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Picasso Meets Einstein in OWU's 'Lapin Agile' Theatre Production

March 27, 2000

[ 'Picasso at the Lapin Agile' Cast Photo ]DELAWARE, OHIO -- On April 7, 8, 14, 15 and 16, Ohio Wesleyan's Department of Theatre and Dance will present Picasso at the Lapin Agile in the Chappelear Drama Center on campus.

The play's writer is Steve Martin, known well for his success as an actor, comedian and television writer for such shows as The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour of the late 1960s, for which he received an Emmy award. The 1993 production of Picasso was Martin's first original play which was presented by Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre.

The full-length play places Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein, both in their 20s, in the Parisian bar "Lapin Agile" in 1904. The play examines the impact of art and science in a rapidly changing 20th Century. As the two men engage in a battle of ideas about probability, lust, artistic integrity and the future of the century, the play moves between "the profound and the bizarre," as a dark-haired, time-traveling singer moves into the scenario to illuminate the future.

"The writing is quite crisp and funny, and goes beyond the humor of it," says OWU Professor Bo Rabby, who is directing the play. "I'm surprised at how good a writer Steve Martin is!"

The cast includes OWU students Thomas Bailey as Picasso; Jason Beehler as Freddy; Joseph Bishara as Sagot; Damien Crim as Gaston; Maggie Flanagan as Suzanne; Martha Hill as Germaine; Barb Lanciers as the Countess; Luke Lindberg as Schendiman; Mike Mathieu as Einstein; Dana Textoris as Admirer; and Alex Varel as the Visitor. The set designer is OWU Professor Glen Vanderbilt; the costume designer is Presley Morton; lighting deigner is Douglas Borntrager; technical director is Kay Albright; and stage manager is Megan Beauchamp.

"This was a fun show to research," says Vanderbilt, who worked with photos of the cabaret which dated back to 1905. "We are trying to offer a sense of place, also including the larger Parisian context."

Performance times are 8 p.m. for April 7, 8, 14 and 15 and 2 p.m. on April 16. Ticket prices are $5 for students and seniors; $6 for faculty and staff; and $7 for general admission. Tickets may be reserved a week prior to the opening. Contact the Chappelear Drama Center Box Office, located on 45 Rowland Avenue in Delaware, Ohio, from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 740-368-3855.