Posted on 03/02/2012 12:00am
The Broadway hit and Tony Award Winning play RED, enjoys its Maine premiere March 16-25, at The Public Theatre, Lewiston/Auburn's Professional Theatre. This masterpiece of theatre and art is a love letter to the creative spirit within each of us, and a thrilling glimpse into the mind of a great artist struggling with his ego, his conscience, and his art.
Under the gaze of his assistant and the threatening presence of a new generation of artists, abstract expressionist Mark Rothko confronts the pressure of his own popularity when he accepts the biggest commission in the history of modern art and paints a series of murals to hang in the famous Four Seasons restaurant. When his young assistant gains the confidence to challenge his artistic integrity, Rothko must face the agonizing possibility that his crowning achievement could also be his undoing. Electrifying and entertaining, Red paints an unforgettable portrait of an artist's ambition and vulnerability as he tries to create a definitive work of art.
Director Christopher Schario explains, "Red drops you inside Rothko's studio, surrounds you with his paintings and sets your heart pounding." The characters paint, discuss art, other artists, and their belief that "art does matter". "Selling a picture is like sending a blind child into a crowd of razor blades" proclaims Rothko. This play, littered with intelligent musings, reminds us in the most entertaining way that, "We have art that we may not perish from Truth".
"The great thing about this play", says Schario, "is that you don't need to be a painter to appreciate it, (however if you are one, this play will probably set you on fire). Aside from the fascinating historical story, the play also speaks volumes about the vulnerability and passion that is present in every creative process. We believe this production could be justified as "required viewing" for all art lovers, as well as people who are committed to their creativity. This play has a wonderful way of challenging and encouraging us to live passionately and presently in the world."
Starring in the tour de force role of Mark Rothko is NY actor Joel Leffert. Joel appeared on Broadway, and at the National Theatre in London in the world premiere of Tennessee Williams' Not About Nightingales directed by Trevor Nunn. Playing his assistant Ken will be Anthony Johnston. A popular Canadian actor, Anthony has appeared at most major theatres in Canada and has since relocated to New York, where his one-man show, Art's Heart, was awarded Outstanding Solo Show at Fringe NYC. The giant Rothko paintings used in the production will be recreated by artist Gordon Carlisle. They will hang in the set designed by Jennifer Madigan, lit by Bart Garvey, and will share the stage with the actors in their paint spattered clothing designed by Kathleen Brown.
RED will be performed March 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25. Thurs/Fri 7:30pm, Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm, with an added matinee Sat March 24 @2pm. Morning student matinee performances are also available. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for groups of 10 or more, and $5 for anyone 18 and under. For tickets call 782-3200 or FMI visit www.thepublictheatre,org