By John Logan
Produced by IC Players — May 2015
Performed at Ithaca College's Handwerker Gallery
This historical-fiction piece tells the story of legendary abstract expressionist, Mark Rothko's work on the murals for the Four Seasons Restaurant in the Seagram's Building in New York— the biggest commission in art history. He works intensely alongside his young assistant, Ken, who bravely challenges his mentor. Through this, Rothko comes to realize his greatest job is also his undoing as Ken shows him of the rise of the new guard of artists, as Rothko's generation fades. The play is a portrait of the power of art, growing up, and covertly: fathers and sons.
This production was staged in Ithaca College's Handwerker Gallery in accordance to Rothko's aspiration of his murals: to have the world of the piece envelope the viewer, from the focal points to the peripheries—an inescapable and overwhelming universe dominated by the piece. The show was staged amidst the Ithaca College Art Dept. Senior Showcase, which complemented a line used both by Rothko and Ken: "the child must banish the father, Respect him, but kill him."
(Photos by Madi Van Dam)