Rebecca Ryland

Rebecca Ryland Image

REBECCA RYLAND has had her published plays produced in theatres throughout the U.S. and abroad for over 15 years. She is the founder of Heartland Plays, Inc. and The Last Chance New Play Fest now held annually in Helena, MT. Ms. Ryland, who holds an MFA in Acting/Directing, began writing as a child, completing her first novel at age nine. She has been mentored in her work by the legendary Zoe Caldwell and the late Horton Foote who once likened her work to Strindberg. Ms. Ryland moved from New York City to rural Kentucky where she founded a non-profit arts organization that specialized in theatre arts training for youth. As the founder of Heartland Plays, Inc., Ms. Ryland has always believed that many outstanding theatre artists and playwrights have chosen to live and work in smaller communities everywhere across America and beyond where their contributions to the arts truly make a difference in quality of life. It was that belief that became the foundation for launching Heartland Plays, Inc. With experience as both an actor and on the production staff in Equity theatres, and performing with Shakespeare, Opera, Musical-theatre and Summer Stock companies— and with substantial directing experience in University, Community and Children’s theatre- Rebecca uses her background to help her search through the many submissions to Heartland Plays, Inc. to find a diverse selection of plays that meet the quality that theatres want and deserve for their audiences. Ms. Ryland travels between her home in Danville, Kentucky and her home with husband Mark on their 440-acre ranch in Montana where the view from her office is stunning. She is blessed with a son, daughter-in-law, step kids and grandkids and a cat, Sam, who thinks she’s his mom.

More about myself…

I’ve been fortunate to live most of my life "on my own terms." That doesn’t mean I’ve been free of responsibility or serious life experiences, but that I've made choices that embraced real life. I have traveled extensively throughout the United States and lived in a number of diverse and unique environments from growing up next to my Grandparents' farm in Ohio to living and working in New York City, Charleston, SC, the southern coast of Florida, Cambridge, MA, up a hollow in Kentucky and in the mountains of Montana. I traveled down the Mississippi River, across the Gulf of Mexico, through the Florida Everglades and the Bahamas on a 23' sailboat, living off the sea and meeting many fine people along the way, some of which I am still friends with today. I’ve been awed by the Vienna State Opera and orchestras, paintings and cathedrals on my travels around Europe and seen great cities and their cultural beauty now underwater on the Yangtze River in China. I've been to Sturgis by motorcycle (that’s a real cultural eye-opener) and camped my way up and down Australia. Several years ago Mark and I participated in a Trade Mission to China and India headed by Senator Max Baucus, observing first hand meetings with Heads of State. In 2008 Mark and I drove through Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Costa Rica and back. (Neither of us speaks Spanish which is challenging when the road ends on top of a mountain in the middle of the night.). Although I don't write per se' about my travels— the places and cultures I've seen and the amazing people I’ve met and the experiences along the way color and influence my work. Most people think those of us who have made our living principally in the arts are destined to always be "poor" but I am here to say that I have lived a rich life and I wouldn't change it for all the money in the world. (Maybe for world peace, but not money.).

Author's Plays