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Yasmina Reza's ART to open the 2010-11 theatre season

Posted by Lucy Lloyd '11, theatre student writer on Friday, Nov. 5, 2010

The University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM) Theatre Discipline opens its 2010–11 season with Yasmina Reza’s ART. This Tony award-winning comedy tests the meaning of art and the limits of friendship when an amateur art collector’s purchase of an “all white” painting angers and bewilders friends and threatens to destroy long-standing friendships. ART runs November 3–7 in the Humanities Fine Arts Black Box Theatre.

Associate Professor of Theatre Ray Schultz serves as the production’s director. For the first time in UMM theatre history, Schultz will guide two separate casts performing the same script in rotating repertory.

Schultz states, “I saw this play in London when it first opened and loved the way it explores some big ideas in a very comedic way. The three characters are highly individual, yet oddly complementary, and they are very meaty and challenging roles for both student and professional actors. Because ART has such a small cast, I thought that it would be exciting, not to mention more inclusive, to double cast the play and have it perform in rotating repertory. Repeat visitors will be able to see how different actors bring different approaches and colors to the same play. And an all-female cast will just naturally bring out new subtleties and resonances. It’s been fun to work on the same material with two different casts on successive evenings, although it can also be slightly schizophrenic.”

Professor of Theatre Tap Payne designed both the lights and set that will incorporate work created by faculty of the UMM Studio Art Discipline. Allyce Amidon '12, Falcon Heights, makes her UMM debut as costume designer with returning designers Lizza Sunde '12, Merrill, Wisconsin, creating sound design and Alisha Gehrke '12, Elbow Lake, serving as props designer.

Completing his senior project in stage managing and assistant directing is Anthony Albright '11, Seattle, Washington. Serving as assistant stage managers are Madie Kvale '14, Duluth, Jenny Moon '12, Pequot Lakes, and Dana Murray '11, Cambridge.

In the male cast of ART, Donald Raphael '11, El Paso, Texas, completes his senior project in the role of Serge, the purchaser of the controversial painting. Lucas Granholm '12, Arden Hills, and Aaron Booth '12, Spring Lake Park, play the opinionated Marc and the vacillating Yvan, respectively. Featured in the female cast are DeAnna Ricci '11, Apple Valley, as Serge Lynn Bixler '12, Brooklyn Park, as Marc and Julie Renner'14, Vermillion, South Dakota, as Yvan.

ART will be performed Wednesday through Saturday, November 3–6, at 7:30 p.m. with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday, November 6–7. Tickets are $8 for general admission and $5 for students and senior citizens. Receive $1 off each repeat viewing by showing your ticket stub from a previous performance. Free, convenient parking is available in all UMM lots. For additional information, including group rates or advance ticket sales, please e-mail the Theatre Box Office or call 320-589-6249.