Trustus Theatre and the Columbia Museum of Art are bringing Tony-award winning play Red to Columbia. This critically acclaimed and award-winning script by John Logan, will come to life on stage October 10-14 at the Columbia Museum of Art. The production is part of Trustus' new Off-Off Lady series - producing theatre offsite in non-traditional spaces.
"There is only one thing I fear in life, my friend... One day the black will swallow the red," said artist Mark Rothko. The production, set in Rothko's New York studio in 1958 thru 1959, follows him as he paints a group of murals for the expensive and exclusive Four Seasons restaurant. Throughout the process, he gives orders to his young assistant Ken as he mixes the paints, makes the frames, and paints the canvases. Ken, however, brashly questions Rothko's theories of art and his acceding to work on such a commercial project. An exploration of "what is art?" and the authenticity of the artist creating it becomes the focus.
The show is directed by new Trustus Theatre Managing Director Larry Hembree with set design by internationally-known artist Christian Thee and lighting design by Barry Sparks. Starring in the two-man production are Harrison Saunders as Mark Rothko and Bobby Bloom as his assistant, Ken.
The show will be presented in an expansion space on the second floor of the Columbia Museum of Art. The event is part of the programming for the exhibition "Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade 1940-1950. Audiences will be able to see the exhibit and the show for one ticket price. There will also be a cash bar provided by The Whig. Seating for each show is limited.
"The motivation behind presenting the piece was to connect with another local arts organization and court a win-win partnership," says Director Larry Hembree. "The space will be intimate and the audience should feel very much a part of Rothko's studio, where the action takes place. I am excited about directing this brilliant play in the same building with the Rothko exhibit. What a golden opportunity."
Museum Associate Director of Public Programs and Community Relations Leslie Pierce says, "We are happy to continue our relationship with Trustus and with Larry Hembree. The play "Red" is a perfect fit for the museum and our space. I'm looking forward to a cross-pollination of our audiences!"
The New York production of "Red" starred actors Alfred Molina ("Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Chocolat" and "The Da Vinci Code") and Eddie Redmayne ("My Week With Marilyn" and soon-to-be-released "Les Miserables" ) and won the 2010 Tony Award for Best Play and also for Redmayne as Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play. It also won the 2010 Drama League Award for Distinguished Production of a Play and Molina won the Distinguished Performance Award. It was first produced in London and transferred to Broadway at the John Golden Theatre in 2010.
After each performance, there will be a brief post-show talkback with a special guest and the audience. Guests will include USC art professor Brad Collins, Museum curator Will South, set designer Christian Thee, director Hembree and the two stars of the production.
Showtimes are Wednesday-Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 3pm. The museum opens one hour earlier for touring the Rothko exhibit and enjoying cocktails. Tickets are $20.00 for Trustus Theatre and Museum members and $30.00 for non-members and can be purchased by calling Trustus Theatre at 254-9732. For more information, visit www.trustus.org.
Photo Credit: Molly Harrell