VALPARAISO | Chicago Street Theatre will unveil a brand new setting for its award-winning productions later this month.
A Picasso, by Jeffrey Hatcher, will be the first play produced in the intimate Edith B. Wood Studio, a 40-seat space located on the second floor of the theater. The show will premier Friday, May 10, at 8 p.m. and will run May 11, 16, 17 and 18.
The show is set in 1941 Paris, and revolves around Pablo Picasso being summoned by occupation forces for interrogation by Miss Fischer, a beautiful “cultural attaché” from Berlin. When he discovers that Nazis plan to burn three of his paintings, he begins a desperate plea to rescue his work.
A Picasso also marks the first collaboration between CST and The Gensius Guild, of Hammond.
CST Resident Playwright Jim Henry, who is serving as the liaison for the partnership, is coordinating activities between the two theaters. He said it marks the first in what CST plans to make an annual tradition of co-producing a play with another theater in Northwest Indiana.
“The Wood Studio Theatre is an exciting new performance space,” Henry said. “We have been looking for a thought-provoking, engaging play that can fit the staging and technical features of the studio and A Picasso was perfect. It is a wonderful play to inaugurate our first full-production in the Wood Studio.”
The director of A Picasso is Ed Griffith, of Genesius Guild, and the show was cast from auditions at CST. The technical crew is a mixture of members from the Genesius Guild and CST, and both theaters are promoting the show to their respective audiences and members.
The co-leads of this two-person show are Maggie Reister-Walters (Miss Fischer) and Larry Hinken (Picasso).
“They are two veteran actors who have distinguished themselves on almost every stage in Northwest Indiana during their careers spanning over 20 years,” Henry said. “CST and Genesius Guild audiences have seen them in roles on both of their main stages, and we are honored to have them performing in our inaugural play in the Wood Studio.”
Henry added that the show would be an “up close and personal” experience for audiences, with seats much nearer to the action than they are on the main stage.
“CST prides itself in offering our audiences a wide range of styles and genres of plays and musical entertainment for all ages,” Henry said. “A Picasso is a riveting portrayal of a confrontation between Pablo Picasso and Nazi Germany during occupied France. We get a peak into the history and political upheavals of that time, as well as the eclectic and absorbing personae of "Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso," otherwise known simply as as Picasso.”
To purchase tickets for A Picasso, call the CST box office at 219-464-1636, Ext. 1, or visit www.chicagostreet.org. Accessibility to the Wood Studio is limited. Patrons must use a flight of stairs to get to the space. CST plans to make the studio more accessible in the future.
About the Edith B. Wood Studio
The Edith B. Wood Studio is a new 40-seat studio located on the second floor of Chicago Street Theatre, located at 154 W. Chicago Street in Valparaiso. For more information about the theatre, visit www.chicagostreet.org or call 219-464-1636.