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The Journal Gazette

  • Photos by Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Thom Hofrichter, right, and Kevin Torwelle perform in a scene during the rehearsal of “Red” a play by John Logan at First Presbyterian Theater.

  • Kevin Torwelle performs in a scene during the rehearsal of “Red.”

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Paint cans line the stage during the rehearsal of "Red" a play by John Logan during at First Presbyterian Theater.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Thom Hofrichter, right, and Kevin Torwelle perform in a scene during rehearsal of "Red," a play by John Logan at First Presbyterian Theater.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Thom Hofrichter performs in a scene during the rehearsal of "Red," a play by John Logan during rehearsal at First Presbyterian Theater.

Friday, January 05, 2018 1:00 am

First Presbyterian Theater opens 'Red'

If you go

What: “Red”

When: 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday and Jan. 12, 13, 19 and 20; 2 p.m. Jan. 14

Where: First Presbyterian Theater, 300 W. Wayne St.

Admission: $20 general admission; $18 seniors ages 65 and older; free for the first 30 students with a reservation at each performance, $10 after or if bought at the door; 426-7421, ext. 121, or FirstPresbyterianTheater.com

What happens when things vital in youth begin to wane?

That's the question that comes forward when Thom Hofrichter discusses “Red,” the play opening this weekend at First Presbyterian Theater.

Hofrichter, who is the theater's managing director, co-stars in the two-man production, which he also co-directs.

He plays real-life figure Mark Rothko, an aging artist working with a young assistant, Ken (played by Kevin Torwelle), on the biggest commission in the history of modern art. When the younger Ken begins to challenge him, Rothko is forced to face mortality – at least in a professional sense.

“I think a lot of what Rothko is exploring is – and what I think most artists explore – is 'What am I leaving behind?' ” Hofrichter says. “I think most human beings, especially as they approach their 60s and 70s, start thinking about 'What has been the significance of my life?' ”

Hofrichter previously directed a production of “Red” at Huntington University. It is difficult for stage actors to direct themselves, he says, so he is sharing directing duties this time around with Chance Parker. That has freed Hofrichter up to dive into the mind of Rothko.

While the 85-minute play is serious, Hofrichter says there are also doses of comedy in the show, calling it “one hell of an entertaining story.”

“It's been a lot of fun for me,” he says. “Maybe it's because I'm hitting that period in my life.”

– Corey McMaken, The Journal Gazette