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Walnut's Independence Studio on 3 Explodes with Artistic Intensity with the Tony Award-Winning Best Play RED! Now - March 20

February 5, 2016

PHILADELPHIA, PA: Walnut Street Theatre’s 2015-2016 Independence Studio on 3 season continues with the Tony Award-winning Best Play, RED. Written by John Logan and directed by Dan Olmstead, the production begins previews on February 23, opens February 25 and continues through March 20 in the Walnut’s Independence Studio on 3.

RED is a thrilling portrait of Mark Rothko. This brilliant abstract expressionist has just landed the biggest commission in the history of modern art. He has been chosen to create a series of murals for New York's historic Four Seasons Restaurant. As classical music blasts from his record player, the painter works feverishly with his young assistant, mixing paints and building canvases. His creative process brings us an intense portrait of the artist, exposing his ambition and his vulnerability. Audiences will join us in our studio as this working visionary meets his match with the blank canvas. Will Rothko's crowning achievement also be his undoing?

RED was written by American Playwright John Logan. The play first premiered at the Donmar Warehouse in London in 2009. The production transferred to Broadway in 2010, along with its two lead actors. The show won six Tony Awards, including Best Play, and three Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Play. Logan’s additional work for the stage includes I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers, Peter and Alice, Never the Sinner, Riverview, Hauptmann and The Last Ship. His impressive work as a screenwriter has been recognized with a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA Award and an award from the Writers Guild of America, along with numerous nominations for awards including Oscars and an Emmy. It’s been announced that he’ll write the Bond 25 film, and has recently released the TV series Penny Dreadful. Additional screen credits include Skyfall, Hugo, Coriolanus, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, The Aviator, The Last Samurai, Star Trek: Nemesis and Gladiator. Logan had the idea for RED when working on set during the filming of Sweeney Todd. He visited The Seagram Murals and was taken with Rothko’s work. The plaque that explained Rothko’s story behind the paintings intrigued Logan. After researching the topic further, he decided to write the Tony Award-winning play.

Visual artist Mark Rothko immigrated to the United States from Latvia with his family when he was 10 years old. After attending Yale University for two years, he moved to New York, where he discovered his passion for art. During The Great Depression, this self-taught artist was influenced by European surrealists, before becoming a pure abstractionist and finding his own signature style in the 1940s. In his later career, he was given three mural commissions, the first of which was for New York's Four Seasons Restaurant. With the final commission, Rothko fulfilled his dream of having his work in a space where people can deeply connect with the art, the Rothko Chapel in Houston. Rothko ended his life in 1970.

Dan Olmstead returns to the Walnut to direct. Olmstead directed Walnut’s 2014 production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice in the Independence Studio on 3. Additional directing credits include Fool for Love, Daddy Unchained, Jesse and the Bandit Queen, The Medieval Mystery Plays, and Jack, or the Submission. Many Walnut audience members recognize Olmstead’s work on stage from numerous productions including Amadeus, Harvey, Good People, Fallen Angels, The Constant Wife, Finian’s Rainbow and 1776. His film credits include The Manchurian Candidate, Beloved and Philadelphia.

The Walnut welcomes back David Volin in the role of Mark Rothko. Volin was seen on the Walnut’s Mainstage in The Odd Couple, and in the Independence Studio on 3 in Moll. Regionally, he has performed with Paper Mill Playhouse (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), New Jersey Repertory Company (The Women of Lockerbie), Arkansas Repertory Theatre (Frost/Nixon) and Gloucester Stage (Enigma Variations), among others. Daniel Fredrick returns to the Walnut’s Studio 3 as Rothko’s assistant Ken. Studio 3 audiences will remember Fredrick from last season’s world premiere Mickle Street, where he played Oscar Wilde. His regional credits include 1812 Productions (Shoplifters), Lantern Theater (Hound of the Baskervilles), Quintessence (Diary of a Madman), Trinity Shakespeare (Romeo) and WaterTower Theatre (Laughter on the 23rd Floor).

The tight quarters of Rothko’s working studio, swollen with the intensity of artistry, will be created by Set Designer Roman Tatarowicz (I Love a Piano). Tatarowicz will be joined by Costume Designer Jillian Keys (Miss Nelson is Missing!), Lighting Designer J. Dominic Chacon (A Moon for the Misbegotten, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice) and award-winning Sound Designer Christopher Colucci (And Then There Were None).

Season sponsor for the 2015-2016 Independence Studio on 3 Season is The Independence Foundation. Media season sponsors are Philly Weekly and WRTI Radio. Tickets are $35-$35 and are now available at 215-574-3550 or 215-336-1234. Tickets are also available at or