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Season 6: awake Currier Museum of Art

Hear the play, see the art, talk about it.

Hear new or rarely produced plays that relate to special exhibitions at the Currier Museum of Art or objects or artists in the museum's permanent collection. After each of the readings, stay for a conversation lead by local experts in the fields of fine art, dramatic literature, and politics. 

Admission to the readings and participation in the discussions is free with museum admission ($15 for adults, $13 for seniors, $10 for students).  Passes for reduced admission to the museum may be checked out from more than 90 public libraries across the state. Students, faculty and staff from seven area colleges (including the NH Institute of Art, St. Anselm College and Southern NH University) receive free admission to the museum. Following each reading and discussion, visit the galleries to view related artwork.


On the Ceiling by Nigel Planer
November 11, 2018, 2 pm at the Currier Museum of Art
Read in conjunction with the special exhibition Myth and Faith in Renaissance Florence
High up on the wooden scaffolding tower of the Sistine Chapel, two fresco plasterers get on with the day's work preparing the ceiling for their boss Michelangelo who has not bothered to turn up for work again. So who has to cover for him? Like any big project, it's the little guys, the professionals, the men who've been doing this kind of thing all their lives. As for gratitude, they'll be lucky if they even get paid! Pope Julius and Cardinal Alidosi visit the chapel to inspect the progress of their commission. They are never very impressed, and the Pope is more concerned about getting Michelangelo to do his funeral monument at a knock-down price.On the Ceiling is not about great artists; it is about those people whose names don't go down in history: the ones who do the essential drudge work, their frustration at their lack of genius and their pride in their own technical expertise. In this version of events, low elements combine to make high art.

The Bakelite Masterpieces by Kate Cayley 
January 13, 2019, 2 pm at the Currier Museum of Art
The end of World War II. Holland is in chaos. Artist Han van Meegeren sits in a prison cell accused of selling a long-lost by the Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer to the Nazis, a crime tantamount to treason. Van Meegeren contends that the painting was a forgery, which he skillfully produced and aged with a special treatment of the plastic known as Bakelite. Now he must create another masterpiece in front of his jailer, art historian Geert Piller, to save his life. The Bakelite Masterpiece is a dynamic and compelling play that debates beauty, faith, memory and the reconstruction of a country.

The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek by Athol Fugard
April 14, 2019, 2 pm at the Currier Museum of Art
Read in conjunction with the special exhibition Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence
A touching portrayal of compassion passed down through two generations in a racially-torn continent, Athol Fugard's latest play centers around aging farm laborer Nukain, who has spent his life transforming the rocks at Revolver Creek into a vibrant garden of painted flowers. Now, the final unpainted rock, as well as his young companion Bokkie, has forced Nukain to confront his legacy as a painter, a person and a black man in 1980s South Africa. When the landowner’s wife arrives with demands about the painting, the profound rifts of a country hurtling toward the end of apartheid are laid bare. The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek observes two differing experiences with racism, in the decades during and following apartheid, while ultimately illuminating the meaning of preserving the history of one's own past. Within the span of his illustrious and widely-lauded work as a playwright, Athol Fugard has shed light on the looming shadow of apartheid and its resulting dissolution of society and politics in South Africa. This contemplative new work follows that legacy, asking us not to forget its relevance in the modern day.

Past readings