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Sunday in the Park with George

a musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine

A compelling story about inspiration - in art and in life.

Department of Musical Theatre

Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre

October 11 - 21, 2012


The Story: In a small Paris park in 1884, artist Georges Seurat works on what will become his most famous painting – A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago). Consumed with composing his canvas, George is indifferent to the lives of his subjects and, to his own detriment, his loved ones. One hundred years later, Seurat’s great-grandson, a performance artist also named George, has perfected the art of connecting with his audience and, more importantly, funders. But in pandering to current trends, George has lost his own creative drive. Drawn to France to visit the site depicted in his Great-Grandfather’s painting, George builds a bridge to his past that restores his artistic vision.

Background: Just as Seurat’s masterpiece challenged the ideas of painting and light of the 1880s, the inaugural collaboration between Sondheim and Lapine was an equally radical version of a musical. The New York Times stated “Mr. Lapine and Mr. Sondheim have made a contemplative modernist musical...setting the stage for even more sustained theatrical innovations yet to come.” Sunday in the Park with George won the 1984 Drama Desk Award for Best Musical and the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Featuring a soaring score and insightful lyrics, Sunday in the Park with George offers a glimpse into the conflicts between artistic passion and everyday life in an “audacious, haunting, and touching work. (NY Times)”


Artistic Staff
Director Mark Madama
Music Director Cynthia Kortman Westphal
Scenic Designer Arthur Ridley
Costume Designer Rachel Laritz
Lighting Designer Andrew Lott
Sound Designer Jim Lillie
Stage Manager Michael Barbour



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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower