The 2019 Jason Rubin American Musical Theater Film Festival will feature the 1985 film of the musical “Sunday in the Park with George,” starring Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters, at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at the Tawes Experimental Theater at the Gibson Center for the Arts on the campus of Washington College. Rubin will introduce the film with a brief lecture.
Act I of “Sunday in the Park with George” follows a fictionalized George Seurat as the French Impressionist creates his masterpiece, “Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte.” Characters in the musical become subjects in his canvas. As Seurat devotes his energy to art, his love, Dot, feels neglected and moves on.
In the second act, Seurat’s fictional great-grandson also grapples with questions about art and life.
“Sunday in the Park with George” was awarded the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It also won two Tony Awards for design, as well as a nomination for best musical.
Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for the musical, and James Lapine wrote the book. It originally opened in 1983 off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons before moving to the Booth Theatre on Broadway on May 2, 1984. Patinkin and Peters starred.
Rubin began his teaching career at Washington College in spring 1986. A professional set designer since 1970, he designed sets for Theater of the First Amendment in Fairfax, Va., Totem Pole Playhouse in Fayettville, Penn., and the Folger in Washington, D.C. He was formerly artistic director of Children’s Theater Association in Baltimore and belongs to Actors Equity Association and Theater Library Association. For 10 years, he was a juror for the George Freedley Award. He has also taught at George Mason University and Loyola College in Baltimore. Rubin earned his MFA from Columbia University in scenery, costume, and lighting design in 1972 and his Ph.D. in performance studies from New York University in 1991.