Tom Degnan Stars in CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, 7/19-8/5

By: May. 30, 2012

The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's 21st season will feature daytime television star Tom Degnan in the role of Brick Pollitt in Tennessee William's Pulitzer Prize winning classic, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Best known for playing Joey Buchanan in One Life to Live, Degnan also portrayed young Harry in the 2009 film Handsome Harry with Jamey Sheridan and Steve Buscemi. Born in nearby Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Degnan appeared in As the World Turns as Adam Munson, Law and Order, The Good Wife, and White Collar.

In addition to Brick, Degnan will play Don John in Much Ado About Nothing, which plays in repertory with Cat.

Set on a plantation home, a family tries to celebrate the birthday of Big Daddy. Brick (played by Degnan) is Big Daddy's oldest son and the favored family member. But since the death of his friend Skipper, Brick has distanced himself from his family and his wife Maggie, "the cat," and turns to drinking in order to find the "click" that will make him peaceful.

Directed by Thomas Ouellette, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof will play in repertory with William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, featuring the same cast. On the nights when Degnan is not playing the withdrawn Brick, he will play thevillainous Don John in Much Ado.

Directed by James J. Christy, Shakespeare's spirited comedy offers the tale of two courtships: Beatrice and Benedick continuous quarreling evolves into something deeper, while Claudio and Hero are instantly smitten with one another. However, when Don John, the illegitimate brother of Benedick and Claudio's superior, grows envious of his brother's stature, he vows to ruin Claudio and Hero's happiness once and for all.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof will run from July 19 - August 5 (with previews July 19 and 20), while Much Ado About Nothing will run from July 11 - August 5 (with previews July 11 and 12). Both productions will take place on the PSF Main Stage at the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of DeSalesUniversity.

Single tickets, subscriptions, and packages that include tickets to Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Much Ado About Nothing are available at and by contacting the Box Office at 610.282.WILL [9455].

The 2012 season includes two other plays by Shakespeare, The Tempest (June 20 - July 15), and King John (July 25 - August 5). Also in the line-up is Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (June 13 - July 1), featuring Broadway headliners William Michals and Dee Roscioli. For children, the Festival features Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (June 1 - August 4) and Shakespeare for Kids (July 25 - August 4).

Tom Degnan, Brick/Don John. Born in Yardley, Bucks County, Pa., Tom is excited to take the stage in his home state. Past credits include Pride and Prejudice (Cleveland Play House), Anna Christie, A Midsummer Night's Dream, You Can't Take it With You (Monomoy Theatre). Film/TV credits: Handsome Harry, Magic City, The Good Wife, White Collar, Law and Order, As the World Turns,and One Life to Live.

JAMES J. CHRISTY, Director, Much Ado About Nothing. Directed The Playboy of the Western World at PSF in 2010. Recent productions include The Outgoing Tide, a new play by Bruce Graham for The Philadelphia Theater Company, the premiere of Michael Hollinger's Ghost Writer at the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia, and Antony and Cleopatra and King Lear for the Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre. He received the Philadelphia Theatre Alliance's Lifetime Achievement Award, a highlight of his longtime career as a director and educator in Philadelphia. Christy is a Professor Emeritus fromVillanova University where he taught theatre for thirty-nine years. His productions for Villanova, the Arden, and the Philadelphia Theatre Company and others have won numerous Barrymore awards, including two wins for best directing.

Thomas Ouellette, Director, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Recently directed Romeo and Juliet at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater (OST). Other OST directing credits include Pride and Prejudice, Arms and the Man, and I Hate Hamlet. Also an actor, he appeared this season as Adam in Next Fall and Hysterium in A Funny Thing… at Orlando's Mad Cow Theatre. He has taught directing and acting at Rollins College since 1996, where he has directed more than a dozen productions in their storied Annie Russell Theatre, and where he received the Cornell Distinguished Faculty award in 2010.

Patrick Mulcahy, PSF Producing Artistic Director. Since assuming leadership in 2003, Mr. Mulcahy has led PSF's return to artistic excellence and financial stability, rebuilt the professional company of artists, and achieved increasing national recognition for the Festival. Further accomplishments include PSF's first-ever award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and attracting a company of artists including winners and nominees of the Tony, Obie, Emmy, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Jefferson, and Barrymore awards to the Festival, growth in all income areas, a 50% increase in annual attendance, and the expansion of the number of Actors' Equity contracts per season.

As a professional director, actor and fight director, credits include Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theatre, television, and radio. Mr. Mulcahy has acted with Angela Basset, Peter MacNicol, HAl Holbrook, Joan Cusack, Don Cheadle,Anne Meara, Milo O'Shea, Cynthia Nixon, Tony Shaloub, Bradley Whitford, and others at the New York Shakespeare Festival, Hartford Stage, Roundabout Theatre Company, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Syracuse Stage, and the Walnut Street Theatre. He served as a fight director for Tom Hulse and Timothy Busfield in A Few Good Men on Broadway and for Off-Broadway productions starring John Savage, John Mahoney, Marcia Gay Harden, and Patrick Dempsey. He directed Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga in The Real Thing, and, for PSF, directed Hamlet (2011), Antony and Cleopatra (2009), The Winter's Tale (2007), Henry IV, Part I (2005), The Tempest (1999), and acted in and served as fight director for The Taming of the Shrew (1998) and Julius Caesar (1997). As Head of Acting at DeSales, Patrick directed ten productions for the University's production arm, Act 1, including I Hate Hamlet, The Grapes of Wrath, The Foreigner, and The Diary of Anne Frank. He holds an M.F.A. from Syracuse University.

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