The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Theatre Company continues its "Outside the Box" programming with "Art" by Yasmina Reza Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 21-24. Performances will be presented on the UTC campus in Cadek Hall on Oak Street.
"Our normal venue, the UTC Fine Arts Center, is being renovated," says director Steve Ray. "We are using this as an opportunity to explore alternate venues and alternate practices. One of the things we are experimenting with in 'Art' is having a second cast. This provides more students opportunities to hone their acting skills. The alternate cast will serve as understudies to the primary cast, learning invaluable skills."
In "Art," Marc and Serge's friendship comes into question when Marc disagrees with Serge's purchase of an expensive painting. Their friend, Yvan, provides a sounding board and comic relief, if not the most sophisticated taste in art. Ideas and friendships are tested in this Tony Award-winning, contemporary, French comedy.
"Art's" three-man cast is Mark Elich, Falcian Page and Owen Vice. The alternate cast, performing in the 2 p.m. Saturday matinee, are Blaine Evans, Isaiah Owens and Alexander Walker.
If you go
* What: “Art”
* Where: Cadek Hall, 725 Oak St.
* When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday, Nov. 21-24; 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23
* Admission: $12 or $10 for students with valid student ID and senior adults
* For more information: https://utc.edu/theatre
"This play is about intellectual and aesthetic arguments, but it is also an ingenious collection of laughs," says the director. "Some of the humor comes from intellectual arguments, some from cynicism and some from someone accidentally getting punched in the face."
Ray adds that this play was originally written in French.
"I think it is a good example of why the French love Jerry Lewis. Sight gags are even funnier when they are contrasted with the philosophical arguments these characters are having."
Costumer Andrew Haueter was presented with a special challenge when designing for this three-man show. Choosing modern interpretations of classic menswear, Haueter has dressed the men in clean lines, neutrals and cool tones. Of the costumes, Haueter says it was important to him that each character look as though he would fit into the world of fine art.
"During the show, you hear these characters give opinions on each other's taste in art, among many other things," he says, "It can be assumed that they each care very much about how they dress, as well. I wanted these designs to ring true to the characters."
The creative team also includes Adam Miecielica, set design, and Jeff Davis, lighting design and technical direction.
For more information: 423-425-4269.