A month of deliciously high-brow drama fun gets under way at the McNay this week with a reading Thursday evening of August Strindberg’s Miss Julie, a tight drama of yearning, class conflict, and lust set on the estate of a Swedish Count. Limning the characters will be SA’s newest thespian troupe, the Classic Theatre, whose fall production of The Glass Menagerie earned a near-rave review from the Current’s infamously tough Tom Jenkins. The “Backstage at the McNay” reading complements Wednesday’s opening of Jaroslav Malina: Paintings and Designs, featuring the work of the Czech theater designer – a seminal figure in “Action Scenography,” which will be explained in terms even kids can understand at a January 25 family day; participants will get to design their own stage set inspired by the genre’s innovative use of props and functional decor. Malina’s show is also accompanied by a run of Czech films sponsored by the McNay’s Get Reel series and curated by Current critic Steven G. Kellman. On consecutive Thursdays beginning January 29, the McNay will show Lunacy (Silenti), Kolya, Closely Watched Trains, and I Served the King of England (reviewed at sacurrent.com). For times and any applicable entry fees, visit mcnayart.org or call
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