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The regional premiere of John Logan’s “Red,” 2010 Tony Award winner for best new play, opens Saturday, Aug. 25 at B Street Theatre. “Red” is also the first production of B Street Theatre’s B3 Series 2012-2013 season. This newest series "features new contemporary plays for the sophisticated theatregoer," according to the theatre's website.
Described by B Street Theatre as “a raw and provocative portrait of Mark Rothko, master abstract expressionist, whose artistic ambition and vulnerability clash as he tries to create a definitive work for a historical mural commission in the extraordinary setting of the Four Seasons in New York,” this play is sure to please both those interested in theatre and those interested in Rothko.
Brian Dykstra and David McElwee will reprise their roles as Rothko and Ken in this play that requires no more than these two characters. Jerry Montoya is the director and spoke about the play, the subject and the actors.
"'Red' is in production all over the country, and Mark Rothko, as a character, is a role that every actor wants to play,” said Montoya.
“Not much has been done on Rothko,” he continued, “who is a contemporary of Pollock. Less media is available of the art movement of Abstract Expressionism of the 50s... There isn't film of Rothko or his contemporaries, or much of it."
Montoya said that Rothko “is brought to life in his studios where audiences see him work,” and that this aspect is what is unique about the play. “The audience sees him at work, how he works, his process, his grappling with issues of painting in a very visceral way as he struggles to put paint to canvas.”
“The artist alive doing his work is the strength of the show,” Montoya said.
He also credits the “rare combination of a great play, two really strong actors who are charming and having a great time. These actors bring so much, are invested, and very committed… They capture and respect Rothko but are not afraid to show him in all his complexities.”
"Come see this play. It will change not only what you see in Rothko, but what you think and see of art and artists," added Montoya.
“Red” is produced by B Street Theatre and runs from Aug. 25 through Sept. 22, with a preview on Friday, Aug. 24, at the B Street Theatre B3 Stage, 2727 B Street. Tickets run from $25 - $35.
On Tuesday, Aug. 28, Dr. Elaine O'Brien, professor of modern and contemporary art history and criticism at California State University, Sacramento, and Liv Moe, executive director of Verge Center for the Arts, will lead a post-show talk about the life and work of Mark Rothko. This special talk will be hosted by Verge Center for the Arts and will follow the evening's presentation of "Red."