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July 21, 2006 (ITHACA, NY)- The Hangar Theatre continues its 2006 season with friendships hanging in the balance over an expensive painting that may—or may not—be a blank white canvas. From July 26th to August 5th the Hangar presents the Tony Award winning play Art. Yasmina Reza’s sophisticated comedy features three friends—Serge, Marc, and Yvan—and the turmoil that erupts when one of them purchases a high-priced piece of modern art. With barbed wit and frank discussions, Reza’s script (translated by Christopher Hampton) asks audiences the question, “Are we who we think we are, or are we who our friends think we are?” Robert Moss returns to the Hangar Theatre to direct this playful exploration of friendship and aesthetics.


Since its Paris debut in 1995, Art has been showered with awards, including the Moliere Award for Reza, a 1996 Olivier Award for Best Comedy, and the 1998 Tony for Best Play of the Year. Critics have heaped on praise as well. The London Independent called Art, “funny, sophisticated, stylish, stimulating and moving,” and Jack Kroll of Newsweek Magazine referred to its dialogue as “a nonstop cross-fire of crackling language…that sound[s] like Don Rickles with a degree from the Sorbonne.” The Evening Standard simply dubbed Art, “the perfect play.”

The production of Art marks an historic event for the Hangar Theatre—the return of former Artistic Director, Robert Moss. "It's fitting that Bob is returning to Ithaca to direct a play that explores the dynamics of friendship, since he has so many friends in this community," says Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty. "During his 15 years as the Hangar's artistic director Bob set a standard for professional theater, just as he had before at Playwrights Horizons and as he continues to do at Syracuse Stage. I'm honored to welcome him back to Ithaca and am thrilled to share his sense of humor, wit, intelligence, and artistry with our audience." This is Moss’ first time back as a director at the Hangar since his departure in 1996. For the past 10 years, he has served as the Artistic Director of Syracuse Stage.

Moss will be helming a production that features a trio of professional actors all making their debut on the Hangar stage. Brad DePlanche joins the cast as Yvan, Jeff Williams plays Serge, and Mark Zeisler takes on the role of Marc.

DePlanche’s previous work includes an award winning turn as Passepartout in Around the World in Eighty Days at Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota and Trinculo in The Tempest at the Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis. His work in New York City includes Cloud Nine at ClassicStage Company and Armchair in Hell at the Theatre at St. Clements.

Williams, a graduate of Syracuse University, has appeared in the national tours of The Will Rogers Follies and Me and My Girl, and on Broadway in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, A Christmas Carol and the revival of The Music Man. His film and television credits include The Producers and The Sopranos.

Zeisler’s credits include A View from the Bridge and Brooklyn Boy on Broadway, as well as many off-Broadway productions, such as Self-Defense for New Georges, As You Like It, and Romeo and Juliet. A native of New York City, he has also appeared on television in Law and Order, Third Watch, New York Undercover, and Queens Supreme and in film in Random Hearts, Shaft, The Thomas Crown Affair and others.

The design team for the Hangar production includes Set Designer Matthew Maraffi, whose previous Hangar credits include Cats, Complete History of America (abridged), and last season’s All In The Timing. Costume Designer Pete Rush serves as an actor, designer, and teacher at the theatre. His recent design work at the Hangar includes The Wiz, I Am My Own Wife, and the school tour production of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Lighting Designer Mark Barton’s recent credits include off-Broadway productions of Five Course Love and Valparaiso. Sound Designer Matt O’Hare worked earlier this season on Sleuth and was recently the recipient of Boston’s IRNE Award for his work on SpeakEasy’s Kiss of the Spider Woman.

Art will appear at the Hangar Theatre in Cass Park from July 26th through August 5th thanks to the support of corporate sponsor LoPinto, Schlather, Geldenhuys & Salk—Attorneys at Law and media sponsor Newschannel 36, WENY-TV.


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