by Penfold Theatre Company

Sep. 12 - Sep. 29, 2013


RED is written by John Logan, and is being directed by John S. Davies. The play is a two-character play about a two-year period in the career of painter Mark Rothko, one of the pioneers of Abstract Expressionism. Set in his studio in New York at the tail end of the 1950s, RED is the story of Rothko and his assistant Ken as they prepare paintings commissioned for a high-end NY restaurant and argue about art. The play is in one act, 5 scenes. 

Mark Rothko
represents the artistic genius who is obsessed with the intricacies and meaning of his work. While he is an established artist known for his color field paintings, Rothko exhibits a constant struggle between his need for commercial success and his own artistic integrity. The audience experiences Rothko's volatile personality, philosophical rants, and contemplations about the purpose of art as he works on a series of murals for the Four Seasons restaurant in the Seagram Building.

Rothko's young assistant Ken has been recently hired to help with the Four Seasons project. As an aspiring artist who has a tragic past, Ken's role in the play is to challenge Rothko's beliefs and contribute to the generational conflict between the two characters. Ken's evolution as a character is seen through his growth in confidence, his ability to stand up to Rothko, and his artistic contributions. Ken serves as an audience surrogate, asking questions and provoking Rothko to further explore the nature of art, the role of the artist, and the qualities of the Abstract Expressionism movement.

by John Logan
Penfold Theatre Company

September 12 - September 29, 2013
Trinity Street Players
Black Box Theatre, 4th floor, First Baptist Church
901 Trinity Street
Austin, TX, 78701