Ensemble Theatre Presents RED
The Tony Award-winning Broadway Hit
About Celebrated Painter Mark Rothko
Santa Barbara CA — Ensemble Theatre Company's (ETC) fourth production of its 2013-14 Season in the New Vic will be the Tony Award-winning play Red by John Logan. This sizzling 90-minute bio-drama about famed abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko is “intense and exciting,” says The New York Times. This searing and humorous study of an artist's ambition and vulnerability will run from May 15 to June 1, 2014. Opening night is Saturday, May 17.
The year is 1958, and the renowned painter Mark Rothko is commissioned to create a series of paintings for a new and exclusive Four Seasons restaurant. But is it art, or is he merely selling out for commercial gain? Red pits Rothko against an idealistic young protégé in a thrilling look into the artistic temperament and the relationship between the artist and his creations, as well as the primal relationship between father and son, as well as of teacher and student. Intense, funny, philosophical, and sensual in its examination of the creative mind, the play—like Rothko's vibrantly colored rectangle paintings—brims with energy and ecstasy.
"The audience experiences the actual making of art — from the mixing of pigments to the building and priming of a canvas," says guest director Brian Shnipper. "This play is not a lofty, theoretical discussion of what it means to be a painter; it's a complex examination of two very driven, wounded and sensitive men literally getting down and dirty in the making of art."
“Red is a highly intelligent and electrifying play,” says Jonathan Fox, ETC’s executive artistic director. “I was so taken with the play when I read it a few years ago that we tried to get the rights immediately. I’m delighted we can now present the play and that it brings Brian Shnipper back to ETC.”
Mr. Shnipper returns to ETC, where he directed Opus and Bell, Book and Candle. He is an accomplished writer, director and actor who has worked to much acclaim on both coasts.. He is former Artistic Director of 12 Miles West Theatre Company in New Jersey and Attic Theatre in Los Angeles. Mr. Shnipper conceived and directed the long-running and much praised Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays.
Mark Rothko, a determined and passionate artist, will be played by Matt Gottlieb. He was last seen at ETC performing eight different characters in the comedy hit The Uneasy Chair. Mr. Gottlieb has performed at several prestigious Bay Area theatres, including A.C.T., Berkeley Rep., Marin Theater Company and San Jose Rep. He has also worked on Broadway, Off–Broadway and in Los Angeles at the Mark Taper Forum, Odyssey Theatre and Pacific Resident Theater, The Colony Theatre and Laguna Playhouse. He recently completed the role of Rev. Jim Casy in The Grapes of Wrath at A Noise Within. Television appearances include "CSI," "Desperate Housewives," "Wings," "JAG," "Nash Bridges," "The Practice," "Boston Public," "Still Standing," "Without a Trace" and others.
Rothko's young and at times contentious assistant, Ken, will be played by Shaun Anthony in his ETC debut. A classically trained actor, who studied drama at Oxford University, England, he has worked most recently at Shakespeare Orange County, A Noise Within and Milwaukee Repertory Theater. He has a supporting role in American Sniper, an upcoming film directed by Clint Eastwood.
Founded in 1979, Ensemble Theatre is Santa Barbara’s leading professional, resident theatre company. Under the leadership of Executive Artistic Director Jonathan Fox, ETC has attracted accomplished performing artists from around the country. The 2013-14 Season is the first in the New Vic, ETC’s newly renovated 294-seat performing arts venue.
Performances for Red run Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 pm, Sundays at 2:00 and 7:00 pm, with a Saturday 4:00 pm matinee performance on May 24 and a Tuesday 7:00 pm show on May 20. Youth tickets are available for age 29-and-under for only $20.00 each. Single tickets are available through the Ensemble Theatre box office at (805) 965-5400, or online at www.etcsb.org. For group sales information, please call (805) 965-5400.