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.

TIM SCHALL (Marc) ART is Tim's second appearance at The Black Rep and he is very happy to be back after having appeared in the Tony Kushner/Jeanine Tesori musical Caroline, or Change. He has appeared with many St. Louis theater companies  including Mustard Seed Theater, The Muny, The New Jewish Theater, Spotlight Theater, among others.  Tim is also an active singer in the growing St Louis area cabaret scene and has performed his solo shows at The Sheldon Concert Hall, The Bistro at Grand Center, The Kranzberg in addition to performances in Chicago, Washington DC, Boston and Santa Fe.  He is a teacher and the producer of The St. Louis Cabaret Conference, a nationally recognized four day professional development program for singers which will be bringing Broadway stars Liz Callaway and Jason Graae to St. Louis for an opening night performance at The Sheldon Concert Hall on August 12. 

Robert A. Mitchell (Yvan) happily makes his return to The Black Rep stage for the second time this season. Most recently, he appeared as the Friar in The Black Rep's production of Romeo & Juliet and prior to that he was in The Black Rep production of Othello. Bob has performed with Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis and HotCity Theatre, among others. He is the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of The NonProphet Theatre Company, where he garnered a 2006 Kevin Kline Award nomination for his role in Girl Gone. This season he will appear in The NonProphet Theatre's production of Laura's Bush. Bob is also a proud member of the Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble.

For ticket information for Art, contact The Black Rep at 314-534-3810 or visit

The Black Rep is one of the country's largest and premier professional, African-American theatres, providing platforms for interpretation of theatre, dance and other creative expressions from the African-American perspective. The Company is committed to entertaining diverse audiences, educating promising youth and enriching our community through its mainstage productions and educational programs that touch the lives of more than 60,000 people each year. The Black Rep receives sustaining support from Missouri Arts Council, Regional Arts Commission, and the Arts and Education Council.

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