Art, with Chicago Favorites, Opens Feb. 15 at Steppenwolf

News   Art, with Chicago Favorites, Opens Feb. 15 at Steppenwolf K. Todd Freeman, Francis Guinan and John Procaccino play a trio of friends squabbling over a painting in Steppenwolf Theatre Company's new production of Yasmina Reza's Art, opening Feb. 15 after previews from Feb. 5 in Chicago.

This long resident run (to June) of the 1998 Tony Award-winning Best Play at Steppenwolf's Upstairs Theatre will include a second cast of actors: Starting in late March, Guinan is switching roles and will be joined by two new actors.

Expect ensemble members Ian Barford as Marc (April 7-June 7), K. Todd Freeman as Yvan (Feb. 5-March 20) and Francis Guinan as Marc (Feb. 5-April 5) and Serge (April 7-June 7) with Joe Dempsey as Yvan (March 21-June 7) and John Procaccino as Serge (Feb. 5-April 5).

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Art, translated by Christopher Hampton, is directed by Steppenwolf ensemble member Rick Snyder. The story of friendships marred by a fight over a piece of modern art, a "white on white" painting, plays to June 7.

Barford and Guinan are veterans of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company's August: Osage County; they originated the roles of father and son, Charles and Little Charles, respectively. Guinan was featured in Steppenwolf's popular production of The Seafarer (to Feb. 1). That run continues to Feb. 22. Procaccino was an understudy for two roles in the Broadway run of Art.

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According to Steppenwolf, "Art explores the intricacies of a long-term friendship between three men. When one of them drops a fortune on a piece of modern art, his friends' surprising reactions touch off a series of personal confrontations. This witty, intelligent and often funny play explores the power of art to engage the imagination and the enduring bonds of friendship."

French playwright Reza won the 1997 Olivier Award and the 1998 Tony Award for Art, which has been produced worldwide and translated into more than 30 languages. British playwright Hampton won an Academy Award for the screen adaptation of his play Les Liaisons Dangereuses and was nominated for his adaptation of "Atonement."

Snyder's directing credits at Steppenwolf include Betrayal, Last of the Boys, The Fall to Earth, Orange Flower Water (also at the Galway Arts Festival, Ireland), Things Being What They Are and Tavern Story. He's been a member of the Steppenwolf ensemble since 1983.

The design team for Art includes Antje Ellermann (sets), Ana Kuzmanic (costumes), Bob Christen (lights) and Kevin O'Donnell (sound). Michelle Medvin is the stage manager, and Jonathan Templeton is the assistant stage manager.

Steppenwolf's Upstairs Theatre is at 1650 N. Halsted Street, in Chicago.

For more information visit www.steppenwolf.org.

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