Photo Flash: Alley Theater Presents A Weekend With Pablo Picasso

Herbert Siguenza returns to the Alley Theatre, having previously appeared in ¡Cantinflas! and Culture Clash in AmeriCCa, as actor, playwright and artist for the world premiere of A Weekend With Pablo Picasso. Siguenza brings his virtuosic writing, acting and design skills into Picasso's private studio, "Le Californie" on the coast of France, for an intimate and revealing weekend. Picasso's controversial and flamboyant opinions and creations gripped the public imagination and forever changed 20th century art. Delving into the creative mind and work of one of the most inspiring artists of modern history, this play explores Picasso's proclamations about ambition, destruction, creativity and art as an agent of social change. Recommended for mature audiences due to strong language.

On his inspiration for the play, Herbert Siguenza says "when I was in second grade, my teacher Mrs. Sharp would pull me out of the reading circle and have me draw on giant rolls of butcher paper instead. She kept everything I drew . . . That same year, my mother took me to the dentist. While we waited in the reception area I picked up a photo book by Douglas Duncan called The Private Life of Picasso. The beautiful black and white photos showed a shirtless old man that painted and played like a child. He also had doves, several dogs and a goat. I turned and said to my mom, ‘When I grow up I want to be that old man.' ‘That's Pablo Picasso,' she said. ‘Es loco.' My dear mother did not discourage me, I knew better. The old man was not crazy but rather unconventional and free which inspired me profoundly to later live my own life in that manner."

A Weekend With Pablo Picasso, by Herbert Siguenza and Directed by Todd Salovey, begins previews Friday, January 28, opens Wednesday, February 2 and runs through Sunday, February 27, 2011 on the Neuhaus Stage.

Herbert Siguenza (Pablo Picasso, Playwright) returns to the Alley having previously appeared with Culture Clash in Culture Clash in AmeriCCa in 2006; as well as in his play, Cantinflas!, a tribute to Mexico's greatest film star in 2003. Herbert is a founding member of Culture Clash who recently marked their 26th anniversary as the most prominent Chicano/Latino performance troupe in the country. Their work has been produced by the nation's leading regional theaters including the Mark Taper Forum, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center and the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, among others. Along with partners Richard Montoya and Ric Salinas, Siguenza has performed and or co-written: The Mission, A Bowl of Beings, S.O.S.-Comedy for These Urgent Times, Unplugged, Capra Clash, Radio Mambo: Culture Clash Invades Miami, Bordertown, The Birds, Nuyorican Stories, Anthology, Mission Magic Mystery Tour, Anthems: Culture Clash in the District, Chavez Ravine, Senor Discretion Himself, Culture Clash in AmeriCCa, Zorro in Hell, Water & Power, Peace and Palestine New Mexico. Herbert has a BFA in printmaking from California College of Arts, Oakland. He has exhibited nationally and internationally. He is currently teaching and directing at UC Irvine and is a mayor appointed Commissioner for the city of Los Angeles.

Todd Salovey (Director) directed the San Diego Repertory Theatre's workshop production of A Weekend with Pablo Picasso. He is currently in his 21st season as the REP's associate artistic director. Mr. Salovey has directed many acclaimed REP shows including The Road to Mecca, Doubt, The Blessing of a Broken Heart, which he also adapted, Brooklyn Boy, the world premiere of Yehuda Hyman's The Mad Dancers, Hamlet starring Jefferson Mays, Uncle Vanya and Death of a Salesman starring Michael Genovese, Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, King Lear, The Illusion, Uncle Vanya, The Dybbuk, The Imaginary Invalid, Three Hotels, and A Christmas Carol. His REP productions have won numerous local and regional critical awards. He is on the acting faculty at the University of California, San Diego, where he has directed Six Characters in Search of an Author and Stage Door. Mr. Salovey is the artistic director of the Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival, which commissions new work exploring Jewish traditions in contemporary artistic forms. Todd has served as producer, and/or casting director for many REP shows including those directed by Luis Valdez, Anne Bogart, Irene Fornes, Randall Myler, and San Francisco Mime Troupe.

