Release Date: October 25, 2012

National Gallery of Art Premieres Framed!, a Play Commissioned Especially for Young People Aged Six and Up in Honor of Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective

Washington, DC—A new one-act play for young audiences, ages six and up, by internationally recognized playwright and director Mary Hall Surface will premiere at the National Gallery of Art in honor of the current exhibition Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective. This dynamic, delightful show, commissioned by the Gallery, features live jazz music. Public performances are scheduled for Saturday, November 3, at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 4, at 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. in the East Building Auditorium. Admission is free and seating is first come, first seated.

"The idea for the play grew out of wondering what would happen when all of these paintings came together for the first time in the Gallery's exhibition, and what they might say to one another," says Mary Hall Surface.

Play Synopsis

The play introduces young audiences to the ideas behind pop art through an engaging story of two fictional characters who pop out from Lichtenstein's paintings. One is named "Pop," who was once a comic book hero in the artist's 1963 painting Whaam! The other is "Art," who was once a figure in a Picasso painting and who now finds herself in Lichtenstein's painting Reflections on "Interior with Girl Drawing" (1990).

The characters escape their frames and embark on a search for identity and meaning, guided by a mysterious saxophone player who speaks only through jazz music. Lichtenstein was an amateur musician who enjoyed jazz as a youth and took saxophone lessons in his later years. The character of the jazz musician will be played by saxophonist, pianist, composer/arranger, educator, and bandleader Brad Linde, who composed new scores for the production.

Mary Hall Surface

Mary Hall Surface, a Helen Hayes Award recipient, is a playwright and director specializing in theater for families. She wrote and directed the play Who's in the Hopper? An Art Mystery Adventure, performed at the Gallery in honor of the 2007–2008 exhibition Edward Hopper. Her play A Perfect Balance, inspired by the work of Alexander Calder, has been touring since 1991 and has been performed at the National Gallery of Art numerous times. Surface has been a member of the theater community in Washington DC since 1989, and her plays have been staged at the Folger Theatre, Theater of the First Amendment, the Round House Theatre, Imagination Stage, and Washington Jewish Theatre. Her work has also been featured in productions and festivals around the world, including Germany, Canada, Japan, Peru, France, Sweden, and Ireland.

General Information

The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are at all times free to the public. They are located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, and are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed on December 25 and January 1. With the exception of the atrium and library, the galleries in the East Building will remain closed until late fall 2016 for Master Facilities Plan and renovations. For information call (202) 737-4215 or visit the Gallery's Web site at www.nga.gov. Follow the Gallery on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NationalGalleryofArt, Twitter at www.twitter.com/ngadc, and Instagram at http://instagram.com/ngadc.

Visitors will be asked to present all carried items for inspection upon entering. Checkrooms are free of charge and located at each entrance. Luggage and other oversized bags must be presented at the 4th Street entrances to the East or West Building to permit x-ray screening and must be deposited in the checkrooms at those entrances. For the safety of visitors and the works of art, nothing may be carried into the Gallery on a visitor's back. Any bag or other items that cannot be carried reasonably and safely in some other manner must be left in the checkrooms. Items larger than 17 by 26 inches cannot be accepted by the Gallery or its checkrooms.
 
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