Playwright Marina Carr Headed to Pittsburgh for PICT's WOMAN AND THE SCARECROW, 7/7-14
Marina Carr's play Woman and Scarecrow is a perfect embodiment of the bittersweet humor and comical tragedy that pervades the plays of the Irish, much like PICT's production Waiting for Godot that closed June 21. Alan Stanford will direct this third play in PICT's season, which he selected "because of its delicate investigation of the one event in our lives that we all share. The leaving of it."
Alan extended an invitation to the playwright to come to Pittsburgh and she accepted. "Marina has created a play that makes you laugh and cry in the same moment. She stands squarely in that line of the greatest Irish playwrights and it is so gratifying to be able to acknowledge a woman writer in this way. She brings her particularly feminine slant to mining the depths of human emotion with wit and a classic Irish flair for language. She is quite brilliant, and we are truly honored to welcome her to Pittsburgh."
In addition to working with Alan and the cast during the last week of rehearsals for Woman and Scarecrow, Marina will be celebrated at a dinner on Thursday, July 9 to be held at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association (PAA) on Fifth Avenue in Oakland. Limited seats are still available and can be reserved by calling PICT's office or via the PICT website. Marina will attend opening night on July 12 and the reception that follows. She will participate in the "talkback" with the cast and director that follows the July 13 performance. An additional event is tentatively scheduled for the evening of July 13 and a release outlining all of the activities will be shared once confirmed. Requests for interviews can be made through PICT Classic Theatre with the contact above.
Marina Carr won the Susan Blackburn Smith Prize in 1996-7 for her play Portia Coughlin (which PICT produced in 2001, its Pittsburgh premiere). This award is given annually to recognize women who have written works of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theatre. Marina also won the E. M. Forster award, which provides a $20,000 prize for a young English writer to stay in the United States. Her other plays include Marble, Ullaloo, The Jai, By the Bog of Cats, Ariel, Meat and Salt, On Raftery's Hill, Low in the Dark, The Cordelia Dream and The Giant Blue Hand. She is a member of Aosdana, and has been Writer-in-Residence at the Abbey Theatre and Trinity College, Heimbold Professor at Villanova University, and the 1932 Fellow at Princeton for 2008.
ABOUT THE PLAY: A passionate woman-mother of eight children and wife to a philandering husband-is now facing death and conversing with her companion, Scarecrow, whom only she can see. As she tries to reconcile herself to these last moments, she considers all that might have been and all that will go on without her. A once-benign wardrobe takes on a menacing role, as Scarecrow battles what lurks inside to buy Woman just a little more time.
PICT is pleased to welcome back Nike Doukas, who will be playing Woman. Nike last appeared at PICT in 2013, first as Mrs. Erlynne in Lady Windermere's Fan and then as Woman 5/Matron/Mother in Don Juan Comes Back from the War. Other PICT credits include The School for Lies, Ivanov, Three Sisters and Funny Chekhov.
Karen Baum takes on the role of the mysterious Scarecrow. Karen is a featured artist for PICT during the 2014 season. This new initiative strives to recognize the talents and versatility of local Pittsburgh theatre artists by presenting them in diverse works throughout the season. Karen played Edith in PICT's season opener, Blithe Spirit and will appear in all but two plays in the PICT season (and only because those two plays have no female roles). Two of her best-remembered performances with PICT would be Cordelia in King Lear and the maid in Boston Marriage. Last season with PICT, she played Woman 4/Nurse 1/Young Girl in the Pittsburgh premiere of Don Juan Comes Back from the War. She is currently portraying Poppy in Noises Off at Pittsburgh Public Theater.
Sharon Brady is returning to PICT after her performance as Maryjohnny Rafferty in last season's A Skull in Connemara. Other Pittsburgh appearances include the Pittsburgh Playhouse as Mattie Fae in August: Osage County and at Pittsburgh Public Theatre as Lady in Superior Donuts. She is also an adjunct associate professor at Point Park University, where she teaches theatre arts. Sharon is a 20-year veteran of New York's off-Broadway scene, most notably as a founding member of the OBIE-Award-winning Cucaracha Theatre.
James FitzGerald most recently played Vladimir (Didi) in PICT's Waiting for Godot, his 13th production with the company. James is also a featured artist for PICT this season. He played Dr. Bradman in PICT's season opener, Blithe Spirit. Other Pittsburgh appearances include Charles Ives, Take Me Home at City Theatre, End of the Affair and Mouth-to-Mouth at Quantum Theater, and Our Town, Midsummer Night's Dream, 1776, The Royal Family and Born Yesterday at Pittsburgh Public Theater. James has performed sixteen seasons with Chicago Shakespeare Theater and numerous Chicago theatres, as well as off-Broadway productions, most notably Rose Rage directed by Edward Hall. He is also the recipient of two Joseph Jefferson Awards (Best Supporting Actor), a Jeff Citation (Best Actor), and an OE Award Nomination - Best Supporting Actor.
The artistic team for this production includes scenic design by Gianni Downs, costume design by Lindsay Tejan, sound design by Joe Pino and lighting design by Keith Truax.