Mark Bly (Dramaturg) is the Senior Dramaturg and Director of New Play Development at the Alley Theatre. In addition to serving as dramaturg for select productions, Bly is responsible for the creation of the Alley's new play program, involving readings and workshops with established and emerging playwrights. He is a Distinguished Professor of Theater at the University of Houston where he teaches Playwriting and Dramaturgy. Prior to this he was the Senior Dramaturg at the Arena Stage and Director of Arena's New Play Development Series. Before joining Arena Stage, Mark served for 12 years as Chair of the Graduate Playwriting Program at the Yale School of Drama and as Associate Artistic Director for the Yale Repertory Theatre. Mark has dramaturged over 100 productions at major regional theaters and on Broadway. Highlights of his career include dramaturging the premiere of Suzan-Lori Parks's The America Play at the Yale Rep and Public Theater, dramaturging the premiere of Moises Kaufman's 33 Variations at the Arena Stage and on Broadway, and becoming the first Production Dramaturg to be credited on a Broadway production when he worked on Execution of Justice, written and directed by Emily Mann in 1986. He is listed in the Internet Broadway Data Base (IBDB). He has written for Dramaturgy in American Theater, Theater Forum, American Theatre and also Yale's Theater as Contributing and Advisory Editor. He wrote introductions for and edited volumes I and II of The Production Notebooks: Theatre in Process. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, Bly was the Chair of the Board of Directors for Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas from 2001-2005. He recently received the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas G. E. Lessing Lifetime Achievement Award.

A Weekend With Pablo Picasso will feature scenic and costume design by Giulio Cesare Perrone (Alley Theatre Debut) with lighting design by Clint Allen (Alley's A Behanding in Spokane, The Exonerated, Culture Clash in AmeriCCa). Original music and sound design is by Bruno Louchouarn (Alley Theatre Debut) with project design by Victoria Petrovich (Alley Theatre Debut) and Dramturg Mark Bly (Alley's Peter Pan or The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up, Intelligence-Slave, Gruesome Playground Injuries).

A Weekend With Pablo Picasso is generously sponsored by Neuhaus Stage Season Sponsor Randall H. Jamail and Associate Producers Carol and Mike Linn. The Alley Theatre is supported by the 2010-2011 season sponsor United Airlines, the official airline of the Alley Theatre.

ABOUT THE Alley Theatre'S NEW PLAY INITIATIVE
The Alley Theatre's New Play Initiative facilitates the creative collaboration between playwrights, directors, actors, designers and dramaturgs during all stages of a new play's development. Central to this Initiative are readings, workshops, commissions, Affinity Series Symposiums and residencies. Three world premieres have been developed through this Initiative in the 2009-2010 season: Rajiv Joseph's Gruesome Playground Injuries, which ran October 16 to November 15, 2009, Jack Murphy, Gregory Boyd, and Frank Wildhorn's Wonderland, which ran January 15 to February 14, 2010, and Kenneth Lin's Intelligence-Slave, which ran May 23 to June 20, 2010. Along with A Weekend with Pablo Picasso, the Alley Theatre will produce the world premiere of Rajiv Joseph's The Medusa Body as part of the 2010-2011 season. In producing these new plays, we intend to give each the fullest production values and support to bring forth and enhance the theatrical poetry and imagination that the playwright has poured into the play. This is the primary focal point and purpose of the entire New Play Initiative at the Alley Theatre - for the artists and audience to come together within the imagination of a living, working playwright and to help create a first production that will launch the new work to become what we all believe it will be - a play destined to become a classic for the future.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets to A Weekend With Pablo Picasso start at $21. All tickets to A Weekend With Pablo Picasso are available for purchase at www.alleytheatre.org, at the Alley Theatre Box Office, 615 Texas Avenue, or by calling 713.220.5700. Groups of 10 or more can receive special concierge services and select discounts by calling 713.220.5700 and asking for the group sales department. The added convenience of reservations by phone or Internet is available for a nominal fee. Tickets purchased in person at the Alley Theatre Box Office have a $1 building restoration fee.

CAPTIONED PERFORMANCE
Sunday January 30, 7:30 PM
The Alley Theatre is pleased to offer open captioning for many of our productions throughout the season. To ensure that your seats will accommodate your needs, please call the box office 713.220.5700 when ordering tickets to this performance. Discounted tickets are available for groups of ten or more.

TALKBACK
Tuesday, February 8, 7:30 PM
Members of the cast return to the stage following the performance to take questions from the audience. TalkBacks are led by a member of the Alley Artistic Staff.

AFFINITY SEREIS SYMPOSIUM
Saturday, February 12, 2:30 PM
As part of the New Play Initiative, the Alley Theatre will present an Affinity Series Symposium for each world premiere this season featuring the playwright and dramaturg to discuss the genesis of the play, the Alley Theatre rehearsal process, and the larger societal issues raised by the play. The Affinity Series Symposium will occur in conjunction with the world premiere of Herbert Siguenza's A Weekend With Pablo Picasso on Saturday, February 12th, immediately following the 2:30 PM performance and is open to those holding a ticket for this performance. For A Weekend With Pablo Picasso, the Affinity Series Symposium will feature Alley Theatre Senior Dramaturg and Director of New Play Development, Mark Bly.

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