The Director’s Perspective:
I read the play Art two years ago with two friends. Besides the humor, one thing that jumped out at me was the room for diversity. The other two readers and I couldn’t have been more of a diverse trio as we each read as one of the characters in the play. It was at that moment when I realized that this was one of those few plays that could actually be three different personalities and not specific characters that create the age old question: What is art? And that question is also the second thing that spoke to me. As an artist I have work hanging in public spaces and have seen how art can affect people. In one gallery a feud between two employees over a painting resulted in the piece being removed until the feud was resolved. In a factory, a simple Bob Ross style mural had to be put on hold for a number of reasons, as various factions developed in support or against the painting. The painting remains unfinished to this day. I wanted to capture that kind of self-serving, dramatic honesty on stage where people become so emotionally invested in their own opinions and desires that they let art get the better of them. I wanted to capture the passion of art, the stubbornness of opinion, and the absurdity of taking it personally as the story unfolds. This is one of my favorite types of comedies as it is not constructed jokes and punchlines, but the ridiculousness of the characters’ choices, as each is certain that they are right as they fight each other about their preconceived ideas of art. In the end, is it art that incidentally draws such conflicts out of people, or is it that people simply use art as an excuse to behave in ways that fuel their desires?