Coe alumnus, faculty featured in production of award-winning “Red”

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
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2012-04-11 14:52:32 - General

Brandon Palmer, a 2011 Coe alumnus, and Coe Theatre Professor Steven Marc Weiss will be featured in the upcoming On-Location Players and Three Brothers Theatre co-production of “Red,” winner of the 2010 Tony Award for Best Play. Performances will run from Thursday, April 19 through Sunday, April 22, starting at 8 p.m. in room 318 of The Cherry Building, located at 329 10th Street SE in Cedar Rapids.  This production marks the play’s eastern Iowa premiere.

Tickets are $15 for the general public, $10 for students and seniors.  Seating is limited.  Tickets are available at the door, or can be reserved by calling Three Brothers Theatre at 319-621-0024.  Due to the nature of the staging, latecomers cannot be seated.  Please note that due to strong language, this production is not suitable for children.  Also note that the production features the smoking of non-tobacco, herbal cigarettes.

First produced in December 2009 by the Donmar Warehouse in London, “Red” is a brilliant, intense drama by American writer John Logan.  The production focuses on the dilemma of artist Mark Rothko, obsessed with trying to translate the tragic notions of Nietzsche and Aeschylus onto flat canvas, when commissioned to create a series of murals for a building housing a high-class New York restaurant – the ultimately aborted Seagram Building Mural Project of 1958-59.

Badgered by his young assistant Ken, Rothko finds himself wondering if the well-paying commission is a pathetic sellout that will undermine his creative soul or a rare chance to make superficial suits choke on their food without really knowing why. Set in a high-ceilinged, shadowy studio, the two men argue, scream and fight before ultimately bonding.

The director of the production is Josh Beadle of Iowa City.  Artwork and artistic consulting for this production has been provided by Coe Art Professor Peter Thompson.  The technical director for the play is Coe Technical Director and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts Jonathan Allender-Zivic, and Coe sophomore Lorraine Zazzaretti serves as the production stage manager.

Three Brothers Theatre is an Iowa City-based theatre company that is dedicated to producing the finest theatre they possibly can.  Three Brothers is devoted to brash artists, brave words and bare performance.

For more information, contact Three Brothers Theatre online at, or by phone at 319-621-0024.

About the actors:

Steven Marc Weiss will be playing the role of Mark Rothko in John Logan’s “Red.”  Weiss is currently associate professor of theatre arts at Coe College, where he teaches courses in acting and directing at all levels and has directed many mainstage productions.  Most recently, he staged productions of "Old Times" by Harold Pinter, "Three Sisters" by Anton Chekhov, and the Stephen Sondheim musical "Company."

Weiss holds three degrees in theatre, from Boston University (BFA, 1973), Binghamton University (M.A., 1987), and The Ohio State University (Ph.D., 1994).  Locally, he has acted in productions at Iowa Theatre Artists Company in Amana ("Chekovian Chuckles," and "Remain True"), with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre ("Die Fledermaus"), and with Stage Left Players ("a number" by Caryl Churchill).  He has performed many parts and directed a vast number of productions over the years in a number of regional theatres—in such diverse locations as St. Paul (Minnesota), Columbus (Ohio), New York City and Binghamton (New York), Boston (Massachusetts), Tiverton (Rhode Island), and Sarasota (Florida).

Brandon Palmer will be playing the role of Rothko’s assistant Ken in "Red." He received his bachelor’s degree in theatre and psychology from Coe College in May of 2011.  Palmer has since made headway into the Denver Theatre scene in Colorado, where he has starred as Sigfrid in Terrence McNally's "And Things that Go Bump in the Night," produced by Equinox Theatre Company, as Tiny Twist in "A Christmas Twist," produced by Firehouse Theatre Company, as a member of an ensemble readers theatre production of "An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe," produced by the Byers-Evans House Theatre Company, and as the Son in Luigi Pirandello's "Six Characters in Search of an Author," produced by the 73rd Avenue Theatre Company. He has also recently acted in new play development projects such as Red Rocks Community College's "One Night Stand" theatre and "Playwrights' Bootcamp Showcase." Outside of the acting realm, Palmer has just been granted a position on the board of the Byers-Evans House Theatre Company and gotten involved with the Colorado Theatre Guild, a primarily volunteer-based company whose goal it is to provide representation and resources to all member theaters in Colorado.