sealPurdue News

March 8, 2002

Purdue Theatre presents award-winning 'Art'

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Issues of friendship and aesthetic taste collide as three friends react to the purchase of a painting in Yasmina Reza's Tony Award-winning play "Art," to be performed by Purdue Theatre.

Performances will be in the Black Box Theatre, Creative Arts Building 3, at 8 p.m. March 28-30 and April 4-6, with matinees at 2 p.m. April 6 and 7.

In the play, one man purchases an expensive painting. His close friend dismisses it as a joke and questions that friend's judgment. A third friend tries to placate both, only to cause even more discord. All three friends wonder if they ever had anything in common and whether their friendship can continue.

Associate Professor Kristine Holtvedt directs the production.

"I saw the show in London last year and loved it," Holtvedt says. "It's hilarious one moment and shocking in the very next. I found it an interesting journey and a very compelling portrait of friendship. I also found it interesting that these men were fighting over values of contemporary art. We don't usually fight over television, books or even theatre, but people often do fight over what they perceive as good art. In that way, I thought the whole concept was very truthful."

Yet Holtvedt asserts that relationships, specifically friendship, and not art, are at the core of this play.

"The central issue is, what brings us together? These characters work together to determine what is the basis for their friendship and whether, at this difficult juncture, their friendship will move to a new level or is in fact over. A lot of plays deal with romantic relationships, but this one is really about friendship, and I don't know of a lot of plays with that as a central theme."

Tickets for "Art" are on sale for $5, plus box office processing fees. Tickets may be purchased at the Loeb Box Office, Stewart Center, or by calling (765) 494-3933, toll-free at 1-800-914-SHOW.

CONTACT: Lori Sparger, Purdue Theatre marketing director, (765) 494-3084,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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