After Private Eyes, Rocket Man and Dracula took their first breaths at the Arizona Theatre Company, Steven Dietz has opted to premiere his next work, Inventing Van Gogh, with the same theatre group. Performances are April 7-29, 2001 in Tucson and May 3-20, 2001 in Phoenix.
In this world premiere, Dietz imagines the discovery of a final self portrait of Vincent Van Gogh, believed to be the last such work by the master painter. But is the painting really Van Gogh's or the creation of a very clever forger? In the play, a contemporary artist comes face-to-face with the Impressionist in a battle over art and the creative act.
David Ira Goldstein directs Inventing Van Gogh, the 2000-2001 season closer.
Before that, the Arizona Theatre Company's joint stages in Tucson and Phoenix will see two Arizona premieres, Crumbs from the Table of Joy and the 1999 Pulitzer Prize winner, Wit plus productions of Art, H.M.S. Pinafore and Alan Ayckbourn's How the Other Half Lives.
The 1998 Tony Award winner, Art, kicks off the season with a run Sept. 9-30 in Tucson and Oct. 5-22 in Phoenix. Translated from the Yasmina Reza's French by Christopher Hampton, Art follows the destruction and rebuilding of three men's friendship as an expensive piece of art, which looks just like a plain white canvas, comes in between them. Goldstein directs. Lynne Nottage's memoir of growing up African American in 1950's Brooklyn, Crumbs From the Table of Joy, runs Oct. 14-Nov. 4 in Tucson and Nov. 9-26 in Phoenix. This play will be a co-production with the Dallas Theatre Center, with whom ATC produced Three Tall Women in 1996.
The W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan operetta, H.M.S. Pinafore, follows Nov. 25-Dec. 16 in Tucson and Dec. 31-Jan. 21 in Phoenix. In Pinafore, a lowly sailor pines for the captain's daughter on a Royal Navy ship, peopled by Sir Joseph Porter, Ruler of the Queen's Navee, Little Buttercup, who hides a dark secret and Dick Deadeye, the ugliest shipman in the entire fleet. Goldstein will direct with choreography by Patricia Wilcox and musical direction by Michael Koerner.
Wit, Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize winning play about a brilliant literature professor forced to face her own humanity by ovarian cancer, runs Jan. 13-Feb. 3 in Tucson and Feb. 8-25 in Phoenix. Samantha K. Wyer directs.
In a co-production with Pasadena Playhouse, with whom ATC collaborated on last season's Play On!, the company will produce Ayckbourn's How the Other Half Lives. In typical twisted Ayckbourn style, three couples gather together for dinner parties on consecutive nights -- only both nights are happening on stage at the same time. Throw in a pair of illicit lovers, and confusion takes over. The play's director is yet to be announced.
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-- By Christine Ehren