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SCR Press Release: "ART"

Steven Culp, John de Lancie and Stephen Markle to Co-star
in 'ART,' Yasmina Reza's Tony Award-Winning Comedy, at SCR

(c) SCR.org

October 1, 2000



Artistic Associate Mark Rucker's Staging of Internationally Hit Opens October 20

COSTA MESA, CA. - "Art," by Yasmina Reza, translated from the French by Christopher Hampton, will open October 20 at South Coast Repertory starring Steven Culp, John de Lancie and Stephen Markle. The production runs through November 19, 2000. Low-priced previews begin October 13.


SCR Artistic Associate Mark Rucker will direct the international hit comedy about three friends feuding over the merits of a modern painting.

The design team is Tony Fanning (sets), Joyce Kim Lee (costumes), Geoff Korf (lights) and Chris Webb (sound design). Randall K. Lum is production stage manager.

"Art's" Honorary Producers are John and Linda Kensey and the William Gillespie Foundation. The Honorary Associate Producers are Bette and Wylie Aitken and Pat and Gene Hancock. The Orange County Register is the production's Media Partner.

Tickets ($18-$49) may be purchased by calling (714) 708-5555.


"Art" is a contemporary play about a contemporary friendship threatened by contemporary art. Serge (Markle) and his two best friends are about to have dinner together, but first he wants to show them his latest coup - a very expensive painting by one of the hottest artists around. It is painted entirely in shades of white. Marc (De Lancie), who fancies himself as Serge's cultural mentor, is mystified by the purchase. Yvan (Culp), who survives by quietly going along with the consensus, is asked to choose sides. While the friends' evening proves near disastrous, the audience's evening is utterly hilarious as Reza deftly reveals truths about men and art, and the ties that bind them.

Yasmina Reza began work as an actress, appearing in several new plays as well as Molière and Marivaux. In 1987 she wrote Conversations after a Burial, which won the Molière Award for Best Author. Following this, she translated Kafka's Metamorphosis for Roman Polanski. Her second play, Winter Crossing, won the 1990 Molière Award for Best Fringe Production, and her next play The Unexpected Man, enjoyed successful productions in England, France, Scandinavia and Germany and will open in New York in October. In 1995, "Art" premiered in Paris and went on to win the Molière Award for Best Author. Since then it has been produced worldwide and translated into 20 languages. The London production received the 1996-97 Olivier Award and Evening Standard Award and continues to play at the Wyndham's Theatre. The Broadway production of "Art" received the 1998 Tony Award for Best Play. Screenwriting credits include "See You Tomorrow," starring Jeanne Moreau and directed by Didier Martiny. In 1997, her first novel "Hammerklavier," was published and a new work of fiction, Une Desolation, is due this fall.

Christopher Hampton is a playwright and translator whose credits include "Les Liaisons Dangereuses, When Did You Last See My Mother, Total Eclipse, The Philanthropist, Savages, Treats, Tales from the Vienna Woods, Tales from Hollywood, Tartuffe," (RSC, Broadway), "Faith Hope and Charity, Sunset Boulevard" and "Alice's Adventures Under". He also translated Reza's" The Unexpected Man" for the RSC, and is directing his film adaptation of "The Moon and Sixpence".

Mark Rucker directed "The Summer Moon" and "Amy's View" last season, and will stage "Much Ado About Nothing" later this season. Other SCR directing credits include world premieres of John Glore's "On the Jump" and Roger Rueff's "So Many Words," new adaptations of "The Birds" and "The Triumph of Love," the West Coast premiere of Jon Klein's "Dimly Perceived Threats to the System," plus "Our Town, The Taming of the Shrew, Later Life, Loot "and "Intimate Exchanges". Mr. Rucker directed the premiere of Anna Deavere Smith's "House Arrest" at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. For Yale Repertory Theatre he directed productions of "Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, The Cryptogram" by David Mamet, John Guare's "Landscape of the Body," and most recently, a new translation of Molière's "Imaginary Invalid". Other recent productions include "How I Learned to Drive" and "The Taming of the Shrew" at the Intiman Theatre, "The Model Apartment" by Donald Margulies at the La Jolla Playhouse and Steven Dietz's adaptation of "Dracula" at the Old Globe Theatre. His other credits include work for The Acting Company, Indiana Repertory, the Utah Shakespearean Festival and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. He is a graduate of UCLA and the Yale School of Drama.

CAST ANNOUNCED FOR SCR'S "ART"

Steven Culp received Drama-Logue Awards for "Angels in America" at the American Conservatory Theatre and "Raised in Captivity" at SCR. Other theatre credits include "If Memory Serves" at the Pasadena Playhouse; "Slavs!" and "Trip's Cinch" at Actors Theatre of Louisville; "Light Up the Sky" at the Ahmanson Theatre; "Highest Standard of Living" at Playwrights Horizons; "Sweet Sue" at the Williamstown Theatre Festival; "Coastal Disturbances" at Circle in the Square; "The Lisbon Traviata" at Theatre Off-Park; "Actors and Actresses" at the Hartman Theatre; "The White Rose" at the Old Globe; and "Richard III" at the New York Shakespeare Festival. Recent film and television credits include "Nurse Betty, James and the Giant Peach," "ER," "Ally McBeal," "Chicago Hope," "Family Law," the recurring role of Clayton Webb on the CBS series "Jag," and Robert F. Kennedy in the upcoming Kevin Costner movie "Thirteen Days".

