Award winning musical Sundays in the Park with George is coming to Kean from Friday, Nov. 15 to Saturday, Nov. 23. The musical is based on the painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat and will be a Kean Theatre Conservatory production.
Sundays in the Park with George is a musical utilizing music by Stephen Sondheim and a book by James Lapines. The musical is a fictional take on real-life French pointillist painter Georges Seurat's process of painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. It follows a fictionalized Georges Seurat as he strains to balance life, love and art. Since its first production in 1984, the musical has since won multiple awards, most notably a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and two Tony Awards.
Part of the musical's success was its ability to creatively convey and develop the story of Seurat's relatable work-life struggle.
"There are many themes and lessons in this musical. The first that comes to mind is the balance between work and play - Georges, the artist, is so obsessed with his work that he sacrifices meaningful relationships, thus leaving him ultimately lost," said Director of Kean Theatre Conservatory Holly Logue.
Sundays in the Park with George was a popular pick with Kean Theatre Conservatory faculty who curates their production according to specific considerations.
"When we choose a season, selecting material that we feel passionate about is certainly one of the factors," said Logue. "We also choose material based on the skills we think our students need to be developing both as actors and designers or technicians. Last, we choose material that we want our audiences to be exposed to."
It is this attention to detail and genuine passion for the arts that usually makes the musicals the Kean Theatre Conservatory a hit with guests.
"I always think audiences enjoy our work because they appreciate the talents of our performers, all of whom are amazingly devoted students who aspire to continue their work in the profession," said Logue. "Our audiences always complement the students, surprised that they were so very good! I also expect that the audiences will find the story an interesting one, about an artist and the characters in his paintings."
Dates for performances of Sundays in the Park with George is as follows:
- Nov. 15 at 8 p.m.
- Nov. 16 at 8 p.m.
- Nov. 17 at 2 p.m.
- Nov. 20 at 8 p.m.
- Nov. 21 at 5 p.m.*
- Nov. 22 at 8 p.m.
- Nov 23 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
*Nov. 21 will also feature a special Q & A session with the cast, director and Kean art historian, Lewis Kachur, Ph.D.
All performances will take place in Wilkins Theatre. Tickets are $10 for students with a Kean ID, $12 for faculty, staff and senior citizens and $15 for general admission. Tickets may be purchased online on the Kean Stage website.