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WEST remounts hit play "Art" at the Oakville Centre

Oakville News
Oakville News

Oakville's West End Studio Theatre (WEST) is presenting Yasmina Reza's famous play Art at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts studio space this weekend, Sept. 15-18. This isn't the first time WEST has staged this smash-hit show in town, but it has been a while.

And by a while, they mean 14 years. Now, at long last, it's back on stage.

First presented in 2008, the show has played multiple engagements in Oakville and Mississauga over the years, but hasn't been done since 2012. As WEST director Yo Mustafa says, "We were looking for good, small plays that would do well in the Studio Theatre...this was the perfect time."

The acclaimed three-hander play centres on three friends as they confront their friendships in the aftermath of buying a very expensive painting. The play is being directed collectively by the three actors, but watching them at their final dress rehearsal, its clear these three men aren't just colleagues - they're also close friends.

"It’s been very organic," continues Mustafa. "We’ve been working on this together - all of us."

Mustafa returns to the role of Serge, who he's played since the original production in 2008. Also returning is Chris Reid as Yvan, who's also done the play before in its 2012 production at the Living Arts Centre. New to the cast is Brian Melanson (a WEST member with multiple credits.) as Marc.

"I'd take any opportunity to work with Yo and Brian," says Chris. "I love working with both these guys. It is also a really good script; it’s dialogue driven so it has to be well written to stand on its own. In the right hands, this show is a lot of fun to do."

Brian is equally complimentary: "There’s two solid actors here, so I jumped at doing the play. I saw the play in Hamilton, so I knew the script and loved it. Now to be part of this friendship is a no-brainer."

This remount of Art continues WEST's new mandate of bringing great plays to the Oakville Centre's Studio Theatre space, which has been underused by local theatre companies for much of the last 10-15 years.

When asked what they loved most about the show, Yo says it's "an intelligent comedy. The painting is just the catalyst." Brian adds, "It’s an interesting look at male friendship over something as simple as a piece of art."

Chris has the most profound answer. "A wide range of people will be able to find something personally relatable in their own circle of friends," he says. "People who see it say they've cast it among people they know in their real lives."

Art is now on stage at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts until Sept. 18. Tickets are available online here.

West End Studio Theatre
West End Studio Theatre


Tyler Collins

About the Author: Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins is the editor for Oakville News. Originally from Campbellton, New Brunswick, he's lived in Oakville more than 20 years. Tyler is a proud Sheridan College graduate of both Journalism and Performing Arts.
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