Senior Jennifer Graham-Macht will be the first student to direct a main stage Seton Hall production when “Picasso at the Lapin-Agile” opens tonight.
The comedy, written by actor-comedian Steve Martin, is the second main stage production of the 2011-2012 theatre season. Shows put on by the Department of Communication and the Arts are normally directed by faculty, but Graham-Macht was given the chance, as a senior, to direct her first show.
“It’s a great honor and I am truly grateful to Professor Deirdre Yates for giving me this opportunity,” Graham-Macht said.
The play centers around Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein meeting at the Lapin Agile, a bar in Paris, in 1904. Both men are on the verge of great discoveries: Picasso will soon paint his “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” and Einstein will shortly after publish his Special Theory of Relativity. Upon meeting, they quarrel about the meaning of genius and art with the innocent customers of the bar. The audience is given the chance to assess the importance of genius in everyday life.
Martin’s play cleverly finds the humor in the easily complicated facts of life. Sitting in the audience, one cannot help but be transported to the setting of the play.
The actors in this play have done their research and said they are very passionate about bringing the characters to life.
Senior John Polanin, who plays Picasso, said bringing all of these iconic people back to life was the most enjoyable part of staging the show.
The cast, crew and director said they shared a camaraderie that they hope the audience will be able to feel in the performance.
“It has been so much fun working with Jen,” sophomore Emily Yates, who plays three of the characters in the Lapin Agile, said. “She has such a creative mind.”
Graham-Macht said she is truly putting her all into this production.
“The fact that I got to choose the play really gives me a personal love for it that I will never forget,” Graham-Macht said. “I couldn’t have done it without both of the Yates’.” Both Deirdre and her husband, Dan Yates, teach at Seton Hall.
With the cast and crew raving about Graham-Macht’s directorial debut, “Lapin Agile” promises to be a play worth seeing.
Admission is free, and the audience is also invited to attend a cheese and wine reception after the opening night performance to celebrate the show and chat about its themes in art and genius.
Anthony Priolo can be reached at email@example.com.