The comedy 'Art' on Centenary Stage

| 05 Feb 2018 | 03:35

— Written by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton and directed by Anne Occhiogrosso, Centenary Stage Company’s mainstage theatrical season continues in the Lackland Performing Arts Center with Reza’s 1998 Tony Award and 1996 Olivier Award winning comedy Art from February 16 through March 4. “Wildly funny, naughtily provocative…” says the NY Post, it all begins when Serge buys an expensive painting by a celebrated artist. A white canvas with white diagonal lines. Old friends square off over the canvas, using it as an excuse to hilariously batter one another over various slights and failures. Art is a hilarious exploration of the very notion of what constitutes art while examining the meaning of friendship. "Anyone looking for a play that is funny, sophisticated, stylish, stimulating and moving should go to 'ART'." (Independent, London).
Centenary Stage Company’s Art is directed by nationally acclaimed Artistic Director, theatre director, dramaturge and acting coach, Anne Occhiogrosso. Occhiogrosso has worked with a broad spectrum of plays and scripts throughout her celebrated career but her primary focus has been the classical theater with a special emphasis on the works of William Shakespeare. She co-founded the American Players Theatre with Randall Duk Kim and Charles Bright in 1979, where she directed 16 Shakespearean productions including Hamlet, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice. Along with the works of Shakespeare, she has directed Goldoni’s The Servant of Two Masters, Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, Chekhov’s The Bear, The Wedding, Swan Song and performed the role of Madam Arkadina in The Seagull. She co-directed Moliere’s Tartuffe and Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex with Mr. Kim and performed the roles of Dorine and Jocasta, opposite Mr. Kim, respectively. She has studied with Morris Carnovsky and Phoebe Brand and performed the role of Anna Petrovna in a production of Chekhov’s Ivanov. Occhiogrosso has taught acting at the Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting and the New York Shakespeare Festival and has been a guest instructor for schools throughout the country, including Centenary University. She continues to teach acting and coach individuals for auditions, character development and script analysis for film, television and theater.
With an impressive collective resume of film, television, Broadway and regional credits Centenary Stage Company’s all – star cast features classical theatre giant Randall Duk Kim, broadway veteran Kevin Carolan and CSC’s very own award winning Artistic Director Carl Wallnau.
Commercially known for his film work as the ‘Keymaker’ in Matrix Reloaded and as the voice of Master Oogway in Dreamwork’s Kung Fu Panda franchise, Obie Award winning Randall Duk Kim made his acting debut in 1960 and has spent most of his working life on stage. His love of the classical repertoire and an early encounter with the Shakespearian acting of Morris Carnovsky has both fired and shaped his fifty-year career. His performances in the regional theatres include seasons at the American Conservatory Theatre, the Guthrie Theater, the Arizona Theater Company, the NY Shakespeare Festival, and the American Place Theater. A full list of credits can be found at In 1979 with Anne Occhiogrosso and Charles Bright, Mr. Kim founded the American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin and, for over a dozen years under their leadership, offered audiences classical plays (especially Shakespeare) in a summer repertory performance schedule. During this time, Mr. Kim played the title roles in TITUS ANDRONICUS, KING JOHN, KING LEAR and HAMLET Christopher Marlowe’s TAMBURLAINE THE GREAT, Anton Chekhov’s IVANOV, and Sophocles’ OEDIPUS REX as as well as a host of other roles which can also be found on his website. His film credits include PRISONERS IN TIME, THE REPLACEMENT KILLERS, LOST EMPIRE (aka THE MONKEY KING), ANNA AND THE KING, MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA, DRAGONBALL EVOLUTION, THE LAST AIRBENDER, and NINJA ASSASSIN. TV audiences have seen Kim in, FRINGE, PERSON OF INTEREST and ELEMENTARY. His Broadway credits include the THE KING AND I, David Henry Hwang’s GOLDEN CHILD, and FLOWER DRUM SONG. Mr. Kim received an Off Broadway Obie Award for “Sustained Excellence of Performance” in the legitimate theater. Last October, after a twenty – five year absence, Kim along with Anne Occhiogrosso returned to Wisconsin in The Pleasure of his Company, an original piece devised, written and performed by the pair to celebrate the Folger Library’s national tour of Shakespeare’s First Folio.
