The Rembrandt Room

At the Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia), which houses the world's largest collection of paintings, the guards are generally older women, who wear their own clothes and sit near the masterpieces. Occasionally, they interact with the public, providing historical background and general information.

Erin Rollman as Anna
Photo: Buntport Theater
The collection, which began with massive purchases by Catherine the Great in the 18th century, counts among its many treasures one of Rembrandt's greatest works, which depicts Danaë welcoming Zeus, in the form of a shower of gold, to her bed. A reproduction now hangs on Buntport's stage, where it is guarded by an introspective woman (Erin Rollman) of curious mind.

Rollman's character, Anna, has, in essence, made the painting her life's meditation. As we learn, her contemplation goes far beyond the Greek myth depicted on the impressive eight by ten foot canvas of the original, and includes the details of Rembrandt's life, the history of the models, and the journey of the painting itself. All this is set off by Anna's insights and opinions on all matters.

Erin Rollman as Anna
Erin Rollman as Anna
Photo: Buntport Theater
Rollman's dramatic and comedic range, unlimited in all directions, serves as wonderful springboard for 82 minutes of hilarity, pathos, and hyperbole.

Imagine, for a moment, the multi-faceted directions your consciousness might take if you spent days, weeks, and years sitting with a master's painting. At some point, it all becomes personal, as Anna's stream-of-consciousness monologue increasingly reveals, culminating with life imitating art.

Buntport Theater's presentation of The Rembrandt Room runs through April 30th. For tickets:

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