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'Inventing van Gogh' on stage

Monday, August 04, 2008  
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Submitted by Renske on Fri, 01/08/2008 - 16:40.
The Rockford College Department of Performing Arts will perform the successful play Inventing Van Gogh at the Cheek Theatre from November 20 to 23.

Inventing Van Gogh, written by Steven Dietz, tells the haunting story of a painter forging Vincent Van Gogh’s final self-portrait.

The story takes place in two parallel realities; on one level the story takes place in the present. The young artist Patrick Stone suffers from a writers' block since his mentor has died. Stone is 'persuaded' by art authenticator Rene Bouchard to produce what would be passed off as the legendary final self-portrait of Vincent Van Gogh.

On the other level, the audience gets to see Vincent van Gogh painting his portraits in 19th century France. In his attempts to paint the portrait, Patrick Stone starts having hallucinations where he can actually see and interact with van Gogh himself.

Other 19th century characters that take part in the play are Van Gogh’s good friend Paul Gauguin, his doctor Paul Gachet and Gachet’s daughter Margueritte.

The playwright Steven Dietz plays with time sequences and changes locations frequently but still allows the audience to understand the story. Other theatre companies have already performed “Inventing Van Gogh” in the past. The critics were very enthusiastic about these performances:

Ann Miner on
"Every portrait is a self-portrait," and the portrait in question in Inventing Van Gogh sets off a journey of self-discovery that is fascinating to watch.

Paul Babin, on
"Inventing van Gogh” is a marvelously entertaining drama that’s as thought-provoking as it is entertaining. The play has so many insights and presents them in such inventive ways that it kept me thinking long after I left the theatre."

Ed Vincent, Oak Park Journal
"Inventing Van Gogh, by the gifted Steven Dietz, is a piece of superb writing - well thought out and incredibly creative. This play should be a pre-requisite for anyone wanting to take Art classes."

Other shows in the Rockford line-up this season are:
Hot Mikado Oct. 2-5, Maddox Theatre.
The Diary of Anne Frank Feb. 26-March 1, Cheek Theatre.
Sweet Smell of Success April 30-May 3, Maddox Theatre.  

Times for all shows are 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays.
For more information, see the Rockford Theatre website

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