North Texas Daily

Play questions genius vs. talent

Play questions genius vs. talent

February 28
20:11 2013

Alex Byrd

Staff Writer

UNT Dance and Theatre students will perform a play about Cubism artist Pablo Picasso and theorist Albert Einstein hanging out in 1904 Paris, written by Steve Martin and premiering at 7:30 p.m. tonight. “Picasso at Lapin Agile” runs until March 9 in the Radio, Television and Performing Arts building.

Einstein and Picasso meet at a Parisian bar, the Lapin Agile, and begin to debate the value of genius and talent. While the two continue their lengthy conversation, characters pop in and out, providing humor and plot surprises.

“Obviously two of the actors need to resemble the historic figures with their facial structures,” theatre senior Zoya Provencio said. “The fun part came with the rest of the cast to make them look like they really lived during the early 1900s.”

The men in 1904 France emulated similar, current trends like mustaches and “soul patches,” but fashion trends like corsets still date the play. Women also wore petticoats and long skirts that covered their ankles if they were considered mature, Provencio said.

“Characters are very distinctly dressed while they talk about art, science and pop culture of that era,” said Brittany Dillon, theatre senior and costume designer. “Since this is my first time designing costumes for a production, it has been interesting to see the entire thing come together.”

Matt Ransdell, assistant director and theatre senior, is trying his hand at directing instead of acting for the first time. With the help of managing director and theatre professor Marjorie Hayes, Ransdell said he is honored to help interpret Martin’s famous sense of humor while making the play original.

“I’ve attended UNT for five years and this is one of the best productions I’ve ever seen, and the level of talent is extremely professional especially for students,” Ransdell said. “The design and show itself are purely entertaining.”

Hayes’s background of international directing, acting, and singing throughout the United States and Europe allows for the diversely talented cast and the first-timers to truly feel inspired and excited to begin their careers in theatre, Ransdell said.

“You’ll never see a play like this one,” Ransdell said. “The way we developed this play is very collaborative and it will be fun for the audience to see the jokes come to life.”

Guests can attend a reception following the play with a brief Q&A session.

Tickets can be ordered with a credit card over the phone by calling (940) 565-2428, Metro (817) 267-3731 ext. 2428 or physically at the box office in the RTVF building.

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