Art endlessly captivates and inspires and Georges Seurat’s 1884 masterpiece A Sunday on La Grande Jatte (in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago) is no exception. One hundred years after its debut, the painting inspired a Pulitzer Prize-winning theatrical collaboration between James Lapine, then an emerging playwright and director, with legendary Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim. In this conversation Lapine joins curator Richard Rand to discuss the making of the musical Sunday in the Park with George. The program coincides with Lapine’s recently published book Putting It Together: How Stephen Sondheim and I Created "Sunday in the Park with George."
James Lapine is a preeminent director, playwright, screenwriter, and librettist. He has been nominated for 12 Tony Awards and won on three occasions for Best Book of a Musical (Passion, Falsettos, and Into the Woods). He has also won five Drama Desk Awards, a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and a Peabody Award, among other honors. He has been inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame and is a recipient of the Mr. Abbott Award for lifetime achievement in theater.
Richard Rand is associate director of collections of J. Paul Getty Museum. Previously, he served as the Robert and Martha Berman Lipp Senior Curator of Paintings and Sculpture at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. He has held curatorial appointments at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College.
Co-presented with Center Theater Group.
Image: "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte-1884" (detail), 1884–1886, Georges Seurat. Oil on canvas. Art Institute of Chicago, Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection