a play, written by Yasmina Reza
Translated by Christopher Hampton
Directed by Stanlee Hodsden
Due to the current situation with the COVID-19 virus, we will be postponing the March 20-29 performances. Our box office will be contacting anyone with a reservation for those dates.
We will announce on our website, facebook and our email newsletter once we have confirmed the new performance dates.
When "Art" by Yasmina Reza premiered in Paris in 1996, few would have predicted that the seemingly simple play would be so popular and so wide-reaching. "Art" centers on the friendship between three men - Serge, Marc, and Yvan. When Serge buys a painting that is an entirely white canvas, it causes a rift in the group. A play about art, male friendship, and the nature of truth and honesty, the story of "Art" endures in public because it makes us examine the things that make friendship flourish. The piece makes us look at how our preferences -- in art, in music, in clothing, and in stories-- give us both common interest and common division. Can we truly be friends with someone on the opposite side? This is a timely question for all ages, but especially important in our current social and political climate.
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, Ivan, though burdened by his own problems, allows himself to be pulled into this disagreement. Eager to please, Ivan 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.
Winner of the 1998 Tony Award for Best Play. Winner of the 1996 Olivier Award for Best Comedy. "…wildly funny, naughtily provocative…" —NY Post. "…a nonstop cross-fire of crackling language, serious issues of life and art expressed in outbursts that sound like Don Rickles with a degree from the Sorbonne…Reza is a fiendishly clever writer…'ART' sounds like a marriage of Molière and Woody Allen…" —Newsweek. "Anyone looking for a play that is funny, sophisticated, stylish, stimulating and moving should go to 'ART'." —Independent (London). "That such a simple plot can throw up such profound and meaty ideas about the rules that dictate art and friendship is a real treat. Reza and Hampton have an acute ear for the idiocies, trivia and petty assaults that pepper the conversation between friends…The real pleasures come from Reza's creation of three beautifully defined, original characters…" —The Mail (London). "In October I called it a minor classic. Let's change that to classic comedy, period." —London Times.
Produced with special arrangements with Dramatist Play Service