The company's producing artistic director, Joseph Adler, stages the drama about an aging artist who, decades ago, was named one of the "Ten Unknowns" — artists expected to burst wide in the art world. He has hidden himself away in the Mexican jungle in recent years, where he works with a protégé and, in the play, is visited by outsiders who push him to new passions.
The GableStage cast includes Dennis Carrig, Heath Kelts, Nicholas Richberg and Deborah L. Sherman. Designers are Tim Connelly (set), Jeff Quinn (lights), Michael J. Hoffman (music/sound) and Estela Vrancovich (costumes). Paintings are by Caesar A. Velez.
Ten Unknowns was produced at Lincoln Center in New York in 2001 at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston in 2002 and at the Mark Taper in Los Angeles in 2003.
Following the Lincoln Center run, which featured Donald Sutherland, Julianna Margulies and Denis O'Hare, it was mentioned as a commercial possibility for Broadway, but a plan has not yet materialized.
For more information, visit www.gablestage.org. *
TheaterWorks, downtown Hartford, Connecticut's Off Broadway style professional theatre, is also presenting Ten Unknowns this month.
Performances began Jan. 23. The production openedJan. 30 and continues to March 7.
In the play, "painter Malcolm Raphelson — one of the celebrated 'Ten Unknowns of 1949' — faded into obscurity after turning his back on the world of commercial art," according to TheaterWorks production notes. "For nearly 30 years he has lived in a remote Mexican village, drinking and occasionally painting. But suddenly Malcolm's style comes back in fashion and an ambitious art dealer, Trevor Fabricant, is already setting up a comeback exhibition for works not yet painted. He provides Malcolm with a skillful assistant, Judd Sturgess, who sparks the output of many bold paintings. But with the unexpected arrival of Julia Bryant, a biology grad student from Berkeley who has traveled to Mexico to study the disappearance of a rare frog species, Malcolm finds a muse, throwing off a carefully crafted balance..."
The Connecticut production features James A. Stephens as Malcolm Raphelson, Matthew Greer as Trevor Fabricant, Matthew Schmidt as Judd Sturgess and Angela Pierce as Julia Bryant.
TheaterWorks' artistic director, Steve Campo, directs. Designers are Luke Cantarella (set); Paul Whitaker (lighting), Linda Ross (costume) and J. Hagenbuckle (sound).