PICT Announces Casting for 2010 Season

Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre has assembled a team of more than 100 world-class artists, including Canadian legends Richard McMillan, Michael Hanrahan, Simon Bradbury and Michael Ball, and Irish legend Alan Stanford. Top-notch local favorites gracing the PICT stage this season include Martin Giles, Larry John Meyers, Joel Ripka, David Whalen, Daina Michelle Griffith, and making his PICT debut, Daniel Krell.

Leading off the 2010 season is the world premiere of Beautiful Dreamers, a new music drama set to the songs of Pittsburgh's hometown hero Stephen Foster, written and directed by Martin Giles with arrangements and musical direction by Douglas Levine. The project is a co-production with Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, in conjunction with the Stephen Foster Museum and the Center for American Music. Joel Ripka, who starred in PICT's acclaimed 2009 production of Crime and Punishment, is featured as Moses Walker, a young New Yorker who sets off on a journey across America after his heart is broken. Joining him are Stephanie Riso, playing the young widow woman Susannah Milsap, and Kevin Brown as escaped slave Caleb Jefferson. Riso is the founding managing director of PICT, and currently serves as operations director. She was last seen on the PICT stage as Rita/Young Julia in the 2004 blockbuster production of James Joyce's The DeaD. Brown makes his PICT debut, but has been featured in numerous Opera Theater of Pittsburgh productions, including the recent Beggar's Holiday. The production also showcases PICT newcomers Daniel Krell (City Theatre's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Pittsburgh Public Theater's Midsummer Night's Dream) and Allison Moody, along with Michael Fuller (Pride & Prejudice)and Daina Michelle Griffith (James Joyce's The Dead), playing numerous roles.

Scenic design is by Tony Ferrieri, lighting by Cindy Limauro, costumes by Kelly LeVine (assisted by Peter Doukas), sound by Dave Bjornson, and properties by Cory F. Goddard. Beautiful Dreamers plays April 15 - May 1 in the Charity Randall Theatre.

In conjunction with Beautiful Dreamers, the University of Pittsburgh will be hosing a first-ever Stephen Foster symposium April 23 and 24 entitled "Stephen Foster in American Cultural History." Foster scholars from all over the world will be in attendance and scheduled speakers include renowned baritone Thomas Hampson on "Foster's songs as part of America's classic vocal repertory" and Japanese professor Kazuko Miyashita on "America as understood through Foster's songs in foreign cultures."

Javon Johnson stars as Shakespeare's most powerful tragic hero, Othello. Johnson is an award-winning actor and playwright and a founding ensemble member of Congo Square Theatre Company in Chicago. He received an MFA in acting from the University of Pittsburgh, and his previous Pittsburgh credits include Pittsburgh Public Theater (Measure for Measure) and Kuntu Repertory Theatre (Blues for an Alabama Sky). A playwright and protégé of August Wilson, Johnson has performed in many Wilson plays. He comes to Othello on the heels of performing in Two Trains Running at GeVa Theatre in Rochester, directed by Ron O.J. Parsons. Other recent theater credits include Joe Turner's Come and Gone (Congo Square Theater, CENTERSTAGE), and Gem of the Ocean (Goodman Theater and Mark Taper Forum). He had a recurring role on the Fox TV series "Prison Break", as well as roles in the films "Barbershop 2", and "Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls."

Michael Hanrahan makes his PICT debut as Iago. Hanrahan is a founding member of Toronto's Soulpepper Theatre Company, where he has recently been seen in Loot, Awake and Sing and Oh What a Lovely War. He is also a recipient of the Dora Mavor Moore Award for his performance as Solyony in The Banff School of Fine Arts production of Three Sisters. Other credits include productions with the Stratford Festival, Canadian Stage Company and Tarragon Theatre. Hanrahan will also be featured in the Pinter Celebration.

