The Washington Stage Guild Opens its Season of Dreams with the Area Premiere of Inventing Van Gogh
The Washington Stage Guild opens its Season of Dreams with the area premiere of Inventing Van Gogh.
The Washington Stage Guild begins its 28th Season of our distinctive repertory, an array of eloquent plays of idea and argument, passion and wit-smArt Theatre for a smart town. The Washington Stage Guild's 2013-2014 season will focus on the fundamental basis of all art - the imagination, and kicking it off is the Washington area premiere of Steven Dietz' Inventing Van Gogh, a clever and
time-twisting look at Van Gogh and his legacies, both real and imagined, as a contemporary young painter is commissioned to forge a lost painting, but then must justify his decisions to Vincent himself. This is the first work by prolific American playwright Dietz, whose Rancho Mirage was recently seen at Olney Theatre, to be produced by the Stage Guild, and its complex look at art, inspiration, and integrity make it a perfect start for a season-long exploration of the power of imagination in our lives.
"Art of any kind is imagination expressed, whether in words or images," says Artistic Director Bill Largess. "This season we'll focus on our need to dream things that are not real in order to make them so. And certainly one of art's greatest dreamers was Vincent Van Gogh, whose persistence in the face of failure has fortified generations of artistic aspirants. His certainty, mocked by mental instability, makes him a challenging, even a perplexing, role model. Dietz' young painter Patrick, asked to collude on an audacious fraud that is complicated by his mentor's Vincent-like death, finds that compromising his principles is not as simple as it sounded. Inventing Van Gogh is a funny, thought-provoking play by an important American voice, and we're so happy to be giving it its first production in the area. And with Steven Carpenter directing, and Lawrence Redmond returning to the Guild stage for the first time since 2006's An Inspector Calls, the production should be a dream, indeed."
Steven Carpenter is directing his 13th show with the Stage Guild and past favorites include Red Herring, Opus, The Underpants, Memory of Water, and A Skull in Connemara. Other area productions include The Price and Mauritius at Bay Theatre, Barrymore, Hysteria, and Trumbo for Rep Stage, and shows at Theater J and Foothills Theatre in Worcester, MA, among others. He received a Helen Hayes nomination for his production of Thief River at Theatre Alliance and is a past recipient of the Mary Goldwater Award for Excellence in Directing. He has appeared on stage at the Guild as Henry Higgins in last season's Pygmalion, as well as The Countess, The Philanderer (Helen Hayes Nomination), and Anna Karenina, to name a few.
The ensemble for Inventing Van Gogh features old companions and newcomers to the Undercroft Theatre. Brit Herring will portray both the scheming Dr. Bouchard and the passionate Paul Gauguin. He last appeared at the Guild in George Bernard Shaw's The Apple Cart,and in Red Herring by Michael Hollinger, also directed by Steven Carpenter. He has appeared Off-Broadway in the critically acclaimed revival of The Devil and Billy Markham by Shel Silverstein at Soho Playhouse, and in Paradise at The Lion Theatre on Theatre Row. Also in the Washington, DC area he's done turns with The Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Kennedy Center, The Bay Theatre Company and Quotidian Theatre Company.