Sunday, May 8, 2016

Red, Art in Rep Open Westport's Season

Benton Green and John Skelley in Art. Photo: Carol Rosegg
“Where do you see art in your world” is a question that Westport Country Playhouse is asking as the theater presents a series of “Art Is Everywhere” events and exhibits around the 2016 Season opening productions of Art and Red, two Tony Award-winning plays performed in repertory (alternating daily) through May 29.

To celebrate Red, and the play’s subject, Mark Rothko, The Glass House will present a selection of photographs featuring the interiors of architect Philip Johnson's celebrated Four Seasons restaurant in the Seagram Building as well as his iconic Glass House in New Canaan. Rothko and Johnson were long-time collaborators and friends who worked together on many projects including the Four Seasons murals and the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas. The display will be in the Playhouse lobby.

Also in the lobby will be the finished canvas, entitled “What Do You See?,” from a community-created art project that drew a number of participants at the 2016 Season Kick-off Block Party in early April.

To further enhance the audience’s appreciation of the plays, local art historian Fiona Garland will host a post-show discussion on “The Art of ‘Art’” May 18. Patrons will have the opportunity to learn more about the play and answer questions, such as: What are these all-white paintings about? Is Antrios a real artist or is he based on someone else? What constitutes art anyway?

Pre-show discussions on “The Art of ‘Red’” are scheduled with Garland on May 11 and 25, at 7:15 pm in the Playhouse’s Smilow Lounge. The talks will give context to Red, while exploring some of the great works and artistic movements mentioned throughout the play, including who and what influence artists, as well as some of the great works and artistic movements mentioned throughout the play.

About the plays:

Art by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton, and Red by John Logan, are directed by Mark Lamos, Playhouse artistic director. The plays are staged in repertory to connect and intensify their similar themes. Each play alternates daily.

In Art,  a novice art collector proudly shows off a newly acquired painting to his friends. The painting is expensive and completely white. He imagines they will stand in awe, but they have a slightly different point of view.

In the drama Red the famous abstract expressionist Mark Rothko paints; his assistant runs the errands; each knows his place in the world. But when the artist asks his protégée, “What do you see,” it rearranges everything.

Art will be performed on the even-numbered days of May; Red on the odd-numbered days. Performance schedule is Tuesday at 7 pm., Wednesday at 2 and 8pm, Thursday and Friday at 8 pm, Saturday at 3 and 8pm and Sunday at 3 pm. Tickets start at $30:  www.westportplayhouse.org; 203-227-4177, toll-free at 1-888-927-7529.
Patrick Andrews and Stephen Rowe in Red. Photo: CarolRosegg

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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