The Black Rep Closes Production of Yasmina Reza's ART 5/23

The Black Rep Closes Production of Yasmina Reza's ART 5/23Black Rep will close its production of ART by Yasmina Reza May 23, 2010, a play which takes a profound look at the nature of friendship. When well-to-do Serge purchases an expensive painting it causes his best friend to question not only his taste, but his moral fiber as well. What do we really know about our friends and can friendship survive when we discover an unexpected, hard to believe truth about someone we think we know?

Yasmina Reza was born in Paris on May 1, 1959, of Jewish parents who had immigrated to France. As a girl she had an interest in writing short stories, but later attended the Jacques Lecoq drama school. Ms. Reza began working as an actress in France, but turned to playwriting because she found acting did not intellectually challenge her and she was fed up waiting for juicier roles. "I don't feel writing is my profession, I don't know what is my profession,". This from the award-winning Parisian author of two novels, four plays, a stage adaptation of Kafka's "Metamorphosis," and a major screenplay.

Andrea Frye was last seen in The Black Rep production of Romeo & Juliet as the Nurse, returns to direct. She has worked with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for five seasons as Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Mama Benin in Playboy of the West Indies, Evelyn in Oo-Bla-Dee, Maxine in The Night of the Iguana, Margery and The Widow in The Taming of the Shrew, Martha and Nurse in Stop Kiss, Louise in Seven Guitars, and Cerimon in Pericles, Louise in Seven Guitars (ALLIANCE THEATRE Company, Atlanta); Lucille in The Screened in Porch (Horizon Theatre Company); Sophie in Flyin' West (Alabama Shakespeare Festival); and created Cassie in Sisters (Jomandi Productions, Off-Broadway at the Joyce) and Rosa in Pearl Cleage's Bourbon at the Border. Andrea has received many awards for her work, such as the Drammy Award for Best Director, 2002, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf; Best Director of a Comedy, 2001, Jar the Floor; Woodie Award for Best Director, Blues for an Alabama Sky; Atlanta Journal-Constitution Award for Best Actress, 1996-97and the Fred Astaire Life Achievement Award while a fellow at the American Film Institute. Until Katrina, she served as artist-in-residence in theatre at Dillard University in New Orleans. Andrea also serves as Theatre Consultant for the National Black Arts Festival.

Ron Himes (Serge) most recently portrayed Lord Capulet in The Black Rep's production of Romeo & Juliet. He was a powerful presence in The Black Rep's Gem of the Ocean, which was featured at the 2007 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and most recently at the opening of The August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh, PA. Additional credits include King in King Hedley II, Herald Loomis in Joe Turner's Come And Gone, Doaker in the Piano Lesson, Leevee in Ma Rainey's Blackbottom, Booster in Jitney, Elesin Oba in Death and the King's Horseman, Boesman in Boesman and Lena, Banquo in Macbeth, Robert Johnson in Robert Johnson: Trick the Devil, for which he won the Woodie Award for Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role, Blind Jordan in Sty of the Blind Pig, Malcolm X in The Meeting and When The Chickens Come Home to Roost. He created the role of Joe Lee in Conversations On A Dirt Road and Tupelo in Riffs. His acting credits in other St. Louis theatres include The Permanent Collection and The Exonerated at Hot City, The Little Foxes and Miss Evers' Boys at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and the General in The MUNY's production of Guys and Dolls. He has appeared as Clarence Thomas in Unquestioned Integrity: The Hill/Thomas Hearings at 7 Stages in Atlanta and in The Black Rep's production of The Meeting at The Kennedy Center for the performing Arts.

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Chris Gibson Chris has been active in the local theatre scene for over 30 years. In addition to his acting work, he's also contributed as a director, writer and composer. Though, initially a film buff, he grew tired of the sanitized, PG-13 rated blockbusters that were being continually shoved down his throat by the studios. An opportunity to review theatre in St. Louis has grown exponentially with the sudden explosion of venues and talent in the region. He now finds himself obsessed with witnessing those precious, electric moments that can only happen live, on stage.

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