“What is Art?” Event!


Hello Friends and Colleagues,

In my preparation for my Yale Directing MFA application in 2013, In January I am directing a tripartite event entitled “What is Art?”, featuring an explorative Art Gallery Show, the Play “Art” by Yasmina Reza directed by myself, and a performance art based after-party featuring a variety of talented acts including magicians, comedy, opera, burlesque, acrobatics, etc.
If you would like to have your work featured in the Gallery Show, or perform in the final segment, please let me know. We are looking for bold artists with strong artistic explorations challenging their mediums.
This past week, I secured the rights to  “Art”, by Yasmina Reza for 10 performances. This is a brilliant comedy directed toward an audience looking for a play that is funny, sophisticated, stylish, stimulating, and moving. Using the motif of the modernist deconstruction of art, we explore an entirely different deconstruction of male friendship, and human bonds. “Art” is less about a debate over artistic values than it is about the inherent complexities of friendship and human connection. It is a tasteful, intellectual comedy that yanks the heart-strings of the audience, while providing the opportunity for a transcendental moment in the magic of a darkened Theater.


The team:

Producer: Steve Saunders

Associate Producers: Joel Cooper, Danny Derakhshan, Cat LaCohie

Hosted by: Cat LaCohie


1998 Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy
1998 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Comedy
1998 Molière Award for Best Commercial Production
1998 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Best Play
1998 Tony Award for Best PlayNominations
1998 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play

How much would you pay for a white painting? Would it matter who the painter was? Would it be art? One of Marc’s best friends, Serge, has just bought a very expensive painting. It’s about five feet by four, all white with white diagonal lines. To Marc, the painting is a joke, but Serge insists Marc doesn’t have the proper standard to judge the work. Another friend, Ivan, though burdened by his own problems, allows himself to be pulled into this disagreement. Eager to please, Ivan tells Serge he likes the painting. Lines are drawn and these old friends square off over the canvas, using it as an excuse to relentlessly batter one another over various failures. As their arguments become less theoretical and more personal, they border on destroying their friendships.

We need your help to put on this play. As you can see, it is a critically acclaimed story, that has a universal appeal. Unfortunately, LA Theater has trouble being commercially viable, yet it is a uniquely magical art form that has transcended time and space. According to Aristotle, For the health of our own society, we need Theater. Alexander Pope once wrote that the theater aspires to wake the soul by gentle strokes of art – to raise the genius and to mend the heart.


There are three primary ways you can contribute: Connections, Financing, Participation.

1. Connections. If you know people in Hollywood, buy them a ticket or at least convince them to see the show! They may not be anyone, but they may know someone who is! Those random connections in the network are how Hollywood operates, and I cannot be shy about asking to exploit them. Virgil said “Fortune favors the Bold”, and this is absolutely true. Encourage your distant family and friends to come see the show! Encourage them to bring their friends! Please encourage people to come see it!

2. Financial Support. Please consider giving/donating money to the project. Many of you regularly support charities, churches, and other good works or projects. Please consider the arts as an important good work. We cannot book a theater, or negotiate play dates until we have funds! This play will cost roughly $9000-$10000 to actually produce, but with $5,000 we can get the show up and running.  The revenue stream will then be established by the Audience to pay for the remainder of the production. We also are soliciting local businesses and entrepreneurs for Donations in exchange for Advertising. We are seeking corporate sponsorship. It has certainly been an eye-opening process to see how much theater costs, even for small, relatively simple productions. Theater is not a medium that makes much money, but must be done for the love of it. The Theater has always been subsidized by loving patrons, and is dependent on them for success.

3. If you are interested in having your work showcased, or in performing, please let me know!

Please donate via kickstarter:


You can also donate via check:

James R.W. Hiatt

2519 Harriman Ln #4 Redondo Beach, CA 90278

Memo: “Art”

Your prayers and support is what will make this project possible.

Thank you for your continued support, encouragement, and donations.



James R.W. Hiatt, Director

“As ’twas designed in Dreams,

as by Will ’twas created to be”

– Wotan, Das Rheingold



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s