Patty Thayer Uncategorized

ART. 3 Men. 3 Friends. 1 White Painting.

ART opens TONIGHT! And runs for the next three weeks — through October 14th.  Do you have your tickets yet?

French playwright Yasmina Reza‘s brilliant comedy (skillfully translated by Christopher Hampton) has been packing audiences in worldwide for 20 years. (You can take a quick look at the current British cast in a production at the Old Vic HERE.) What is the secret of its success? It’s smart. It’s funny. It raises a whole series of unresolved questions about modern art and about one of drama’s eternal questions: How much truth and honesty can human beings stand?

You may recognize our stellar cast from last year’s production of Rounding Third. It’s been an absolute joy working with Timothy J. Cox, Lawrence Lesher and Travis Mitchell on this incredible show. Director Kevin Harris has been itching to direct this show for years. You can read about Kevin’s thoughts on ART, directing this show, long time friendships and the difference 20 years can make below. As soon as you do, you’re going to want to buy your tickets today!

The cast of ART with stage manager Pam Hester and director Kevin Harris.

“This play has been on my “bucket list” for two decades. I couldn’t feel more privileged than to finally dive into Yasmina Reza’s beautiful script with these three actors.

Like all GREAT plays, it’s amazing to see how my own perspective on it has changed as I’ve “matured” over the last 20 years. When I first read the play in 1998, I could certainly appreciate how well it was structured and how funny it was, however, I doubt that my 23 year-old self had anything resembling insight regarding the complexities of long-term, male friendships. As a 43 year-old, my handful of best friends who have survived the 2 or 3-decade culling process could certainly attest to the growing pains our relationships suffered as we all grew and changed. There’s nothing quite like looking at someone you love—someone who’s existence has directly influenced your personality, worldview, and day-to-day—only to see a stranger. An ogre. A charlatan. A hopeless boor. What does that make you? What kind of a person would associate themselves with such a monster, and how does a person navigate the inherent, brutal self-reckoning that realization causes?

While the need for self-reflection is universal, this play feels like a very masculine exploration of it. The need of our protagonists to redefine themselves in a way that emotionally, physically, and intellectually emasculates those closest to them is a hilariously devastating thing to watch. These characters ring true; like all master playwrights, Reza presents complex human beings that reflect the best and worst of all of our natures. These dogmatic points of view (Serge’s bookstore philosophy, Marc’s lazy cynicism, and Yvan’s suffocating mollifications) are qualities that all of us certainly have within us; we can call on them at any time to either solidify or tear down our own self-image.

Sometimes it just takes a white painting to bring it all to the surface.”

Go see ART. It’ll make you laugh. It’ll make you think. And it’s only 90 minutes with no intermission.

And by the way, you can see more fabulous photos of the show HERE. All of these photos are courtesy of our friend Ryan Loyd of RyLo Media Design. Thank you, Ryan. We love you!

Ryan (finally) receiving his Jim Chernoff Award for his indefatigable volunteer work at SLO REP!