by Yasmina Reza
translated by Christopher Hampton
Director - Sol Baumrind
Producer - Bill Moore
For most people, art is a matter of taste. Not so for Three men in "ART". To these three, a debate about the merits of a piece of modern art becomes a hilarious catastrophe in their fifteen-year friendship.
Serge has recently paid an absurd amount of money for an entirely white painting by the hottest new painter in Paris. He is hoping his investment will catapult him into the highest echelon of art collectors and is excited to display his new acquisition to his two closest friends. Unfortunately, the response is not what he had expected.
As their opposition becomes known, battle lines are drawn, and the three friends square off over the canvas.
Marc, typically cynical and sarcastic, takes a single glance and declares the purchase impulsive, foolish and trend-pandering.
Yvan, the eternal peacemaker, thinks the price overly extravagant, but still defers to Serge's right to make the purchase and is glad for his pride in the piece.
What begins as a philosophical exchange about creativity and freedom soon becomes a savage comedy about the sophistication of art and the fragility of friendship. The composition becomes the excuse the three have needed to comically batter relentlessly over the personal failings of each.
Because of its ability to expound on the nature of art, life, and the relationship of friends in terms both piercing and hilarious, the honesty in ART is as rare and invigorating as a fine painting itself. Not only is the play scintillating and different, but the central controversy provided by the painting - and the trio's reaction to it - is so provocative that the play can be debated as passionately by the audience as the canvas is debated on onstage.
ART has been praised internationally for being both shrewdly conceived and stunningly written. Newsweek called ART "...a nonstop cross-fire of crackling language...a marriage of Moliere and Woody Allen...Reza is a fiendishly clever writer." The Independent in London called it "funny, sophisticated, stylish, stimulating and moving." The London Times said, "A remarkably wise, witty and intelligent comedy...ART has touched a universal nerve." Attesting to its universality, the play has been translated into 20 languages and produced worldwide. During its overwhelmingly successful runs in New York, London and Paris, ART won many major theatre awards, including, respectively, the 1998 Tony Award for Best Play, the 1996 Olivier Award for Best Comedy, and the Moliere Award for Best Play, Best Production and Best Author.
For further information Contact Sol Baumrind 802-253-8748 or via email at Lbaumrind@aol.com
- Serge ~ Joe Mara
Marc ~ John Springer-Miller
Yvan ~ Donald Rowe