I saw A Weekend with Pablo Picasso this weekend at the Alley Theatre in Houston. Artist-actor Herbert Siguenza’s play is brilliant – Siguenza is on the stage alone for 75 minutes and is able to command the theatrical space. He launches the audience into the at-once whimsical and harsh world of Picasso – an artistic space that is filled with both child-like wonder and wartime horror.
I particularly enjoyed how Siguenza actually paints while on stage. He is the character-as-artist and the artist-as-character, a blending of identities that makes the audience question where fiction and reality begins and ends. By the end of the play, the audience has come closer to understanding what a painter is.
The play is constructed from quotations of Picasso, which gives an added level of depth to the work. The audience is invited to get to know Picasso, after all, they are his words.
Below are some of my favorite lines:
“It takes a long time to grow young.”
“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”
“Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.”