“Munch and his Mentor” is a play about Edvard Munch and his bohemian years. It investigates his influences and how Munch found his style. It circles around events shared by Munch and his mentor Hans Jaeger – events that enhanced Munch's quest to find himself and “paint his life”; events that gave Munch the courage to keep going, events that shows why Munch valued Jaeger and the bohemian experience.
About The Play
Kristiania (Oslo), Norway, in the early eighteen nineties: Edvard Munch is around thirty years of age and truly a struggling artist. The establishment criticizes his experiments in form and content and calls him a fraud. Sales are so low Munch has to exchange paintings for a meal, and he has great doubts about his quest as an artist: to paint his life. On top of this is his personal life on a low; every woman he meets seems to steal him away from his work and he ends up running away – and with the end of the bohemian era, his social life is dramatically reduced and many of his friends are long gone. Munch especially misses his mentor, Hans Jaeger, the chief bohemian of Kristiania.
The bohemians inspired each other to “jump onto life’s pages in full color”, gave each other the courage to describe life as they saw it, and moved each other from being critical of the establishment to make their own original creations, from being copycats and followers to originals, to see the extraordinary in the ordinary.
“Munch and his Mentor” combines the personal story of Munch with universal bohemian issues. The bohemian movement was international and raised the same questions all over the western world, and the play investigates two hypotheses:
- The bohemian era is the cradle of the modern sentiment.
- Several writers and artists were successful because of being part of the bohemian movement.
The play also has underlying arguments that should be of inspiration to anyone today:
- “Finding oneself” requires continuously introspection
- The most common form of despair is not being true to yourself
- For the world to move forward every new generation has to look critically at the establishment, the ruling generation
- Life’s greatest aspects cannot be measured nor calculated
About the Creators
The playwright, Mr. Gunnar Germundson, has over the last twenty years written film scripts, radio- and stage plays – many of them produced in Norway. This is the first piece to be shown outside of Norway.
David L. Yen
David has been active in theater for over three decades. He attended UC Irvine, then worked in New York City as well as the north bay. A versatile artist, he has acted in film, television, and on stage in contemporary and classical drama as well as in musicals and even standup comedy. He has also worked nearly every aspect of production.
David has been nominated for several local awards--including Marquee Journalists' Theatre Awards and Theatre Bay Area Awards--on both the acting and production side, and has won the Bay Area Theater Critics' Circle award twice for his work as an actor. You can follow him at davidlyen.com
The producer of the play is Mr. Lars Richardson. Mr. Richardson is born and raised in Norway and is residing at Valgalder Gaard outside Sebastopol, one hour north of San Francisco. The last years he has hosted Norwegian playwrights, singer-songwriters, painters, poets and filmmakers – some have stayed as artists in residence, others for shorter engagements.
Mr. Richardson wants to implement more live performances, and has recently built a stage that seats more than a hundred guests. His goal is to make this a venue to benefit both Norwegian artists looking for exposure towards the U.S and the West Coast, and vice versa.
Mary Jo Hamilton
After graduating from college in Florida, Mary Jo Hamilton traveled around the United States for 10 years creating props in at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Alaska Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, among others. Props she designed for the Washington Opera's production of La Boheme at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC were seen on PBS' broadcast of Pavarotti in Philadephia. In 1994, the production at Actors’ Theatre of Dancing at Lughnasa which she directed was voted the Best Production of the year by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. She has acted as Box Office Manager/Graphic Designer at Sonoma County Repertory Theatre and has stage managed at Spreckels Performing Arts Center in Rohnert Park since 2001.
has been performing theatrically all over Sonoma county and the Bay Area for over 7 years. He is currently studying with the NASM to be a personal trainer and is about to get his acting certification at the Santa Rosa Junior College. Some of his favorite roles he's prized include Don Price in Big Fish The Musical, Rocky in The Rocky Horror Show, Chuck Cranston in Footloose, Sonny in Grease, and Ram In Heathers The Musical.
He is also a former Disneyland cast member and is currently pursuing a career in TV and Film in a San Francisco talent agency called Look Talent.
is a graduate of SRJC Theatre Arts and holds BA degrees in English and Dramatic Art from UC Santa Barbara, and a Professional Screenwriting Certificate from UC Los Angeles. He has been teaching English, Film, Philosophy, Drama, and Animation at Montgomery High School for the last twenty years.
Chris has been seen in a number of roles locally, with the Sonoma Valley Shakespeare Festival, Odyssey Theatre, the Raven Players, and the Sixth Street Playhouse. Some favorite roles of his include Hamlet, Henry V, Stanley from A Streetcar Named Desire, Lennie from Of Mice and Men.
Shawna Olivia Eiermann
holds an MA in Music Industry Studies from Glasgow University in Scotland, a Performing Arts Certification from the University of Hull in England, and a BA in Drama Performance & Minor in Music from San Francisco State University. Some of her favorite roles include: Kala (Tarzan The Musical), Wednesday Addams (The Addam’s Family Musical); Jenny Hill (Big Fish The Musical); The Street Singer (The Three Penny Opera); Patty Simcox (Grease); Adella (The Little Mermaid); and many others.
She is so honored to be performing in the world premiere of "Munch and His Mentor", and hopes you enjoy the bohemian world she and her talented cast mates have created.
you may have seen on the Studio stage at 6th Street Playhouse in Masterpiece of Comic...Timing or on the GK Hardt stage in One Man Two Guvnours (for which he received a TBA award for Best Supporting Actor). Other credits include Lucky Penny Productions’ Maple & Vine and Gruesome Playground Injuries, WE Players productions of Ondine at the Sutro Baths, Macbeth at Fort Point, Twelfth Night on Hyde Street pier and Hamlet on Alcatraz, The Lion in Winter with Spreckles Performing Arts Center, and Romeo and Juliet with Lake Tahoe Shakespeare festival. He has also performed with several North Bay Theaters in All the Great Sports (Abridged), The Three Musketeers, A Long Days Journey into Night, Hamlet, Moonlight and Magnolias, American Buffalo, Welcome Home Jenny Sutter and Equus.
Is a 2013 graduate from SSU with a BA in Theatre Studies. He's performed around Sonoma County for the past six years. His notable roles include Tom Jenkins, from Scrooge the Musical, Pantalone from King Stag, and the March Hare from Alice: Rebellion in Wonderland.
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