Art Isn't Easy: 7 Reece Mews, About an Artist's Search for Painter Francis Bacon, Plays NYC May 20-June 5 | Playbill

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News Art Isn't Easy: 7 Reece Mews, About an Artist's Search for Painter Francis Bacon, Plays NYC May 20-June 5 7 Reece Mews, David Brendan Hopes' play about a young artist's interest in painter Francis Bacon, makes its New York City debut May 20 at the Westbeth Arts Center in Greenwich Village.

The performance space is inside the courtyard at 155 Bank Street between Washington and West Streets, across from the Bank Street Theatre.

Jamie McGonnigal directs the new Off-Off-Broadway work, about "Mark, a young American artist who goes to Dublin to be near painter Francis Bacon, the man he has taken as his master and teacher.  Bacon, being dead, could only communicate through his jumbled possessions, and perhaps through John, a mysterious man who may or may not have been Bacon's last lover. The play is about the mystery and the unfairness of art, which may be taken as a prime type of the mystery and unfairness — and yet the extreme beauty — of life."

Some call Irishman Francis Bacon as "the finest painter of the second half of the 20th century, certainly the best on Britain," according to production notes. "He painted most of his productive life at 7 Reece Mews in London, in a room of almost incredible disarray, which, nevertheless, may have possessed a mystical order which was preserved intact when the studio was moved bodily to the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin, as a gift from John Edwards, Bacon's last and luckiest life partner."

The play features Tate Ellington as Mark, Paul Finbow as John, Amanda Jones as Nora and Mick Bleyer as Naill.

Playwright Hopes is professor of literature and language at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, founder and editor of Urthona Press, founder and director of the Black Swan Theater Company.  He is the author of the Juniper Prize and Saxifrage Prize-winning book, "The Glacier's Daughters," and of "Blood Rose" (Urthona Press, 1997), the Pulitzer-and-National-Book Award-nominated "A Childhood in the Milky Way" (Akron University Press), and "A Sense of the Morning" (Milkweed Editions, 1999).  His new book of nature writing, "Bird Songs of the Mesozoic," is due from Milkweed in 2005.  His works have appeared in periodicals such as The New Yorker, Audubon, Christopher Street and The Sun. Director McGonnigal has been represented in New York City most notably for directing and producing the New York City premiere of Stephen Schwartz's Children of Eden, which benefited The York Theatre Company and The National AIDS Fund.  He also directed productions of The Ritz (Lincoln Center's Clark Studio), Love! Valour! Compassion! (to benefit for the Twin Towers Fund).  Other recent credits include Miracle on 47th Street at The King Kong Room, a benefit for God's Love We Deliver (director/producer), Embrace!, a concert benefiting The Matthew Shepard Foundation (director/producer), Snoopy! The Musical in concert with Tony Award winner Sutton Foster and more.

The producer, Monday Morning Productions, is a production company in its third year.  Other theatre productions have included A Month of Sundays by Jason Cicci at Theatre Row Theatre, and him & her and Closet Chronicles (starring Marilyn Sokol) at Ground Floor Theatre.

Performances of 7 Reece Mews play Thursdays Sundays May 20-June 5.  On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays doors open at 7 PM for a pre-show wine reception, with performances at 8 PM. On Sundays, May 23 and 30, the wine reception begins at 6:30 with performances at 7 PM.

Tickets are $20 for performances and refreshments. Tickets can be purchased through Smarttix at (212) 868 4444.


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