John de Lancie previously appeared on the SCR Mainstage in "Childe Byron, Man and Superman "and "Going for Gold". He has performed with the American Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Repertory, the Mark Taper Forum, the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony, the Aspen Music Festival Orchestra and the Seattle Symphony. Mr. de Lancie is the host of the L.A. Philharmonic "Symphonies for Young People Concerts" and a member of the Aspen Music Festival. His film credits include "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, The Fisher King, Bad Influence, The Onion Field, Taking Care of Business, Fearless, Multiplicity" and the soon-to-be-released "Nicholas, Woman on Top" with Penelope Cruz and "Good Advice" with Charles Sheen. He has appeared in numerous television shows including "The West Wing," "Sports Night," "Star Trek," "Legend," "LA Law," "Picket Fences," "Civil Wars," "The Practice" and "Touched by an Angel." He has directed for L.A. Theatre Works (the producing arm of KCRW-FM and National Public Radio, where the series The Play's the Thing originates) such plays as "Fallen Angel" with Annette Bening and Judith Ivey, "The Waldorf Conference" with Edward Asner, Ron Rifkin, Shelly Berman and John Randolph, and the nationwide Halloween NPR broadcast of "Invasion to Mars" with Leonard Nimoy. With Alien Voices, his production company devoted to the dramatization of classic science fiction, he has produced and co-written dramatizations of "The Time Machine, Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Lost World, The Invisible Man" and "First Men in the Moon". He is a graduate of the Juilliard School and Kent State University.

Stephen Markle is delighted to be making his SCR debut. A graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, he may be familiar to daytime audiences as the hard-drinking, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mel Hayes on ABC's "One Life to Live." Other television roles include Kova Tholl in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and Kevin Lea in the recent two-part 100th episode of "Jag" on CBS. Mr. Markle's theatrical career spans 30 years with performances on many of the prominent stages of the U.S. and Canada. On Broadway he played Banquo to Kelsey Grammar's Macbeth at the Music Box. He appeared in four other productions of the Scottish play, including a production in the title role at the Belasco Theatre in New York. He also appeared as Roderigo in "Othello" opposite Christopher Plummer and Him in Edward Albee's "The Man Who Had Three Arms" at the St. James. Off-Broadway credits at the Public Theater include "The Ballad of Soapy Smith," "Cinders, Mary Stuart," the title role in "Henry VI, Part I" and Mowbrey in "Richard II". His regional theatre appearances include "Cyrano" at the Alley Theatre, Benedick in "Much Ado About Nothing" at the Alliance Theatre, "Hamlet "at the Stratford Festival Theatre, Jim in "Passion Play" at the Goodman Theatre, Taylor in "K2" at the Centaur Theatre, John in "Oleanna" at ACT, Hamm in "Endgame" at Berkeley Rep, Ishmael in Orson Welles' "Moby Dick Rehearsed" at the Denver Center Theatre. He played Claudius at the Guthrie, Roy Cohn in "Angels in America" at Dallas Theatre Centre, and James Tyrone Jr. in "A Moon for the Misbegotten" opposite Cherry Jones at the Center Stage in Baltimore. Locally, Mr. Markle played Angelo in "Measure for Measure" and Caliban in "The Tempest "at the Old Globe in San Diego, the title role in "Julius Caesar" at the Mark Taper Forum and starred in Keith Reddin's "Life During Wartime" at the La Jolla Playhouse. His film credits include "Ticket to Heaven, Without a Trace, Invasion U.S.A., Perfect Timing "and "The Manhattan Project".

Ticket and Schedule Information

Tickets are $18 - $49, with discounts for students, seniors and groups of 15 or more. To purchase tickets call (714) 708-5555. There will be a "Pay What You Will" performance on October 21 at 2:30 p.m. For that performance only, available seats will be sold at a price set by the patron ($5 minimum suggested, cash only, two tickets/person limit). Performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 7:30 p.m., with weekend matinees at 2:30 p.m.

South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, one block east of South Coast Plaza at the Bristol Street exit off the San Diego (405) Freeway.


FACT SHEET

WHAT: "ART" by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton directed by Mark Rucker

WHEN:
Friday, October 13 to Sunday, November 19, 2000 Previews: October 13-19; Regular Run: October 20-November 19 Performance times: Tuesday-Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2:30 and 8 p.m. Sunday at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.

PLAY:
"ART" is a contemporary play about a contemporary friendship threatened by contemporary art. Serge (Stephen Markle) and his two best friends are about to have dinner together, but first he wants to show them his latest coup - a very expensive painting by one of the hottest artists around. It is painted entirely in shades of white. Marc (John de Lancie), who fancies himself as Serge's cultural mentor is mystified by the purchase. Yvan (Steven Culp), who survives by quietly going along with the consensus, is asked to choose sides. While the friends' evening proves near disastrous, the audience's evening is utterly hilarious as Reza deftly reveals truths about men and art, and the ties that bind them.

TICKETS:
$18-49 Previews: $18-$39; Regular Performances: $28-$49 The Saturday, September 9 matinee will be a "Pay What You Will" performance ($5 minimum suggested).

HOW: Box office window hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays and non-performance days; 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Tues-days through Saturdays, and noon to 8 p.m. Sundays. VISA, Mastercard, and American Express accept-ed. (Service charge added to phone orders.)

WHERE:
South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa CA 92626, one block east of South Coast Plaza at the Bristol Street exit off the San Diego (405) Freeway.

CALL:
Ticket Services - 714-708-5555 Public Relations - 714-708-556

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