Three friends gather to see a newly purchased piece of artwork, and end up finding out a lot about themselves and their friendship. That's the basic premise of the Depot Theater's newest show 'ART', which opens this Friday, June 14.
"It's about these three friends working out what the art means to them, and what they mean to each other," Jennifer Vierthaler, the director of the play explained.
Written by Yasmina Reza and translated by Christopher Hampton, 'ART' is billed as a comedy, but there are several dramatic moments as well. The play won a Laurence Olivier Award and Tony Award in 1998.
"There's a lot to laugh at in this play," Vierthaler said, "but as the three friends examine their friendship there are several dramatic elements as well."
The play opens with Serge, Lewis Mize, having just spent a large amount of money on a painting. He expects his friends, Marc, Mark Vierthaler, and Yvan, Miguel Vega, to be just as pleased with the purchase as he is, unfortunately the three friends don't quite see eye-to-eye on what art is, and chaos ensues.
"There's a lot of strong language in the show," warns Vierthaler, "it's not there to offend, it's just that's how the characters talk."
Vierthaler goes on to say that in spite of the harsh language it's still a great show.
This is Vierthaler's fourth time directing a play at the Depot this season. She said with every play there are new challenges for the actors and director.
With 'ART', which has only three actors to direct, she has to be picky about everything the actors say and do.
"I have to be aware of every little detail, because there's not much to hide behind," Vierthaler said, "I have to work really hard to make sure the characters embody the right mood, that the funny moments are funny, that the dramatic moments are dramatic."
It's also a challenge because the play is set in Serge's apartment, so there's not a lot of visual elements to the play.
"I can't use the set or any costumes or props to draw the audience in," Vierthaler said, "I have to help the actors become real characters that the audience can become emotionally involved with."
The play will be performed at the Homestead Theater, and Vierthaler said this smaller stage helps the audience connect with the characters better.
The location also helps with the flow of the play; because no dinner will be served, just hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar, there will be no intermission and the audience can fully concentrate on the play.
'ART' will run Friday, Saturday and Sunday's for the next three weekends, doors will open at 6:45 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays and 1:15 p.m. on Sundays for the matinee. Tickets are $25 each and may be purchased in advance by calling (620) 225-1001 or at the door the night of the show.
Page 2 of 2 - Although dinner is not being served, there will be a signature cocktail sold in honor of the show, Antrios, a strawberry basil martini.
"I want to encourage everyone to come out and see this show," Vierthaler said, "it's funny, entertaining and you will walk away from it thinking about what you just saw."
If you go
What: 'ART' by Yasmina Reza
When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday's through the end of June
Where: The Homestead Theater at the Depot
For more information: Call (620) 225-1001