“One does not paint for students or historians, but for human beings.”
- MARK ROTHKO
NOTES ON “RED”
by Anika Thompson
In researching the artist Mark Rothko and his work, one of the most interesting discoveries was that, though he had reached the height of recognition within the art world, due to the nature of his work, he was never satisfied and lived with the uncertainty that his paintings were not ready for viewing.
His pictures were not stagnant, they moved – they pulsated as the play is so oft to say – emanating and radiating in different tones and moods, dependent on their surroundings and the audience.
In this way, a Rothko painting is very similar to theater. We work to create a finished piece, but it’s never really done. We release it to the audience and wait to see how they will respond. And no matter how much study has gone into it, or hours spent in rehearsal, it changes, each night, depending on the energy the audience brings and the mood that the theater provides.
It embraces two art forms and shapes them into one, living work of Art. In it we witness the process of a painter, the journey and spiritual awakening of his assistant and we get to feel a part of both.
The opening line, “What do you see?” draws the viewer in, asking for their engagement, pleading with them, not only for the artist or the paintings but also for the actors’ sake, to not just watch the show, but rather to lean into it, contemplate what Art is and why it matters.
Red by John Logan is a confrontation of mortality; it asks the question of what it is to be human and what role Art plays in that life.
“Everything is not fine” and that’s ok; a reaction, any reaction as long as it is true and human and contemplative, is what is required.
Here’s the details:
by John Logan
Directed by Anika Thompson
Master abstract expressionist Mark Rothko has just landed the biggest commission in the history of modern art, a series of murals for New York’s famed Four Seasons Restaurant. In the two fascinating years that follow, Rothko works feverishly with his young assistant, Ken, in his studio on the Bowery. But when Ken gains the confidence to challenge him, Rothko faces the agonizing possibility that his crowning achievement could also become his undoing.
Winner of the 2010 Tony Award for Best Play, RED is a muscular, explosive and searing portrait of artist ambition, hubris and vulnerability. A powerhouse show featuring a mere cast of two, it is live theater at its most compelling, honest and raw. A fascinating and visceral examination of the fine line between being a visionary and being a sell-out, it pulls you into the work and troubled mind of one of the art world’s most legendary figures, desperate to create something permanent in a fleeting life.
WHEN: Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 at 6pm
WHERE: Teatro Zuccone in Downtown Duluth
PREPARE: We will be reading scenes from the show. Download the scenes below.
DOWNLOAD: Audtion Packet / Audition Side 1 / Audition Side 2