Point Park's Conservatory Theatre Co. Announces 2013-14 Season: OKLAHOMA!, BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON & More!
Point Park University's Conservatory Theatre Company will produce five works, including a special, student-devised production, a rock musical and a famous Irish play, in the 2013-2014 season. The season begins Oct. 18 and runs through April 19, 2014.
Opening the season is Rodgers and Hammerstein's enduring staple of musical theatre, Oklahoma! directed by Broadway star Patrick Cassidy, son of Shirley Jones, who starred in the Academy Award-winning 1955 movie version of the musical.
The season's other productions are the Greek tragedy Hecuba, directed by Monica Payne, The Alchemists' Lab, a comedy devised and written by Gab Cody in collaboration with students of Point Park University's Conservatory of Performing Arts, the rock musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, directed by Michael McKelvey, and J.M. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World, directed by Kim Martin.
The 2013-2014 season:
Rodgers and Hammerstein's first collaboration, which tells the story of cowboy Curly McLain and his romance with strong-willed farm girl Laurey Williams, has enchanted audiences since its first production in 1943. It features unforgettable songs such as "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" and "People Will Say We're in Love." The 1955 film version starred Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones, Rod Steiger and Gloria Grahame, and won three Academy Awards.
Best known for his roles in musical theatre and on television, director Patrick Cassidy has appeared on Broadway in numerous productions, including The Pirates of Penzance, Leader of the Pack, Annie Get Your Gun, 42nd Street and Elton John's musical, Aida. He co-starred with his mother, Shirley Jones, in Aida on Broadway, as well as in a production of The Music Man at Music Circus in Sacramento, Calif. He toured nationally with Aida, and won the National Broadway Theatre Award for Best Actor in a Touring Musical for his performance. Cassidy also originated the role of the Balladeer in Stephen Sondheim's Assassins off-Broadway. He has appeared in several films and TV shows, including Castle, CSI, CSI Miami, Smallville, ER, Crossing Jordan, and Law and Order SVU.
Directed by Monica Payne
Friday, Nov. 8 - Sunday, Nov. 24
Written by Euripides in 424 BC, Hecuba is a tragic story of sacrifice, revenge, and the brutal aftermath of a war between the Trojans and the Greeks. In her darkest hour, Hecuba, the fallen Queen of Troy, exacts revenge on those who have wronged her.
Monica Payne directed The Playhouse Jr. production of Huck Finn in May. Her other directing projects include her own adaptation of The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Erendira and her Heartless Grandmother by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Elektra by Euripides, Gross Sales by Erica Jones, and Natural Affection by William Inge. As an actress, Payne appeared in several productions with Steppenwolf Theatre Company and worked with many off-loop companies in Chicago, including The Hypocrites, Famous Door, The Journeymen, and the Artistic Home. She is the recipient of the James Pendleton Foundation Prize and is a member of the 2008 Lincoln Center Director's Lab, as well as the 2012 Director's Lab West in Los Angeles.
The Alchemists' Lab
By Gab Cody in collaboration with students of the Conservatory of Performing Arts
Directed by Gab Cody
Tuesday, Dec. 10 - Sunday, Dec. 15
Inspired by Ben Jonson's famous 17th century comedy, The Alchemist, this production is devised and written by Gab Cody and students of Point Park's Conservatory of Performing Arts. Cody and the students use techniques of physical and absurdist theatre, farce, improvisation and screwball comedy to create a one-of-a-kind spectacle.
Classically trained actor, improviser and standup comedienne Gab Cody uses her skills to create hilarious, yet thought provoking works, be they inspired by Commedia Del Arte, Nietzsche, 1930s screwball comedy or 1960s horror films. Her plays have been staged at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami, the Williamstown Theatre Festival, New York City's Urban Stages, as well as Bricolage Theater Company's 24-Hour play festival B.U.S., and nonameplayers' SWAN Day festival. Her full-length play Prussia: 1866 received a staged reading at The Workshop Theatre in New York in January 2011. Her film works include shorts, documentaries and many PSAs, and have screened at Greetings From Pittsburgh: Neighborhood Narratives, the Cleveland International Film Festival, NYC Horror Film Fest, San Francisco Independent Film Festival, San Francisco's Disposable Film Fest, and 11/22 International Comedy Short Film Festival in Vienna, Austria. Her bilingual Franco-English play, Fat Beckett, received a full production in December 2011 at Quantum Theater in Pittsburgh and was named a top 10 production of the year by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Cody served as lead writer on Bricolage Production Company's immersive urban adventure, STRATA,which was named best play of 2012 by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Her feature film Progression is in postproduction and scheduled for completion this summer.
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
Music and Lyrics by Michael Friedman
Book by Alex Timbers
Directed by Michael McKelvey
Friday, Feb. 21 - Sunday, March 2
Winner of an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Drama Desk Award, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson is a comedic Wild West rock musical about the founding of the Democratic Party. It traces the rise of Andrew Jackson, from early childhood to his controversial presidency.
Director Michael McKelvey made his Pittsburgh Playhouse directing debut in May with The Playhouse Jr. production of Honk Jr. He was music director on the Conservatory Theatre Company's production of A Chorus Line in October 2011. His regional directing credits include A Minister's Wife, Legally Blonde, Chess, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Carousel, Pajama Game, City of Angels, Evil Dead, Company, Footloose, Annie, The Last Five Years, I Love You Because, John and Jen, Urinetown, Assassins and Sweeney Todd. He also has music directed more than 70 productions. While in Austin, Texas, he was the recipient of several B. Iden Payne and Austin Critics' Table Awards as a director, music director and producer. At Point Park, he is the head of private voice and an associate professor of musical theatre. Upcoming engagements include Reefer Madness, LES MISERABLES, Triumph of Love and Swing.
The Playboy of the Western World
By John Milington Synge
Directed by Kim Martin
Friday, April 11 - Sunday, April 19
Irish playwright J.M. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World takes place in the early 1900s at a pub on the west coast of Ireland, where a young man running away from his farm, claiming he killed his father, finds the locals are more interested in vicariously enjoying his story than condemning the immorality of what he did. At the pub, he captures the attention of the barmaid, who also is the owner's daughter.
Kim Martin has directed The REP's productions of Becky's New Car, The Lonesome West, and Mojo. A graduate of Point Park University, Martin has directed, acted in, and stage-managed more than 150 productions. Some favorites include Glengarry Glen Ross, Guys & Dolls, Drinking in America, Deathtrap, The Dumb Waiter, Annie, La Ronde and Three Sisters. Martin made Point Park University and the Pittsburgh Playhouse her second home again in 1999, when she returned to The Playhouse to serve as Production Stage Manager. Currently the Production Manager at The Playhouse, she serves as an adjunct faculty member instructing students pursuing a technical theatre degree.
The Conservatory Theatre Company 2013-2014 season subscriptions, which save patrons up to 35 percent off single-ticket prices, are available now. Five-show season packages are $50-$70; subscribers will have the opportunity to add a sixth show, The Playhouse Jr. production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee in May 2014, at an affordable price. Those who purchase three subscriptions get the fourth free. Single tickets are $18-$20 and go on sale at 10 a.m., Monday, Aug. 19. To order tickets, contact the Pittsburgh Playhouse box office at 412.392.8000, or visit www.pittsburghplayhouse.com.