UW-Green Bay Theatre Examines the Intersection Between Science and Art in Picasso at the Lapin Agile
Green Bay, Wis.—The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Theatre program will present Picasso at the Lapin Agile on April 22, 23 and 28-30, 2022 at University Theatre located in Theatre Hall on the Green Bay Campus. All performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. Picasso at the Lapin Agile was written by actor, comedian, and frequent host of Saturday Night Live, Steve Martin. The play won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off Broadway Play in 1996 and has been performed by theatres across the country.
What happens when Pablo Picasso meets Albert Einstein in a bar? That’s the setup for Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Set in October 8, 1904, both masters are on the verge of the work that will make them world-renowned in their respective fields. In 1905, Einstein will publish his Theory of Relativity, what most people learn in school as E=mc2. And in 1907, Picasso will paint Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon). This painting will break the established rules of art, ultimately being revered throughout the art world and hailed as the beginning of cubism and modern art. While at the Parisian bar, Picasso and Einstein discuss the major cultural influences of the twentieth century and argue which of them possesses the greatest talent. Through often hilarious interactions with others in the bar, Picasso and Einstein begin to understand the parallels and interconnectedness of art and science.
The production is directed by UW-Green Bay Lecturer, Alan Kopischke who won praise last year for his direction of Twilight, Los Angeles: 1992. Kopischke says he “loves the collision of art and science in this play, and that these smart, driven characters bounce off each other like quantum particles emitting photons when they collide—little, singular beams of light that illuminate life and art and our foibles. Or maybe they’re like little pigments, mixing and clashing and contrasting and complementing. This play brims with energy and ideas and has a great mix of witty wordplay and ensemble physical comedy.”
Taking on the role of the renowned physicist, Albert Einstein, is Seymour, Wis. native Ty Witthuhn. Einstein’s counterpart and the father of modern art, Pablo Picasso is played by Green Bay native Mickey Wirtz. Witthuhn and Wirtz are joined on the stage by an ensemble of UW-Green Bay students and Wisconsin natives portraying an eclectic group of patrons and employees at the Lapin Agile. Aubrey Stein portrays Suzanne, an admirer of Picasso and Audrey Soberg takes on the role of Sagot, Picasso’s art dealer. The part of Germaine, a waitress at the Lapin Agile, is played by Alexandra Smith, while Jenny Witt takes on the role of Schmendiman, a young inventor. And Blake Larson portrays a time-traveling, talented country boy who adds another dimension to the conversations. Stein, Soberg, Smith, Witt, and Larson are all from Appleton. The role of Gaston, an abrupt, direct, and plain-talking Frenchman is Mason Amidon from Richfield, Wis. The owner and bartender of the Lapin Agile is Freddy who is played by Cory J. O’Donnell from Waukesha. And rounding out the cast is Autumn Johnson from Hubertus who takes on the roles of the Countess and Admirer. The Countess is an intelligent woman who catches Einstein’s attention, while the Admirer is infatuated with another in the bar.
This absurdist comedy is sure to make the audience laugh and think. Picasso at the Lapin Agile is recommended for mature audiences due to some brief sexual references. Tickets for Picasso at the Lapin Agile are $22 in advance for adults and $25 at the door. Seniors and students can purchase tickets for $17 in advance or $20 at the door. UW-Green Bay students are $12. Tickets can be purchased at University Ticketing Services located in the UW-Green Bay University Union. Tickets can also be purchased over the phone by calling 920-465-2400 or online at www.ticketstaronline.com. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. each evening, April 22, 23 and 28-30. Additional information about the production and ticket reservation information can be found at www.uwgb.edu/theatre. Patrons and media can also stay up-to-date with the latest news and event information from UWGB Theatre & Dance by liking and following UWGB Theatre on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Established in 1965, UW-Green Bay is a public institution serving 9,276 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students and 79,604 continuing education enrollees each year across all campus locations. We educate students from pre-college through retirement and offer 200+ degrees, programs and certificates. UW-Green Bay graduates are resilient, inclusive, sustaining and engaged members of their communities, ready to rise to fearlessly face challenges, solve problems and embrace diverse ideas and people. With four campus locations, the University welcomes students from every corner of the world. UW-Green Bay is the fastest growing UW school. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.