How much would you pay for a white painting? Would it matter who the painter was? Would it be art?

Max G. Merchen directs the community theater comedy production of “Art.” It is written by Yasmina Reza. The play was written in French and translated to English shortly after its creation.

Ticket Info

The performances take place Oct. 20-23, 2016. The Thursday-Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday show is at 2:00 p.m.

Show Details:
Oct. 20-23
Thurs.-Sat.: 7:30 p.m.
Sunday: 2:00 p.m.
$15 for Adults
$5 for Youth and BHSU students


Play Synopsis

One of Marc’s best friends, Serge, has just bought a very expensive painting. It’s about five feet by four, all white with white diagonal lines. To Marc, the painting is a joke, but Serge insists Marc doesn’t have the proper standard to judge the work. Another friend, Ivan, though burdened by his own problems, allows himself to be pulled into this disagreement. Eager to please, Ivan tells Serge he likes the painting. Lines are drawn and these old friends square off over the canvas, using it as an excuse to relentlessly batter one another over various failures. As their arguments become less theoretical and more personal, they border on destroying their friendships. At the breaking point, Serge hands Marc a felt tip pen and dares him: “Go on.” This is where the friendship is finally tested, and the aftermath of action and its reaction affirms the power of those bonds.


Max G. Merchen has announced the cast for “Art.” 


Cast Biographies

Michael Kane (Marc)
You can take the boy out of the Midwest but you can’t take the Midwest out of the boy. After  being born in Illinois long ago, Mike moved with his wife, Michelle, and son, Jack, to Spearfish, 11 years ago. It has been a theater whirlwind ever since. He has acted in and directed numerous productions at MOH, including: “Shakespeare Almost,” “The Perfect Wedding,” “Mame,” “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” “12 Angry Women,” “Star-Spangled Girl” and most recently in Theater on the Run. He is an eighth grade English teacher at Douglas Middle School. Mike was raised in California, which is where the acting bug initially bit, propelling him to pursue gigs in stage, film, and television. “Art,” is his first opportunity to work with Kirk and Wayne. He loves being on stage and even more so, working with Max, a wonderful director and all-around great guy. Art, indeed!

Wayne Gilbert (Serge)
Wayne was in several Black Hills Community Theatre and Firehouse Dinner Theater productions in Rapid City before he relocated to the Northern Hills in 2015. Since then he has been in “End Game,” “A Seussified Christmas Carol,” and “Twelve Angry Jurors” at Belle Fourche Community Theatre. He is also involved in the Bukit Litz company in Spearfish, and  appeared in its productions of “Billy Buck and JoJo,” “The Age of Romance,” and “On Golden Pond.” His previous appearance at The Matthews Opera House was in “The Maltese Falcon.”

Kirk Hauck (Yvan) 
Kirk Hauck, BHSU graduate in vocal music, is excited to be part of the cast for Art. His previous performances at The Matthews Opera House have included Bill Russell and Friends, CLUE: The Musical, and others. He plans to audition for graduate programs in voice, and is grateful to the art community in Spearfish for the numerous opportunities to perform as well as all the support throughout the years.

Award Winner

Winner of the 1998 Tony Award for Best Play. Winner of the 1996 Olivier Award for Best Comedy. “…wildly funny, naughtily provocative…” —NY Post. “…a nonstop cross-fire of crackling language, serious issues of life and art expressed in outbursts that sound like Don Rickles with a degree from the Sorbonne…Reza is a fiendishly clever writer…’ART’ sounds like a marriage of Molière and Woody Allen…” —Newsweek. “Anyone looking for a play that is funny, sophisticated, stylish, stimulating and moving should go to ‘ART’.” —Independent (London). “That such a simple plot can throw up such profound and meaty ideas about the rules that dictate art and friendship is a real treat. Reza and Hampton have an acute ear for the idiocies, trivia and petty assaults that pepper the conversation between friends…The real pleasures come from Reza’s creation of three beautifully defined, original characters…” —The Mail (London). “In October I called it a minor classic. Let’s change that to classic comedy, period.” —London Times.