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​​Seniors steal the show in Rice Theatre’s production of ‘Art’

By Kristal Hanson     2/13/24 10:46pm

Rice Theatre’s senior capstone play, “Art,” is set to take the stage later this week and highlights the eight graduating seniors in the Visual and Dramatic Arts theatre concentration. “Art” is the final hurrah for one of Rice’s last classes of theatre majors, and the comedic production is originally a French-language play by Yasmina Reza. “Art” will run Feb. 16 and 17 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 18 at 2 p.m., and tickets are “pay what you can” for all attendees.

Sophia Devereux, the show’s stage manager, said she appreciated the chance to work alongside seasoned senior actors and felt it contributed to a fun but serious environment. 

“They’re all very close, and they’re all very sweet and they’re all very experienced. So it makes putting the show on a really nice job because people come in, they take it seriously, they know what’s expected of them and how to push themselves,” Devereux, a Hanszen College senior, said.

Parker Blumentritt, the play’s director, said that experience is one of the biggest advantages of a senior cast. 

“There is that higher level of experience that you don’t get with younger casts,” Blumentritt, a Sid Richardson College senior, said. “You can really clearly see all the work and effort we’ve put into all these years learning.”

Jerome Cerio, one of the three actors in the production, said that “Art” distinguishes itself as a solely student-led effort.

“It’s being put on by us and completely advertised by us,” Cerio, a Wiess College senior, said. “We’re hoping that people will come to see it because of the people who are in it.”

The play revolves around three friends whose bond is tested when one purchases an expensive piece of modern art. Cerio said the play is an absurd commentary, as well as a critique on modern art itself.

“It’s just this really absurd circumstance and really funny to watch these people arguing over a white painting,” Cerio said. “But, in a way, a lot of it is commentary on modern art and how absurd it can be.”

Beyond the humor and commentary on art, Devereux said the production delves into profound themes. 

“More than anything it talks about friendships and relationships, and growing up, and dealing with conflict,” Devereux said. “I think that’s something that we as humans experience all the time, and I think it’s fun to see it live on stage in a theatrical way.”

The exploration of friendships and growing up is particularly fitting for a play orchestrated by a tight-knit group of seniors. 

“It feels like everything has come full circle because we have been doing shows since our freshman year together with people who I’m really close friends with,” Cerio said. “Being our senior capstone and the last big project that we’re going to do, there’s a lot of passion behind it.”

Devereux echoed these sentiments and said that she is anticipating one of her final shows with Rice Theatre.

“I’m looking forward to one last hurrah,” Devereux said.

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