Synopsis of the Broadway Play "Red"

by Gabrielle Nicolet Google

"Red" is a compelling, dramatic play that ran on Broadway in 2010. It is the story Mark Rothko, of one of the best artists of the 20th century. The story follows Rothko's rise to fame, which stems from the creation of his biggest artistic masterpiece. The play explores the challenges he faces as his success and fame increase.

About the Play

Following a sold-out run at London's Donmar Warehouse, "Red" debuted at Broadway's Golden Theater in New York on March 11, 2010. The 90-minute, two-man play starred Alfred Molina and Eddie Redmayne. The setting is an art studio in New York in 1958. "Red" follows Rothko's life and career and that of his young assistant, Ken. The play explores the artist's vulnerability to the pressures of fame and fortune.

The Story

Rothko lands the biggest job in the history of modern art -- to create a series of murals for the famous Four Seasons Restaurant on Park Avenue in New York City. He and Ken spend two years in the studio working on the pieces. The murals prove to be a huge challenge for Rothko, who feels immense pressure to create a definitive work of art that will set him apart from his peers. He struggles with the idea that his success and fame could prove to be his downfall.

About Mark Rothko

Rothko was born in Russia on September 25, 1903. His family immigrated to the United States when he was 10 and settled in Portland, Oregon. He studied at Yale University before moving to New York in 1923. Influenced by mythology and author Friedrich Nietzsche, Rothko studied under artists Max Weber and Milton Avery. He painted landscapes, nudes and portraits. He prided himself on presenting and communicating human emotions and his use of colors. Rothko committed suicide on February 25, 1970, at the age of 66.


Academy Award nominee John Logan wrote "Red." Tony Award nominee and Olivier Award winner, Michael Grandage, directed the play. "Red" earned rave reviews from critics and was the winner of six Tony awards, including ones for best play, best director, best actor and best featured actor. "Red" concluded its Broadway run on June 27, 2010.

About the Author

Gabrielle Nicolet has been writing and editing professionally since 2004. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Northern Illinois University. Nicolet is also a certified nutrition, wellness and weight-management consultant with American Fitness Professionals and Associates.