John Logan’s play Red (Vermelho, to give it its Portuguese title) will be christening the new stage in full technicolour at Pinheiros's first major theatre – Teatro Geo – inside the Instituto Tomie Ohtake. The two-hander, first staged by the Donmar Warehouse in London in 2009, portrays the inner conflicts of the abstract-expressionist painter Mark Rothko through a dialogue with his assistant, Ken.
In the play, audiences will be plunged into Rothko’s New York studio, circa 1958. Rothko is played by Antônio Fagundes, while his son Bruno plays the fictional younger assistant, though both actors insist that their personal relationship has no effect on their work. Bruno, aged 22, admits that this is the biggest role of his career; ‘I think any actor of my age would feel a responsibility in playing the part of Ken.’
After its run in London, Red moved to Broadway in 2010, where it won six Tony awards in two consecutive years. It was Antônio Fagundes, who also doubles as the play’s producer, who approached theatre director Jorge Takla about bringing the play to Brazil. Takla, known for directing local adaptations of musicals such as My Fair Lady, leapt at the chance, and the script was translated into Portuguese, with sets and costumes created from scratch.