ART is first production of UFV Theatre season

Art features Tommy Luu as Marc, Anatole Smith as Serge , and Paul Hill as Yvan.

The University of the Fraser Valley Theatre and the School of Creative Arts present the first production of their 2019-2020 season, ART by Yazmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton.

The show is directed by Parjad Sharifi, an award-winning designer, theatre maker, and UFV Theatre Associate Professor. Sharifi’s directorial approach initiates artistic dialogue between Theatre and Visual Arts, and will be performed in the UFV S’eliyemetaxwtexw Art Gallery from Nov 14–23.

Yasmina Reza’s ART is an award-winning comedy, the recipient of the 1998 Tony Award for best play and the 1996 Olivier Award for best comedy. In ART, three friends, Marc, Serge, and Yvan, examine their 15 years of friendship and debate the merits of representational versus abstract artwork, when Serge buys an expensive white painting. Marc thinks that the painting isn’t worth a penny; however, Serge insists that Marc doesn’t have high enough standards to judge the work. Yvan, reluctantly pulled into the disagreement, is eager to please, telling Serge that he likes the painting. The friends square off over the canvas, using the painting as an excuse to relentlessly batter one another over their various failures. Their arguments become less theoretical and more personal, bordering on destroying their friendships. Finally, at the breaking point, Serge hands Marc a felt tip pen and dares him: “Go on.” This is the moment when their friendships are tested, and the aftermath of the actions and reactions affirms the power of their bonds.

ART is not only a performance but also an opportunity for community members and creative arts students to witness collaboration, deconstruction, and interdisciplinary exchange between the Theatre and Visual Arts areas. UFV’s take on this production includes a pre-show exhibition, which aims to engage audiences and draw connections between the play, exhibition, and gallery space.

“Theatre is an ancient art form that can bring us together, build stronger community experiences, and tell stories about the past, present and future,” notes Sharifi.

Performances of ART are on November 14, 15 & 22 at 7 pm, Nov 20 & 21 at 5 pm and Nov 16 & 23 at 2 pm. Saturday matinees will be preceded by mini-lectures by guest faculty at 1 pm, which promise to enhance audience members’ understanding of the performance.

Students and classes are encouraged to attend. Reserve tickets early, as audience seating is extremely limited. All performances of ART are pay-what-you-can at the door with suggested prices of $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors, cash only.

Reserve by emailing theatre@ufv.ca or phoning 604-795-2814 with your name, number of seat reservations required, and performance day/time.

Performances will be held in the S’eliyemetaxwtexw Art Gallery, Room B136, Abbotsford campus, University of the Fraser Valley, 33844 King Road.

Details about performance dates and times can also be found at https://www.ufv.ca/plays/.

About the 2019-2020 Season of Theatre at UFV

After the season’s opening with ART, UFV Theatre will present Richard III by William Shakespeare, adapted and directed by Anna Griffith, from March 11-21, 2020. Richard III raises questions about political corruption and coercion as we follow the story of Richard’s violent rise to power. The season concludes April 23 and 24, 2020 with the Emerging Director’s Showcase, in which UFV Theatre’s fourth-year directing class present their final projects that include a wide range of performance styles.

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