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Museum of Art to Host Reading of Steve Martin’s ‘Picasso at the Lapin Agile’

1993 comic play will be brought to life by local actors on Jan. 5

Enjoy a dramatic reading of excerpts from Steve Martin’s 1993 comic play that tells the hypothetical story of Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein, who meet at a bar called the Lapin Agile (Nimble Rabbit) in Montmartre, Paris.

Picasso at the Lapin Agile
A dramatic reading of Steve Martin’s play Picasso at the Lapin Agile will be performed Jan. 5 at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

“A Night with Picasso at the Lapin Agile” will begin at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 5 at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1130 State St. (Please enter at State Street.)

It is set on Oct. 8, 1904, and both men are on the verge of an amazing idea (Einstein will publish his special theory of relativity in 1905, and Picasso will paint Les Demoiselles d’Avignon in 1907) when they find themselves at the Lapin Agile, where they have a lengthy debate about the value of genius and talent while interacting with a host of other characters.

The event will be limited to 60 guests. Tickets are free for Santa Barbara Museum of Art members, and free with museum admission for nonmembers. There will be a cash bar.

Director Mitchell Thomas is an award-winning actor, director,  teacher and current chair of the Westmont College Theatre Arts Department. He was the winner of the 2008 Arlin G. Meyer Prize for his direction of Erik Ehn’s The Saint Plays and also received a 2010 Indie Award for his direction of Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano.

Mitchell specializes in devised theater and working with playwrights to develop new work. Since 2005, Mitchell has created or commissioned more than 20 original full-length and short works, including Ablaze, Big Tent Love, Rogue, The Car Play Project, The Earthquake Predictor Rides the Bus, Don’t Be Fooled by Me, Fortune’s Fool: Stop the Violence or I’ll Kill You, Muéveme. Muévete. and GLIMPSE: Beyond.

Recent work as a theater producer includes Tim Crouch’s ENGLAND (recently performed at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art) and Wallace Shawn’s The Fever in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and London.

Mitchell received a master’s degree in fine arts from the Professional Actor Training Program at the University of Washington.

The cast of Picasso at the Lapin Agile is comprised of local, professional actors, including members of the Lit Moon Theatre Company, BoxTales, Genesis West, and theater faculty and recent alums from Westmont College and the UCSB BFA Acting program.
 
— Katrina Carl is a public relations manager for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

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