UFV Theatre and the School of Creative Arts presents the production ART, starting on Nov. 14 at the Abbotsford campus. (Darren McDonald photo)

UFV Theatre and School of Creative Arts present ART

Production opens Thursday, Nov. 14 at Abbotsford campus

University of the Fraser Valley Theatre and the School of Creative Arts present the first production of their 2019-2020 season starting Thursday, Nov. 14.

ART by Yazmina Reza and translated by Christopher Hampton runs until Nov. 23 in the S’eliyemetaxwtexw Art Gallery at the Abbotsford UFV campus, 33844 King Rd.

The show is directed by Parjad Sharifi, an award-winning designer, theatre maker, and UFV theatre associate professor.

ART is an award-winning comedy, the recipient of the 1998 Tony Award for best play and the 1996 Olivier Award for best comedy.

Three friends – Marc, Serge, and Yvan – examine their 15 years of friendship and debate the merits of representational versus abstract artwork when Serge buys an expensive white painting.

Marc thinks that the painting isn’t worth a penny; however, Serge insists that Marc doesn’t have high enough standards to judge the work.

Yvan, reluctantly pulled into the disagreement, is eager to please, telling Serge that he likes the painting. The friends square off over the canvas, using the painting as an excuse to relentlessly batter one another over their various failures.

Their arguments become less theoretical and more personal, bordering on destroying their friendships.

Finally, at the breaking point, Serge hands Marc a felt-tip pen and dares him: “Go on.” This is the moment when their friendships are tested, and the aftermath of the actions and reactions affirms the power of their bonds.

UFV’s take on this production includes a pre-show exhibition, which aims to engage audiences and draw connections between the play, exhibition, and gallery space.

“Theatre is an ancient art form that can bring us together, build stronger community experiences, and tell stories about the past, present and future,” Sharifi says.

Performances of ART are on Nov. 14, 15 and 22 at 7 p.m; Nov. 20 and 21 at 5 p.m.; and Nov. 16 and 23 at 2 p.m.

Saturday matinees will be preceded by mini-lectures by guest faculty at 1 p.m.

It is suggested to reserve tickets early, as seating is limited. All performances are pay-what-you-can at the door, with suggested prices of $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors, cash only.

Reserve by emailing theatre@ufv.ca or phoning 604-795-2814 with your name, number of seat reservations required, and performance day/time.

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