s leading character actresses. Her films include: United 93 directed by Paul Greengrass, Little Children with Kate Winslet and the independent films Flannel Pajamas, and Twelve Thirty. Her other films include: Analyze This and Analyze That with Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro; My Life with Michael Keaton and Nicole Kidman and Odd Couple ll with Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau. She currently appears in the television series Suits on USA Network. Familiar to television audiences as Fay in the hit NBC series Wings, she has guest-starred in numerous series including: Law & Order, Law & Order Special Victims Unit, Frasier, Roseanne and movies of the week including Holiday in Your Heart, Presumed Guilty, Mortal Fear and Stone Pillow. Her extensive theatre credits include appearances on Broadway: 45 Seconds from Broadway by Neil Simon, Golda directed by Arthur Penn and Herzl.  Her Off Broadway credits include: Uncle Vanya at Soho Rep directed by Sam Gold, I Can’t Remember Anything, part of the Arthur Miller season at Signature Theater directed by Joe Chaikin, Habitat, Little Eyolf, The Nest of the Woodgrouse directed by Joseph Papp, the original production of Fefu and Her Friends, written and directed by Maria Irene Fornes, and Mary Stuart directed by Des McAnuff. Her regional theatre credits include Factory Girls at Williamstown Theatre Festival and Bay Street Theatre, The Matchmaker, (for which she received a Dramalog Award) and Macbeth at the La Jolla Playhouse, The Greeks at Hartford Stage, The Seagull at the Whole Theatre Company, Richard ll at Yale Repertory Theatre and Fugue at the Long Wharf Theatre. She trained at the Stanislavsky School in Dublin and her first professional appearances were at the Dublin Focus Theatre where she appeared in John Gabriel Borkman and A Delicate Balance for which she won the Hibernia Award for Best Actress. As part of the Arthur Miller season at the Signature Theater, she appeared in I Can’t Remember Anything and later brought it to the Dublin Theatre Festival Fringe. Ms. Schull adapted and premiered Eugenia Ginzburg’s Journey Into the Whirlwind at Trinity College in Dublin.  Journey into the Whirlwind was subsequently produced at the CAST Theatre in Los Angeles and the American Jewish Theatre in New York. Her play On Naked Soil: Imagining Anna Akhmatova was produced at Theater for the New City.  Her two new one act plays: Mamie & Yvonne and Gus & Emily was produced as staged readings by The Working Theatre.  Ms. Schull was the founder and artistic director in New York of the Open World Theatre Company which presented the work of playwrights whose plays were denied production in their countries of origin due to censorship.