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By R. Eli Townsend
Special to The PREVIEW
Mark Rothko’s most well-known works of art were all about the contrasts of blocks of color painted in delicate layers on huge canvases. Thingamajig Theatre Company’s final offering of the 2013-2014 season brings a slice of Rothko’s world to life at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, beginning May 16.
“Red,” the 2010 Tony Award-winning play by John Logan about Rothko’s infuriating passion for unequaled art and its emotional effects, and his slowly decomposing world, with pop art becoming the fashion, is a fascinating, no-nonsense look at the artist as he betrays himself and his emotions for a young painter (Ken) he has hired to be just an assistant. Ken starts about as objective as an indentured servant, but as the play evolves, becomes a bit of Rothko’s conscience. Will Rothko continue the project that promises him a great deal of money?
The play takes place in Rothko’s studio in New York City, filled with large canvases, along with the paint, thinner and brushes he uses. Though based on it, the play is not about history, but about how art can take hold of your whole life, of your emotions and how it can transform the artist and the person viewing that art.
Thingamajig Theatre Company presents “Red,” directed by Melissa Firlit, featuring Dennis Elkins and Craig Dolezel. Showing at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, May 16-June 1, Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. For tickets and information, visit www.pagosacenter.org or call 731-SHOW (7469).