BAKERSFIELD MIST by Stephen Sachs
Maude Gutman, an unemployed bartender living in a trailer park in the California desert, believes the painting she bought at a thrift store for three dollars as a gag, is really an undiscovered Jackson Pollock painting worth millions.
Is it the find of the century or a clever forgery? When eminent New York art historian and expert Lionel Percy arrives at Maude’s trailer to evaluate the painting, the two embark on a fiery debate over class, truth, and what we personally perceive as valuable. Inspired by true events, Bakersfield Mist is a lively and entertaining comedy/drama about the meaning of art and what or who is authentic.
Tickets 20,- & 15,-Euro
Cash payment only at the theater. No cards accepted.
When you contact the theater, please include your full name, telephone number, performance date and number of tickets.
Thursday 16th November 2023, 8 p.m. – SOLD OUT
Friday 17th November 2023, 8 p.m. – SOLD OUT
In English for ages 16+
“Provocative, fast-paced and cleverly funny” DC Theater Arts
“Sachs’s short, smart play is a battle of wits in which Yankee earthiness
and directness run up against English diffidence and decorum.” New York Times
“Humor, realism and the theory of art collide. A totally engrossing two-hander,
is a funny, thought provoking mystery about authenticity and what makes art.” Chicago Critic
THEATER GEMEINDE KOELN Review Bakersfield Mist, June 13, 2023 posted on their INSTAGRAM page
For transparency purposes: I met the lead Kathleen Renish in person a year ago when we both attended the same play. We’ve been in touch ever since, and she invited me to the premiere of “Bakersfield Mist,” ETC’s first production.
I was very happy about that. Not only about the invitation, but also about the play. What starts out like a pleasant comedy keeps taking serious, profound turns, and the ending in particular is thought-provoking.
Maude has found a painting in a junk store, a really ugly one, she thinks. After a little research, however, she is now convinced that it is a previously undiscovered painting by Jackson Pollock. Art expert Lionel Percy has come from New York to visit her in the trailer park in California to confirm the authenticity of the painting.
Disagreements and friction arise between the two. It can be felt that Lionel is full of prejudice against Maude. Never in a million years would a real Pollock stray into a trailer park. Maude, on the other hand, is frustrated by this arrogant snoot.
Two worlds meet that could not be more different. Thus, very funny conflicts arise, which at the same time hold up a mirror to how much one is shaped by one’s own prejudices.
“Bakersfield Mist” by Stephen Sachs is clever and entertaining. Renish and her antagonist James Bunyon are a well-oiled team. They understand each other almost blindly. It can be seen and felt by both that the performance of this play is a matter of the heart.
He British, she US-American, both speak very understandable English. Especially the contrast of the two accents underlines the different characters of the two protagonists: He very posh, stuck up and condescending, she loud, swearing and stubborn.
It was a pleasure to watch the two of them. RJ
Note: The performance is entirely in English.
Further performances will take place in September, October and November.
For actors bios click here
Photo by Marius Steffen
Beck Gadsby is an award-winning Theatre Director based in the UK but working worldwide. She has directed almost 70 stage productions ranging from new writing studio shows to regional theatre, with a string of 5-star reviews along the way. In fact, her almost 70 productions have never earned less than 4 stars in national and local press.
Her 2011 production of Sense & Sensibility was filmed by the BBC and used in their documentary, The Many Lovers of Austen and she directed the UK’s largest open air theatre event in 2015 at Chatsworth House (Pride & Prejudice) to three-thousand people.
For the past 5 years, Rebecca has been undertaking ground-breaking research into the use of technology in theatre, which earned her a grant from Innovate UK to create the world’s first theatre design app, Inside Theatre. Her app featured as Apple’s ‘top 10’ educational apps in 2020 and she has recently been named ‘100 ones to watch’ by the Creative Industries Council.
Stephen Sachs – Author
Stephen Sachs is an award-winning playwright and director and the co-Artistic Director of the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles, which he co-founded in 1990. As playwright and director, Sachs has won every theatre award in Los Angeles. He was recently honored by the Los Angeles City Council for “his visionary contributions to the cultural life of Los Angeles.”
He is the author of seventeen produced plays, including his Deaf/Hearing love story, Arrival & Departure (Critic’s Choice, LA Times), Bakersfield Mist (2012 Elliot Norton Award, Best New Play) which received a 3-month run on London’s West End starring Kathleen Turner and Ian McDiarmid and is now being produced in regional theatres across the country and translated into other languages and being performed worldwide.
Minature Retro Trailer – A special thanks to Tim, who is an Albuquerque miniature reproduction artist,
for allowing us to use the image of his retro trailer for our poster & postcards.
Lutz P. Mrutzek - Stage Carpenter
STARTING A THEATER ENSEMBLE DURING A PANDEMIC???
As the world closed down, businesses shut their doors to the public and family and friends were kept in their household bubbles.
Creativity sprung into action with the launch of a website, filming under controlled conditions and a virtual educational outreach project for young people. These events laid the foundation of Cologne’s resident, English theater ensemble;
etc-english theater cologne,
with support from NRW cultural grants. We proudly present our first live show, BAKERSFIELD MIST by Stephen Sachs, a hilarious and thought-provoking comedy-drama that asks vital questions about what makes art and people truly authentic.