The Hoogland Center for the Arts, in association with Springfield Art Association's SAA Collective, is pleased to present a staged reading of the Tony award-winning play ART by Yasmina Reza. The reading will take place in the H.D Smith Gallery, home to the SAA Collective, at the Hoogland Center for the Arts. Show dates are Friday, August 11 and Saturday, August 12 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, August 13 at 2 p.m. Seating is general admission. Tickets are $16 for adults and $14 for seniors and students.
How much would you pay for a white painting? Would it matter who the painter was? Would it be art? One of Marc's best friends, Serge, has just bought a very expensive painting. It's about five feet by four, all white with white diagonal lines. To Marc, the painting is a joke, but Serge insists Marc doesn't have the proper standard to judge the work. Another friend, Yvan, though burdened by his own problems, allows himself to be pulled into this disagreement. Eager to please, Yvan tells Serge he likes the painting. Lines are drawn and these old friends square off over the canvas, using it as an excuse to relentlessly batter one another over various failures. As their arguments become less theoretical and more personal, they border on destroying their friendships. At the breaking point, Serge hands Marc a felt tip pen and dares him: "Go on." This is where the friendship is finally tested, and the aftermath of action, and its reaction, affirms the power of those bonds.
The HCFTA cast will feature Tom Lawton as Marc, James Daniels as Serge and Gus Gordon as Yvan. ART lasts about 60 minutes. There will be an after show discussion for audience members who wish to stay and chat with the cast and local artists about the themes in the play.
Inspired by the play, nine SAA Collective artists present a series of white paintings for ART: The Exhibition on display in the SAA Collective from August 1 - 19. "We hope to challenge one's perception of the white painting," says gallery director, Corrin McWhirter. Each artist presents the challenge of a art devoid of color in a different way – from concept to texture to design. "We encourage viewers to come with an open mind and the willingness to linger." says McWhirter, "The viewer experience with the artwork will bring them to life." The exhibition features paintings by local artists Bernie White Hatcher, John Hayes, Adam G. Perschbacher, Mary Ellen Strack, Rick Taylor, M. Tumulty, Ruthann Mazrim, Corrin Smithson McWhirter, and Jeff C. Williams.
ART is a French-language play by Yasmina Reza that premiered on 28 October 1994 at Comédie des Champs-Élysées in Paris. The English-language adaptation, translated by Christopher Hampton, opened in London's West End on 15 October 1996, starring Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay and Ken Stott, winning the 1996 Olivier Award for Best Comedy.
ART opened on Broadway on February 12, 1998, featuring Alan Alda (Marc), Victor Garber (Serge), and Alfred Molina (Yvan), who was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his performance. ART won the Tony for Best Play and went on to a 600-performance run. Replacement actors included Judd Hirsch, Joe Morton, George Wendt, Buck Henry, George Segal, and Wayne Knight.
There will be a cash bar at the performance and after show discussion. For tickets to the play, visit www.hcfta.com or call 217-523-2787. For more information about the exhibition, visit www.springfieldart.org/collective or call 217-544-2787
Photo: Gus Gordon (Yvan), Tom Lawton (Marc) and James Daniels (Serge).