"Red' cast at artist Paul Manes's studio researching.

The cast and director of Sopris Theatre Company’s upcoming production of “Red” did research in the Carbondale studio of artist Paul Manes. Photo Scot Gerdes

Sopris Theatre Company at Colorado Mountain College will bring “Red” to CMC Spring Valley. Winner of six 2010 Tony awards including best play, “Red” is based on the true story of abstract expressionist Mark Rothko.

In 1958, Rothko – known for his large canvases of colored blocks – accepted a commission to paint a series of murals for the upscale new Four Seasons restaurant in New York City. In “Red,” as seen through the eyes of Rothko’s young and somewhat idealistic assistant Ken, the artist spends the next two years struggling with the idea of creating art for such a commercialized setting.

The play is directed by Kelly Ketzenbarger and stars Gary Ketzenbarger as Mark Rothko and Joseph Gamble as Ken. Tickets are $18 for adults and $13 for students, seniors and CMC employees. They are available at Curtain is at 7 p.m. on Feb. 22-24 and March 2-3, and at 2 p.m. on Feb. 25 and March 4.

Following the performance on Feb. 22, Michelle Dezember, learning director of the Aspen Art Museum, will lead a discussion with audience members to address these and other questions relevant to art and its purpose.

For more information, visit or contact or 947-8177.