John Logan’s Tony winning play Red opens at the Arkansas Rep tonight for a run that goes through November 10.
While the name Rothko may not have been a part of your consciousness, his works surely have. Rothko’s canvases feature layers of emotion with each brush stroke: Bold reds, geometric shapes and streaks of color literally bleeding one into the other.
Rothko specially designed his paint to be fast drying so he could layer quickly and work in the moment. Groundbreaking in its day, Rothko’s masterpieces fetch in the millions of dollars and the influence of his work is still being felt.
In partnership with the Arkansas Arts Center’s exhibit “Mark Rothko in the 1940’s: The Decisive Decade,” The Rep is thrilled to stage the revealing Rothko drama Red. Rep Producing Artistic Director Robert Hupp will direct Red, which will star Rep favorite Joe Graves (Othello, The Tempest, Of Mice and Men, Moonlight and Magnolias) as the abstract artist Mark Rothko.
This production provides a rare glimpse of an artist through the lens of his relationship with his naïve young assistant, who must choose between appeasing his mentor—and changing the course of art history. When his assistant challenges his artistic integrity, Rothko must confront his own demons or be crushed by the ever-changing art world he helped create.
The Rep’s first-time partnership with the Arkansas Arts Center provides a depth of artistic exploration never before offered to Little Rock audiences. Amid the swiftly changing cultural tide of the late 1950s, Red is a startling snapshot of a brilliant artist at the height of his fame, providing Arkansans a unique opportunity to witness both the artists’ life and work, all within a five mile radius.
Joining Graves in the cast is Chris Wendleken plays the young protege. The design team includes Mike Nichols (set), Shawn Sturdevant (costumes), Justin A. Partier (lighting), Allan Branson (sound) and Lynda J. Kwallek (props).