Art Imitating Art, at EAM's Ecstatic Ekphrasis
Local audiences will have the opportunity to witness some of theater's finest "artistic responses"
Tuesday, Feb. 20
It happens so often we hardly even recognize its occurrence anymore: Art, in all its varieties, inspires the creative process in another artist and spurs them to respond to the stimulus in their own way. Tracy Chevalier took one painting by Dutch master Vermeer and turned it into an entire novel; Ron Chernow's masterful biography of Alexander Hamilton gave Lin-Manuel Miranda the spark he needed to pen a Broadway musical phenomenon.
Local audiences will have the opportunity to witness some of theater's finest "artistic responses" right downtown, at the Erie Art Museum's "Ecstatic Ekphrasis: Theater About Art" evening. The Greek word "ekphrasis" is defined by Merriam-Webster as "a literary description of or commentary on a visual work of art," and three local theater companies will bring that definition to life, previewing scenes from their upcoming March productions.
Audience members can expect to see selections from the Erie Playhouse's Sunday in the Park with George, a musical about the painter Georges Seurat; PACA's Art, a comedy by Yasmina Reza; and Picasso at the Lapin Agile, a Steve Martin-penned play mounted by the All An Act Theater. After these performances, attendees will be treated to a discussion panel presided over by Kelly Armor, the Museum Education Director, and featuring local directors Mark Tanenbaum, David Mitchell, Richard Davis, and Kate Neubert-Lechner, as well as Susan Barnett, the museum curator.
Does every artist owe something to the artists who came before? Are the acts of creation, innovation and discovery — artistic and otherwise — as different as they might seem on the surface? Ecstatic Ekphrasis addresses questions like these, and may just inspire you in surprising ways. — Cara Suppa
7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. // Erie Art Museum, 20 E. Fifth St. // erieartmuseum.org/performances-2 // Free