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Art in three acts at South Coast Rep

MOST theaters shun plays replete with purple prose, but South Coast Repertory is proudly introducing a purple playwright as part of the new sculptural iconography outside its front doors.

The three-part assemblage of brightly colored plated steel, commissioned from L.A. artist Jason Meadows, is called “Spatio Virtuo Teatro” and was scheduled to be dedicated Wednesday afternoon.

According to David Emmes, co-founder and producing artistic director of the Costa Mesa theater, the aim was to have Meadows artfully adorn each of the three levels of the previously bare, sloping marble terrace, offering playgoers a visual allusion to the experiences they could expect inside.

“The Storyteller” is the purple fellow at the top, seated at the end of a wooden bench near the box office. He is captured delivering his tale with an arm raised in enthusiastic gesture. “Upstage/Downstage” looks like a stage-lighting truss, with a stagehand leaning casually on one stanchion. “Herald” is a seated figure with an intent look, like an absorbed playgoer.

SCR didn’t divulge what it paid for the pieces, which were created by Carlson & Company. Meadows’ work is represented at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Tate Modern in London. Lead donors for “Spatio Virtuo Teatro” were Pat and Gene Hancock, Pam and Jim Muzzy, Marsha and Darrel Anderson and the Baker Frenzel family.

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-- Mike Boehm


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