News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 14 May 2012 13:55
Author John Logan's Tony Award-winning Red will be presented by an independent group of theatre professionals with numerous area credits. And in a ticket-pricing format never before attempted in the Quad Cities, the play will be offered to local audiences with a “Pay What It's Worth” policy, allowing audience members, after the production ends, to determine their own ticket prices.

A captivating, 90-minute drama about abstract-expressionist painter Mark Rothko, Red won six Tony Awards in 2010 (the most awarded to any Broadway show that year) including citations for Best Play, Direction, Featured Actor, and Scenic, Lighting, and Sound Design. Set in the late 1950s, the production follows the great American painter Mark Rothko (Mike Schulz) – as seen through the eyes of his young assistant Ken (Thomas Alan Taylor) – as they create murals for a flashy new building in New York City. Consequently, Red's audience becomes a collective “fly on the wall” in the painter's studio, as polar opposites Rothko and Ken dive into the most important work of their careers.

Written by acclaimed author John Logan – whose screenwriting credits include the Oscar-winning films Gladiator, The Aviator, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Hugo, and Rango – Red will be staged in Rock Island's Center for Living Arts (2008 Fourth Avenue) on Friday and Saturday evenings, August 17 through September 1. Produced and directed by Tyson Danner, whose area directing credits include the Curtainbox Theatre Company's Time Stands Still and the Green Room Theatre's Doubt, john & jen, and Songs for a New World, the cast and production team will include:

* Mike Schulz (the Curtainbox's Time Stands Still, Speed-the-Plow, “Art”; Augustana College's How I Learned to Drive; the Prenzie Players' Cyrano de Bergerac)
* Thomas Alan Taylor (New Ground Theatre's Mr. Marmalade; Circa '21's Hairspray; the University of Iowa's Akarui, Salvage, How Catherine D__ Got Her Expression, Angel Bones)
* Jessica Denney (New Ground's Mr. Marmalade; the Curtainbox's Time Stands Still; the Gorilla Tango Theatre in Chicago's Quake)
* Lauren Nigri (the University of Iowa's How Catherine D__ Got Her Expression, Angel Bones, Operation Midnight Climax)
* Daniel DP Sheridan (Artistic Director for Davenport Junior Theatre; the Curtainbox's Danny & the Deep Blue Sea, Glengarry Glen Ross; St. Ambrose University's Dakota Jones & the Search for Atlantis)
* Jessica Sheridan (the Prenzie Players' Tartuffe; the Curtainbox's Wit, Fool for Love, Glengarry Glen Ross)

“We know that this play will speak to our audiences as strongly as it speaks to us,” says Danner. “And aside from that, it's a thrilling piece of drama.”

The team will also be presenting the show under the “Pay What It's Worth” policy, a ticket-pricing format never before employed in the Quad Cities.

Like many “pay what you can” programs, this method allows audience members to determine their own ticket prices. However, unlike those programs, Red's audience members will see the play first and then pay on their way out, allowing viewers to determine what the experience was worth to them.

This innovative pricing strategy is designed to create a completely accessible theatrical experience, regardless of financial means. It will also keep the driving force of Quad City theatre in the hands of audience members. According to Danner, “One way or another, audiences always have the final say in how much and what kind of theatre happens in their community.

“We trust our work and we trust the local theatre audience,” says Danner of Red's “Pay What It's Worth” policy. “It's a no-brainer.”

Performance Dates (7:30 p.m. performances, 6:30 p.m. doors):
Friday, August 17
Saturday, August 18
Friday, August 24
Saturday, August 25
Friday, August 31
Saturday, September 1

The Center for Living Arts
2008 Fourth Avenue, Rock Island, IL
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