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Art



Art
Written by Yasmina Reza
Directed by Kate Kuen
August 2011: The New Orleans Museum of Art


A.J. Allegra: Marc
Alex Martinez Wallace: Yvan
James Bartelle: Yvan
Jason Kirkpatrick: Serge

Michael Aaron Santos: Serge
Richard Alexander Pomes: Marc

Ashley Ricord: Stage Manager
Costume Design: Shauna Leone
Alex Martinez Wallace: Fight Choreographer
Sarah Zoghbi: Artwork
Christina Combel: Assistant Stage Manager
Kyle June Williams: Props Master


French playwright Yasmina Reza garnered international acclaim with her play Art (1994), for which she received the 1998 Lawrence Olivier Award for best comedy and the 1998 Antoinette Perry (Tony) Award for best play, as well as Molière awards for best author, best play, and best production.

Art concerns the cataclysmic effect on three friends, Serge, Marc, and Yvan, when Serge purchases an expensive work of abstract art—a large painting consisting of white lines on a white canvas. As the three men engage in an ongoing debate over the value of the painting, emotions run high and the conflict escalates to the point of nearly destroying a long-standing friendship.

The show also featured 6 actors in roatation instead of the usual 3, meaning no two performances featured the same combination of actors.

"Yasmin's Reza's Art is a beast in itself.  Add the concept of 3 weeks rehearsal process and a rotating cast of 6 and you're heading for a landslide.  Luckily, I was able to work with 6 incredibly talented, dedicated men wrangled by three of the toughest broads in the city.  Everything about this production required each actor to go above and beyond--from the limited stage time during rehearsal to the usual multiple job effort of promoting, producing and performing.  Alex Pomes, was sharing the role of Marc with AJ Allegra.  Pomes has been a fixture to the company for many reasons in many ways, but had been easing up on taking large acting roles in the past years because of his egregious work and travel schedule.  Enter Art.  Alex had just come back from a business trip, flying in the morning of  the performance.  And he was sick as a dog.  Luckily, we had a built in understudy, but Pomes wanted to be on that stage.  He napped, felt a bit better and went on to perform.  And it was some of the best work I've seen out of him.  There was no pretense.  No doubts.  No questioning over performance choices.  It was a sick man trudging through a a beast of a show, and that will to push through created a Marc I had never seen before.  Around the climax of the play, Pomes left the stage, subtly.  I looked at Ashley and Christina and knew 'Pomes is gonna go puke in the prop box.'  Luckily for everyone in the Stern Auditorium, that never came to fruition.  Pomes slipped back onstage and delivered a willful broken, frustrated climax that not only captivated his fellow actors but also the packed house.  I plan on having him lick the streetcar and get the flu before every show I direct him in from here on out."  -Kate Kuen

 
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