It’s almost time for our next production, Van Gogh and Me, a new play by Rose Theater Artistic Director, Matthew Gutschick. We’ve assembled some special information to help you and your family to get ready for the upcoming performance. Before you go to the show, you might want to take a few moments to review this “Know Before You Go” Guide so everyone will know what to expect from the performance!
The Story You Will See
Adeline and her family have moved from Paris to the small town of Auberge-Sur-Oise in an effort to raise Adeline’s infant sister, Germaine, in a healthier environment. Adeline is not happy here. Her parents, Arthur and Louise, run a small, struggling inn and café and Adeline must help out to make ends meet.
Adeline also is not making any friends in her new town. When Rene and Cecile, two rambunctious children from the town, show up and show an interest in her (and her family’s tasty café rolls), Adeline thinks she might have found an opportunity to make some friends. The children tell her of a mysterious artist whom they have heard is “crazy” and will be staying at her inn. Adeline is not excited about this prospect because such a guest—as Rene warns her—might scare away other customers, like the somewhat arrogant Martinez, an artist already staying at the inn.
When Adeline finally meets Van Gogh while she is preparing his room, she finds him gruff and not very pleasant. But as she gets to know him better—and witnesses how others treat him—she starts to develop a friendship with him.
After getting roped into a couple of unkind pranks Rene and Cecile orchestrate to harass Van Gogh, Adeline feels very badly. She eventually agrees to pose while Van Gogh paints her portrait and he teaches her more about why he creates his art the way he
does. Can Adeline learn to see the beauty in the world around her?
This project is supported by
the Jetton Charitable Fund
through the Omaha Community Foundation.
Nov 3-12 | Best for ages 10+ | 60 minutes without an intermission
The Characters You Will Meet
VINCENT VAN GOGH—a Dutch artist living in France at the time of this story. Today Van Gogh is recognized as one of the worlds most groundbreaking and important artists, but in his
own times he was sometimes misunderstood.
ADELINE RAVOUX—a 12 year old girl who meets Van Gogh when he stays at her families inn in
Auvers-Sur-Oise, France. At first she does not know what to make of Van Gogh or his art, but she comes to understand him better and even poses for him to paint her portrait.
ARTHUR and LOUISE RAVOUX—Adeline’s parents who run the Auberge Ravoux, a small inn and its café. They are trying
to make their small business a success after moving from Paris for their infant daughter’s health. Adeline’s attitude and behavior does not always make this easy.
MARTINEZ DE VALDIVIELSE—A Cuban artist living in France and staying at the Auberge Ravoux. He is very traditional in his artistic views and does not consider Van Gogh’s art to be of any worth because it is so unlike the art he has studied.
RENE SECRETAN and CECILIE DEMEY—two rambunctious children living in Auvers-Sur-Oise. They pretend to be friends with Adeline but do not treat her kindly or respectfully. They are even more unkind in their treatment of Van Gogh, spreading rumors about the artist and constantly harassing him.
Know Before You Go
Here are some things your family might like to “Know Before You Go”:
This story will be best appreciated by older audiences. The subject matter is a little more mature and the characters discuss issues that might be challenging for some younger viewers to comprehend. Small children may become confused and somewhat restless.
During the time period depicted in the play, Vincent Van Gogh was having some rather intense mental health issues which this story explores. You may want to prepare to have some conversation about what mental illness is and why Van Gogh behaves the way that he does.
In one scene, a character points a gun at another person and threatens them. The gun is fired, but the character is safe. Teen and pre-teen audiences will likely be able to understand this scene, but younger children may be confused by the character’s actions or be upset by these events. The intensity of the noise may also be too intense for some young audience members.
The characters of Rene and Cecile are very unkind to Van Gogh and taunt, harass, and play mean tricks on him, all
because of the rumors they have heard about his illness. You may want to be prepared to discuss why their behavior is cruel and inappropriate.
The character of Martinez is very judgmental and constantly puts down Van Gogh and his artwork. Some children may not understand why he doesn’t like Van Gogh’s paintings and want to talk about it.
From Story to Stage
Playwright Matt Gutschick is the Artistic Director of The Rose Theater. This is a world premiere production of this script, which has been in development for about 5 years at The Rose Theater.
The play is historical fiction, based on a true story about a girl who met Van Gogh when he stayed at her family’s inn and who posed for him to paint her portrait. After the artist passed away, Adeline Ravoux wrote an article in an effort to help people remember Van Gogh’s talent as an
artist and his kindness and individuality and not just his struggles with mental health. The article is sometimes credited with making a difference in the recording of Van Gogh’s legacy.
The paintings mentioned in the play are based on actual works of art that Van Gogh created in his lifetime. Many of his works are in museums all over the world. You can find out more about Van Gogh’s art at the Van Gogh Museum web site: https://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en
Public parking is available in the Douglas County parking garage at 1910 Harney Street (19th & Harney Streets). During mainstage performances at The
Rose, the cost is a flat rate of $2, courtesy of the Omaha Douglas Public Building Commission. During all other times, the cost is $1.50 for the first hour and $1.25 for each additional hour.
Parking meters adjacent to The Rose Theater are active from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The cost is $1.25 per hour. Metered parking spots are free on Sundays and holidays. Many of the parking meters around the theater are connected to the Park Omaha app, available as a free
download for Apple and Android devices.
NOTE: Parking is NO LONGER AVAILABLE in the Wells Fargo parking lot on Farnam Street.
While at The Rose
Join Our Post-Performance Q&A Session! A few minutes after the performance, our actors will conduct a Question & Answer session from the stage. It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the scenery, costumes, special effects, and other aspects of the production. The actors may even have a question or two for you about the story.
Meet the Cast & Get an Autograph! Some performers will be available after the show to say hello, pose in pictures, and sign their
autographs for you. You can meet them on the mezzanine level right outside the entrance to our balcony level seats.
Take Home a Souvenir! The Rose Guild presents a souvenir stand before and after each performance offering a variety of fun and inexpensive show-related mementos. The proceeds help to support the great education programs at The Rose Theater!
Grab a Theater Class Brochure! If you like what you saw on the stage and think you’d like to be a part of it, try taking a theater class here at The Rose Theater. We offer a wide range of arts classes for every interest and experience level.
Please visit our website to read director’s notes and view production photos. Box Office Assistance The Rose Box Office is open Monday through
Friday from 9 am to 4:30 pm at (402) 345-4849. Information and ticketing is also available online at www.rosetheater.org.
The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam Street, Omaha, NE 68102, United States