Award-winning actor and singer, Kevin Carolan has built a successful career over the last 25 years and has been directed by some of the most talented artists in show business, including Martin Scorese, Larry David, Tim Van Patten, Joe Mantello, Walter Bobbie, James Lapine, and Mel Brooks. He has numerous appearances on television shows such as Orange Is the New Black, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Middle, The Good Wife, Royal Pains, Spin City, Fringe, White Collar, and the recurring role of the Barker in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. Kevin has also toured the U.S., Canada, Tokyo, and Dubai, U.A.E. as Amos Hart in the musical Chicago, and performed in historic regional theatres such as The Goodman Theatre, The Huntington Theatre, Goodspeed Opera House, and the Paper Mill Playhouse. He has appeared on Broadway in Dirty Blonde, The Ritz, Chicago (10th Anniversary Celebration), originated the role of Teddy Roosevelt in Disney’s Newsies! The Musical, which he returns to in the national tour, and recently created the role of Baloo in a new adaptation of Disney’s The Jungle Book, directed by Tony Award winner Mary Zimmerman, for which the Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) awarded him Best Supporting Actor in a Musical. He is also among the artists that have been drawn by world-renowned caricaturist Al Hirschfeld.
Centenary Stage Company’s own award winning Artistic Director Carl Wallnau’s recent acting credits include Lionel Percy in Bakersfield Mist (Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum) alongside 4 time daytime Emmy Award winner Kim Zimmer, Dr. Watson in The Hound of the Baskervilles and Pandarus in Troilus and Cressida (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival), and Mr. Mayhew in Witness for the Prosecution (Bristol Riverside). He has directed numerous productions including the world premieres of Inventing Montana, The Tillie Project and The Poetry of Pizza, as well as, the American premiere of A Laughing Matter and the New Jersey premieres of Below the Belt, Square One, Rounding Third, Marvin’s Room and The English Bride, which later transferred to NYC for a run at 59E59. Wallnau has been cited for outstanding direction in productions of Springtime for Henry, Ladies Man and Quartermaine’s Terms among others. He has worked at numerous regional theaters including Paper Mill Playhouse, The Arden Theatre, Second Stage in NYC, York Musical Theatre in NYC, People’s Light, The Lark Theatre, The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Hartford Stage, Bristol Riverside, Forum Theatre, Premiere Stages, Orlando Shakespeare Company, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, Foothills Playhouse, Theatre 1812 in Philadelphia, Barnstormers and 14 months on the road with the First National Tour of Titanic. He received his MFA from Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts.
Centenary Stage Company’s production of Art runs February 16 through March 4 in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center. Performance dates are Fridays, February 16, 23 and March 2 at 8pm; Saturdays, February 17, 24 and March 3 at 8pm; Sundays, February 18, 25 and March 4 at 2pm; Wednesdays, February 21 and 28 at 2pm and Thursdays, February 22 and March 1 at 7:30pm. Ticket prices $27.50 for adults and $17.50 for children under 12 on matinee and Friday evening performances. Saturday evening performances are $29.50 for adults and $17.50 for children under 12. Thursday evening performances are $27.50 for ALL SEATS with a special ‘buy one/get one’ rush ticket special when purchased in person at the Centenary Stage Company box office starting two hours prior to performance time. The ‘buy one/get one’ rush ticket special is not valid for advance ticket sales, on – line or by phone. Offer is only valid in person at the box office during the designated time and may not be combined with any other special offer or discount.
Centenary Stage Company is also offering a buffet matinee for groups of 25 or more (up to 50) on Wednesdays February 21 and 28. Buffet matinees are $45.00 per person and include pre-show dining in one of CSC’s private dining rooms, as well as admittance to the 2pm matinee. Buffet matinees must be scheduled in advance. CSC also offers discounted tickets for group sales of 25 or more. To find out more or schedule your group or buffet matinee call the Centenary Stage Company box office directly at (908) 979 – 0900.
Centenary Stage Company’s production of Yasmina Reza’s Art is sponsored in part by Heath Village Retirement Community and The House of the Good Shepherd. For more information or to purchase tickets visit or call the Centenary Stage Company box office at (908) 979 – 0900. The box office is located in the Lackland Performing Arts Center at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown and is open Monday through Friday from 1 – 5pm and two hours prior to every performance. Centenary Stage Company can also be found across social media platforms; Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Like and follow to receive the latest CSC news and special offers.
The 2017-2018 season of performing arts events at the Centenary Stage Company is made possible through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Shubert Foundation, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the Sandra Kupperman Foundation, Zonta Morristown Chapter and CSC corporate sponsors, including Premier Season Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community, Silver Sponsors Hackettstown Medical Center, The House of the Good Shepherd, Home Instead Senior Care (Washington), and Fulton Bank of New Jersey, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.