Mary Moody Northen Theatre kicks off season


As someone who has translated Eugene Ionesco’s plays, it should be obvious what wild blood Tina Howe has inherited. Mary Moody Northern Theater has chosen Howe’s “Museum” as its opening production, directed by David M. Long. The play takes place in a major museum of modern art in which three invented contemporary American artists have their work on display as “The Broken Silence.”

In the space of a day, a flood of people walk through the exhibition, “art lovers, skeptics, foreigners, students, lost souls, fellow artists, and of course, museum guards,” each presenting their individual yearnings with surprising humor. St. Edward’s production of “Museum” will feature Equity guests Babs George, Jarrett King and David Stahl.

“Museum” was first presented at the Los Angeles Actors’ Theatre in 1976. When Howe’s play was published, it was reviewed by the Village Voice as “moving and beautiful…a passionate and thoroughly personal play about the whole world.” With St. Edward’s skilled and delightful cast, we should expect a hilarious, absorbing, and transcendent production, which opens Sept. 26, and runs until Oct. 6.

Seth Stewart is playing “the conservative Mr. Salt, who is put off and confused by his recorded tour, as well as by the exhibits on display.” and the “charming artist Steve Williams.”

Stewart says the current rehearsal atmosphere is on par with the kind of creative energy “Museum” calls for.

“Right now everything seems much more exciting because every actor brings a huge amount of energy to every scene. Since it is a comedy it’s good to be frantic and excited at this point,” Stewart said.

“I have experienced a new way of seeing art constructions; I have found the story behind the art.”

The play takes on the broad and complicated task of commenting on both visual art and plays. As the characters make their observations on the modern art display, the play is observing theater art itself. Tina Howe’s “Museum” seems to be coming from the tradition of theater of the absurd, where playwrights bend reality to make reality more luminous.

We can expect a discussion about the discussion of art itself in “Museum.” We can expect absurdity and humanity.

“My challenge as an actor is having to understand how a construction artist would view his own work, and then incorporating that into my own work,” Stewart said.