Bawdy Drama is Based on the Life of Artist William Hogarth
Middlebury, VT—The Middlebury College Department of Theatre and Dance presents The Art of Success, written by Nick Dear and directed by Richard Romagnoli, on November 17-19, 2011. Based on the life of artist William Hogarth, this bawdy comedy uncovers the dark underbelly of 1700 s London. The play will be performed Thursday, November 17, Friday, November 18, and Saturday, November 19, all at 8:00 P.M., plus a 2:00 P.M. matinee on Saturday only, in the Seeler Studio Theatre, at the Mahaney Center for the Arts on Route 30 South.
Audiences will follow the famous 18th century English painter and engraver William Hogarth through an evening of wild encounters with his wife, mistress, murderess, and even Prime Minister Robert Walpole. The Art of Success is a farcical romp accented by Hogarth’s sexual compulsions and professional ambitions. The correlations between Hogarth’s London of the 1730s and England’s (and America’s) larger cultural complexion at the end of the millennium are uncanny. Rakes, whores, and murderers rub elbows with writers, politicians, and aristocrats in this comic escapade with dramatic overtones—and enough adult content to make the play anything but family entertainment. Frank Rich of the New York Times called the play “a scabrous comedy about the creation, purpose, promotion, merchandising, censorship and government patronage of art.”
The cast includes Max Hoffman ’12, Christo Grabowski ’12, Teddy Anderson ’13, James Connolly ’13, Jake Schwartzwald ’14, Alicia Evancho ’12, Molly O’Keefe ’12.5, Isabel Shill ’12.5, Lindsey Messmore ’11.5, and Emily Rosenkrantz ’11.5. The stage manager is Alan Sutton ’14, with assistant stage managers Sade Williams ’14.5, Victoria Marambio ’14, and Xiyue (Cynthia) Tu ’14. Professor of Theatre and Program Chair Mark Evancho designed the scenery; Resident Scenic and Lighting Designer/Associate Technical Director Hallie Zieselman designed the lights; and Artist in Residence and Costume Designer Jule Emerson designed the costumes.
A Behind-the-Scenes Lunch and Discussion about The Art of Success will take place on Tuesday, November 15, at 12:30 P.M., at the Mahaney Center for the Arts, Seeler Studio Theatre. Director Richard Romagnoli will introduce the play and speak about the inspirations for the Middlebury production; members of the cast and crew will share insights on their work. Lunch is provided free of charge for Middlebury College ID card holders; pay-as-you-can community donations are accepted.
The Art of Success is for mature audiences only. Tickets are $12 for the general public, $10 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, alumni, and emeriti, and $6 for Middlebury College students. For the Middlebury College Box Office, call (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or go to http://go.middlebury.edu/tickets.
Image: William Hogarth, Gin Lane, 1751, engraving, as reproduced by Samuel Davenport circa 1806–1809
Photos by Stan Barouh