World-class art forger Han van Meegeren is in a jam. Crime has been good to him:Dozens of his forgeries are in circulation, and no one suspects and he's a very wealthy man. Problem is, Hermann Goering paid a not-so-small fortune during World War II for an imitation Vermeer the con man cooked up in Amsterdam: about $7 million (in today's money) for a work worth maybe one-thousandth that amount. Now that the war is over, Dutch authorities are tracking down collaborators who'd sold the country's cultural treasures to the Nazis. They're convinced van Meegeren is one. The penalty: death by hanging.
What happens next is the subject of UNC professor Keith Burridge's historical drama, the second offering in the ArtsCenter's Almost Ready program. The series gives simple stagings of works in progress by emerging North Carolina playwrights; afterward, audience members are encouraged to participate in discussions with the playwright, director and actors. Richard Krawiec directs a cast including Gregor McElvogue, Reid Dalton and Bonnie Protheroe. The 4 p.m. show is free. —Byron Woods