Vincent in Brixton
University of North Texas Department of Dance and Theatre
Opens Friday, Nov. 6, 2009, at 8 p.m.
A young Vincent van Gogh arrives at a boarding house run by a widow in the London suburb of Brixton, where he falls in love with the landlady’s daughter.
Vincent in Brixton by award-winning playwright Nicholas Wright explores the early years of van Gogh’s life, as the artist-to-be works for a European art dealer and deals with his tormented feelings.
The University of North Texas Department of Dance and Theatre presents the theatrical portrait of the famed painter in a production directed by Marjorie Hayes, a UNT associate professor and a respected director around the world.
Wright’s play delves into the influence of the widow Ursula Loyer and her daughter, Eugenie, on van Gogh’s life as he pursues his love of art and begins a career that will make him one of the world’s most recognized painters after his death.
“Everyone knows van Gogh’s story of his later years — the manic-depressive episodes, the slicing of his ear, his lurid affairs, his suicide at 37,” Hayes said. “And who doesn’t recognize his paintings Sunflowers, Starry Night and Chair? But Vincent in Brixton is the story of a time before his painting possessed his life — a story about an aimless young man in whom no one saw potential except one woman. This relationship becomes the soulful, life-defining experience that catapults Vincent onto his path to become the world’s most iconographic image maker. The play asks us to recognize the potential genius of the young people around us.”
The production will take place at 8 p.m. Nov. 6-7 (Friday-Saturday), 2:30 p.m. Nov. 8 (Sunday) and 8 p.m. Nov. 11-14 (Wednesday – Saturday) in the Studio Theatre in the RTFP Building, corner of Welch and Chestnut streets. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $7.50 for students, UNT faculty and staff and seniors. Call the box office at 940-565-2428 or Metro 817-267-3731, ext. 2428. Box office hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Technical director Mario Tooch, a UNT theatre faculty member, is providing a fully operating 19th-century kitchen along with scenic designer Michael Sullivan, a guest artist.
“What’s been important for us in the scene shop in supporting Michael’s scenic design is the texture of the set — to build walls with real bead board and moldings, to make a brick hearth that feels like real brick and to add a lot of close details,” Tooch said. “We also had to take on the challenge of building what looks like a cast iron fireplace on which to cook a real dinner during the play. We rounded out the kitchen with the authentic hand-pumped water in the sink.”
The play — which earned the 2003 Olivier Award for Best New Play — premiered in London at the Royal National Theatre before moving to Broadway.
About Marjorie Hayes
Hayes, who has directed extensively in the United States and Europe, earned a U.S. Senior Fulbright Fellowship to Poland in 1998. The major Czech theatre journal “Divadelni Noviny” nominated her production of Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost in Czech Republic as Best Theatre Production of 1999. Locally, her production of The Food Chain at the Circle Theatre in Fort Worth was named as one of the “Top Ten Productions of 2000” by The Dallas Morning News. Hayes also received the Austin Circle of Critics Award for Best Director–Drama in 1995.
About Vincent in Brixton
What: Vincent in Brixton — Presented by the University of North Texas Department of Dance and Theatre. Written by Nicholas Wright. Directed by Marjorie Hayes, UNT associate professor.
When: 8 p.m. Nov. 6-7 (Friday-Saturday)
2:30 p.m. Nov. 8 (Sunday)
8 p.m. Nov. 11-14 (Wednesday – Saturday)
Where: Studio Theatre in the RTFP Building, corner of Welch and Chestnut streets
Cost: $10 for general public; $7.50 for students, UNT faculty/staff and seniors
Contact: 940-565-2428 or Metro 817-267-3731, ext. 2428. Box office hours are 1-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.