TAHLEQUAH – Tim Saucier, the latest addition to the Northeastern State University Theatre Department, will direct his first show, “Piccasso at the Lapin Agile (the Agile Rabbit)” at NSU on April 8-11 at the Shawnee Street Theatre, located at the corner of College and Downing.
The play, written by comedian Steve Martin, is set in a French bar, the Lapin Agile or Agile Rabbit, located in Montmartre, Paris. The Lapin Agile is a convergence point for eccentrics, including two as-yet-unknown geniuses—Picasso, played by Daniel Woodworth, and Einstein, played by John Thomason. The womanizing Spanish artist and the 25-year-old Einstein are both on the verge of great discoveries. Picasso is about to invent cubism and Einstein is close to formulating his relativity theory.
The play explores the role of art, science and commercialism in the 20th century. Einstein and Picasso engage in a battle of wits for the attention of a countess and various other female admirers. Additional characters include Sagot, Picasso’s art dealer, Smendiman, inventor of a new building material called “schmendimite,” as well as an unexpected visitor from the future.
Saucier says the play requires “actors to focus on their comic timing and learn how to make shtick plausible.”
Freshman Woodworth did considerable research to see exactly how much of his role as Picasso was based in fact and how much was invented.
“I found out Martin took a lot of creative liberties with the character,” he said. “But that’s what makes it such good theatre.”
Sterling Spinks, another freshman, describes the show as “hilarious actors playing hilarious characters.”
Adding to the creative ambience of the evening will be an art display in the lobby. Up to a dozen paintings, created by NSU students, will be available for purchase during the show.
A special preview of the show will be held Tuesday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m. The show opens Wednesday, April 8 and runs through Saturday, April 11. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m.
General admission tickets are $5. For more information or reservations, call the Shawnee Street Theatre box office at (918) 444-2793.