City Lights Theatre Company Begins 2014/15 Season With ART, 09/18-10/19

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How much would you pay for a painting? An all-white painting? With hilarity and biting poignancy, Art tells the story of three men whose years-long friendship is put to the test when one buys an all-white painting by a trendy artist at an exorbitant price.

As Serge, Marc, and Yvan square off over the canvas, lines are drawn, sides are taken, and the bonds that tie each man to the others are stretched to the breaking point. Only a pointed act of self-sacrifice can save a friendship from destruction-proving that there is, indeed, a limit to what one might pay for "art."

That's the story behind "Art," Yasmina Reza's witty, hilarious, and very French musing on abstract art andfriendship. The play, translated by Christopher Hampton and directed by Virginia Drake, comes to the
City Lights Theater Company stage this fall. It runs Sept. 18 through Oct. 19 at 529 S. Second St. in
downtown San Jose.

Reza is a French playwright, novelist, and screenwriter. She is also known for the plays Conversations After a Burial, Winter Crossing, and God of Carnage, which was made into the 2011 Roman Polanski film Carnage. Art won the 1998 Tony Award for Best Play.

City Lights is hosting several special events during the run of Art. One theater wall will become a gallery, displaying images from the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art's fall Art Auction and Exhibition. The ICA will host a talk about art collecting after the Oct. 5 matinee. In addition, the Oct. 2 performance is Teacher Appreciation Night, with a post-show party and $15 tickets for educators and retired educators.

Virginia Drake (Director) has an MFA in Drama (Acting) from Stanford University, a B.A. in Dramatic Art from U.C. Davis, and a secondary teaching credential from San Francisco State University. She recently retired from West Valley College, where she was a Theatre Arts instructor and director for 31 years, 12 as department chair. Her favorite directing projects include The Smell of the Kill, Hedda Gabler, and First Day of School at City Lights; Great Expectations at West Valley College on; and A Walk in the Woods at TheatreWorks. Ms. Drake serves on the City Lights board of directors as Vice President. Cast: Kit Wilder* (Marc), Jeffrey Bracco (Serge), Max Tachis (Yvan). *Mr. Wilder appears courtesy of Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States. Designers: Ron Gasparinetti (Scenic), Amy Zsadanyi-Yaly (Costumes), Nick Kumamoto (Lighting), George Psarras (Sound Design), Julia Rotakhina (Properties). Sponsors and Supporters: These include the Applied Materials Foundation, the City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Silicon Valley Creates, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and many other individuals, corporations, and foundations. Art kicks off City Lights' 2014-2015 season. It will be followed in November by a World Premiere commission, "Truce: A Christmas Wish from the Great War," by City Lights Associate Artistic Director Kit Wilder and Jeffrey Bracco. This work is about the impromptu ceasefire that troops on both sides of World War I staged on the battlefields of France one hundred years ago. The other shows in the season: "Build" (Northern California Premiere) by Michael Golamco, "M. Butterfly" by David Henry Hwang, "Exit, Pursued By A Bear" (South Bay Premiere) by Lauren Gunderson, and "West Side Story," by Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim.

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