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Robsham Theater Raises the Curtain on the Spring Semester

A recent rehearsal for "Picasso at the Lapin Agile," which opened at Robsham Theater last night runs through Saturday. (Photo by Christopher Huang)

By Rosanne Pellegrini | Chronicle Staff

Published: Jan. 31, 2013

Another semester of theatrical performances has begun at the Robsham Theater Arts Center, with the current Theatre Department Workshop Production of the acclaimed comedy “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” which opened last night and runs through Saturday.

Written by iconic comedian Steve Martin — also an accomplished actor, musician, author, playwright and producer — the play explores the idea of what would happen if geniuses Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso were to meet, just as each was about to set the world on fire: Einstein as he is about to publish his General Theory of Relativity and Picasso as he is about to leave his “Blue” period.

“I love the absurd humor in this show, coupled with the history of the characters and the Lapin Agile, an actual bar in Paris that was home to artists and progressive thinkers in the 1900s and is still around today,” says Shannon DeBari ’13, a theater major who is director of the production. “I was fascinated by the possibility that Einstein and Picasso may have actually met at this bar in 1904 and exchanged ideas right before their inevitable fame.”

From Feb. 21-23, Robsham will be the setting for another Theater Workshop production, Jane Martin’s “Jack and Jill.” Directed by Hana Hyseni ’13, the play is described as an enjoyable and humorous exercise recognizable to anyone who has gone through the ups and downs of a serious relationship.

“New Voices 2013,” which runs from March 22-23, will feature original student works: short plays by BC students as well as pieces conceived and created in the Workshop in Puppet and Object Theatre and Modern Dance courses. The plays — accessible via the Theatre Department web site — include “A Night in the Lowlight” by Chris Gouchoe ’13, “16 Gigs” by Maggie Kearnan ’14 and “Marcel at Alice’s” by Timothy N. Kopacz ’13. “New Voices” is directed by Theatre Department Chair and Associate Professor Scott T. Cummings.

The contemporary comedy “Avenue Q: the Musical” concludes the season on April 24-28. Most of the featured characters are puppets living in rundown tenements on a shabby street in New York City — while several of these characters are parodies of “Sesame Street” regulars, they are in their 20s and 30s and face adult problems. Despite the fuzzy faces, organizers note, it is not a children’s show. Directed by Theatre Department Associate Professor Stuart Hecht, “Avenue Q” features music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx; book by Jeff Whitty.

Other campus groups, including the Dance Ensemble and the Southeast Asian Student Association, also will take the Robsham stage this semester. For more information, including show times, locations and ticket information (available online, via the Robsham Box Office or by phone), see