Theater in the Galleries: Renegade and the Barnes collaborate with SUBJECT: WOMEN

Three Sisters by Henri Matisse. Courtesy of the Barnes Foundation.

Three Sisters by Henri Matisse. Courtesy of the Barnes Foundation.

There have been a raft of interesting collaborations between theaters and art museums recently. Revolution Shakespeare’s Five Kings series at the Philadelphia Art Museum and Josh Hitchens adaptation of Frankenstein at the Mutter Museum spring to mind.

In that vein, the Barnes Foundation and the Renegade Company are collaborating on a series of 15 minute theatrical interpretations of the works in the Barnes collection. Each work will be featured during a select Free First Sunday at the Barnes. There will be a guided discussion after the presentation about the particular artwork, its contemporary iconography, and Renegade’s interpretation.

On March 1, 2015, Renegade will present Subject: Women, an exploration of the place of women in fine art which uses Matisse’s triptych, Three Sisters as an inspiration. Conceived and Directed by Brenna Geffers and performed by MaryLee Bednarek, Mackenzie Maula, and Rebecca Schaffer, Subject: Women begins with the imagined musings of Lorette, a young model who appears in over 50 paintings by Matisse but yet is relatively forgotten by history. Ross Beschler and Robert DaPonte provide additional voice recordings.

According to Renegade, the piece will “ask what the role of the subject is within a piece of art, look at the way western society puts women within the frame, and define their roles in the arts as that of muse, inspiration, model, supporter, or lover. Where are our female artists? What does it mean for a women to take her own portrait? Do women have a place outside of being the subject of another man’s story?”

Programming on March 1 also includes flamenco company Pasion y Arte, ARTime kids storytime, “Quilting with the Needle and Gun Club”, and other musical and literary events. Free tickets to the First Sunday Series can be obtained on-site at the Barnes Foundation beginning at 9 am. Advance reservations are not available. Programming runs 1-4pm. See barnesfoundation.org for a full list of events. [Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway] March 1, 2015; barnesfoundation.org.

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Christopher Munden

Your faithful correspondent and publisher Christopher Munden has written and edited for many publications, websites, and cultural institutions. He was an editor/publisher of the Philly Fiction book series, collections of short stories written by local writers and set in Philadelphia. He's also a soccer coach and a pretty good skier.