Watching a play at an art gallery may be unusual, but not impossible.
Jennifer Montminy , Araelia Lopatic and Olivia Lusk will be performing “Art,” written by Jasmina Reza, at 7:30 tonight at Ion Gallery, 209 W. Calder Way.
Montminy (junior-English) started her own production company called Feet First Theater Group last January with State College Area High School students Lopatic and Lusk. This is the first performance they are having as a production company, and Montminy will be directing, producing and acting in the play.
Montminy chose Reza’s play because it’s been one of her favorites for a long time.
“It’s beautifully written, but I also think it has a very important message,” she said. “It just raises a lot of great questions.”
She also wants to change everyone’s belief about modern art being only for painting and visual art as well as “challenge people to think about what that means for theater, too.”
She said the play is about three older French men, and one of them buys an expensive painting. Then, the men start a fight and discuss why someone would spend so much money on a painting. Montminy said though they are arguing about the painting, it is really an argument about their friendship.
Jody Harrington , Ion Gallery owner, said Montminy’s production touches on modernism — the aesthetic the gallery has.
“I think people are really going to feel that they are witnessing a discussion more than they are witnessing a play, which I think it’s very exciting,” Harrington said. “Because the discussion of art and design happens within these walls daily.”
The original play has three male characters, but in this version of the production, the three actresses will take on the roles but will keep the male names and pronouns.
“I want to see what happens when you take these male roles and you cast them with females. It’s really interesting to see the gender dynamic,” Montminy said.
For Lusk, acting in this play is different from what she has done before.
“It’s not like musical theater,” Lusk said. “It’s very real which means that characters are very ordinary, and at the same time, they are really extravagant and they tell us an interesting story.”
There’s an admission fee of $5 at the door. There will be a second performance on at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Ion Gallery. There will be a free performance of the show at 8:30 p.m. April 20 at the Green Drake Gallery and Arts Center at Millheim , but the Feet First Theater Group will accept donations.
“Art” is an award winning play written by French playwright and novelist Jasmina Reza and was translated by Christopher Hampton .