Tickets for the much-anticipated 2016 Pageant of the Masters are on sale now and make the perfect holiday gift for the art lover on your list. This holiday season share the excitement with tickets to next summer’s production of Partners.
The 2016 Pageant of the Masters sets out in search of stories of compelling collaborations that led to the creation of unforgettable artworks. “My inspiration for Partners began during research for the 2012 show, The Genius,” said Pageant Director Diane Challis Davy. “We discovered a portrait of the Lavoisiers, an influential husband-and-wife team doing scientific research in 18th century France. Theirs was a partnership in both science and art.” She continued, “Then, in the midst of planning a salute to movies in 2013’s The Big Picture, I began to think ‘dance in the movies’ might be a wonderful subject for an end-of-act-one finale, including a tribute to the masters of cinematic choreography and iconic dance partners, Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire.”
Pageant Scriptwriter Dan Duling added, “Art doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Leonardo’s mural of The Last Supper wouldn’t exist if he hadn’t found a patron to give him the go-ahead. And who knows where Lewis and Clark might have ended up without the guidance and assistance of Sacajawea?”
The 2016 Pageant will feature artworks from many nations including France, Spain, Sweden, Italy and Mexico, in search of memorable art made possible by partnerships – between husbands and wives, artists and models, even artists and their patrons. This theatrical and musical journey will also consider how partnership can become an ideal subject for masterpieces devoted to family, love and courtship, as well as historical, scientific and even fictional quests. Director Challis Davy acknowledged the challenge she’s already faced. “There are so many artworks inspired by partnerships, it’s difficult to narrow them down.”
From the warm familial scenes of Sweden’s Carl Larsson to the surreal originality of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, Partners promises a double-dose of theatrical fun and surprises. Next summer’s production will find new and exciting ways to tell the stories to be found within a gallery of masterpieces, many appearing on the Pageant stage for the very first time. As a preview, Challis Davy said, “We’re planning to incorporate video and live action sequences along with a behind-the-scenes look at how tableaux are created, and how volunteers are selected for the show. We will use the lovely moonlit landscape of our amphitheater as a perfect setting for some of the sculptural tableaux.”
Challis Davy also shared a bit of Pageant history that resonates with this theme. Eighty years ago, in 1936, Laguna legends Roy and Marie Ropp presented their second summer production they had christened the Pageant of the Masters. Their blend of live music, narration and living pictures effectively created the template for today’s internationally-acclaimed Pageant. And that year, the Ropps concluded their production with its largest and most ambitious tableau. The first presentation of Leonardo’s The Last Supper brought national attention to the Festival and Pageant and effectively changed the course of history for this Laguna Beach tradition. With only three exceptions, The Last Supper has been the program’s traditional finale ever since.
Back in 1936, Roy Ropp looked to his friends and neighbors to realize his Pageant dreams. Today, director Challis Davy depends every bit as much on the devotion and dedication of her army of volunteers who join together each summer as cast members and backstage volunteers.
Challis Davy summed up her ambitions for next summer’s Pageant. “I think there will be partnerships presented that everyone can relate to. We hope Partners will be beautiful and entertaining, and encourage our audiences to think about the people they know and love who have inspired and encouraged them.”
The Pageant of the Masters will be performed nightly from July 7 through August 31, 2016. Advance tickets are $15 – $230. As an added value, a Pageant ticket also gives unlimited admission all summer long to the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show. Tickets may be purchased by calling 1-800-487-3378 or online at www.PageantTickets.com.
About the Pageant of the Masters
The Pageant of the Masters is arguably one of the most unique productions in the entire world. Audiences are amazed and enchanted by ninety minutes of tableaux vivants (“living pictures”), incredibly faithful re-creations of classical and contemporary works of art, with real people posing to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces. A live narrator guides patrons through the story of each living picture accompanied by a full orchestra.
The Festival of Arts is a non-profit organization that produces the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show and the Pageant of the Masters. Proceeds support the arts in Orange County.