Allison McLemore (Jane Eyre) returns to play Desdemona, and her husband Jay Stratton (Oedipus in the Pittsburgh Public Theater production of Oedipus the King) plays Cassio. Other PICT alums in the cast include Joel Ripka (also 2010 Beautiful Dreamers; Crime and Punishment, Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice) as Roderigo; Shelley Delaney (Jane Eyre) as Emilia; Larry John Meyers (Crime and Punishment, Dublin Carol, Endgame/BeckettFest) as Brabantio; Martin Giles (2010 Pinter Festival; What the Butler Saw, The History Boys, Rock ‘n' Roll, Synge Cycle, BeckettFest) as the Duke of Venice; and Ben Blazer (Salome, Synge Cycle) as ensemble. PICT newcomers Georgia Guy (Bianca) and Rich Venezia (ensemble) round out the cast. PICT Producing Artistic Director Andrew S. Paul directs Othello, with sets by Gianni Downs, lights by Jim French, sound by Joe Pino, and costumes by Joan Markert (assisted by Kathleen Crocker-Perry). Othello plays May 20 through June 12 in the intimate Henry Heymann Theatre.

In conjunction with Othello, PICT will hold the free panel discussion "Othello for a 21st Century Audience" on June 6th, following the 2 p.m. performance. Panelists will include Javon Johnson, Dr. Kristen Olson, and Andrew S. Paul.

Richard McMillan, Alan Stanford, Matthew Gray, Bernadette Quigley and Sam Tsoutsouvas lead the outstanding repertory company assembled for "Hearing Noise in the Silence: A Celebration of the Life and Theatre of Harold Pinter". The Pinter Celebration follows the unprecedented successes of PICT's BeckettFest and Synge Cycle, tracing the development of drama in the 20th Century. Pinter Celebration gives audiences the opportunity to experience six very different Pinter plays (most rarely performed) in festival format.

The five-time Dora Award-winning Canadian actor Richard McMillan (Henry, Stuff Happens, Julius Caesar) returns to the PICT stage for No Man's Land and Celebration. McMillan's career encompasses a wide range of works, including the Stratford and Broadway productions of The Mikado. He originated the role of Sarumon for Lord of the Rings: The Musical, and was the villainous Scar in the long-running Toronto production of The Lion King. He also spent many seasons with Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival, the Stratford Festival and the Shaw Festival.

Irish director, actor and playwright Alan Stanford returns to PICT after his stunning 2007 production of Salome. Stanford is the artistic director of Second Age Theatre Company, and his extensive career includes directing Harold Pinter in a production of Pinter's play The Collection at the Gate Theatre in Dublin. He will direct Betrayal and Celebration.

Matthew Gray directed PICT's hugely successful 2009 production of Crime and Punishment, and returns to direct The Hothouse. An Assistant Professor of Acting at Carnegie Mellon University, Gray was recently seen on-stage in the Quantum Theatre production of 36 Views. His many credits include productions in Canada and the UK.

Bernadette Quigley makes her Pittsburgh debut in Pinter Festival, playing Prue in Celebration and Rose in The Room. Quigley has been seen on Broadway and in the national tour of Brian Friel's Dancing at Lughnasa. Other credits include productions at Abingdon Theatre, Actors Studio, and regionally at Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (Bug, The Crucible), Virginia Stage (Beauty Queen of Leenane), as well as Williamstown Theatre Festival, Long Wharf Theatre, and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre.

PICT alum Sam Tsoutsouvas returns to perform in No Man's Land and The Hothouse. His previous PICT credits include Rock ‘n' Roll, Heartbreak House and Henry IV. He was also seen locally in the recent Pittsburgh Public Theatre production of Caryl Churchill's A Number.

Pinter Celebration also marks a return to the stage for PICT Artistic Director Andrew S. Paul. In his first acting role since 2003, Paul will portray the verbose, comical waiter in Celebration. Paul also directs No Man's Land.

The Pinter company also includes PICT newcomers Fredi Bernstein in Celebration and The Room;
Leo Marks in The Hothouse, Betrayal and Celebration; and Bernadette Quigley in Celebration and The Room. Returning to PICT are Jarrod DiGiorgi (Rock ‘n' Roll, Salome) in No Man's Land, The Room and The Dumb Waiter; Tami Dixon (Rock ‘n' Roll) in The Hothouse and Celebration); Nike Doukas (An Ideal Husband) in Betrayal and Celebration; Martin Giles (The History Boys, What the Butler Saw, Synge Cycle, BeckettFest) in Celebration, The Hothouse and The Room, as well as director of The Dumb Waiter; Michael Hanrahan (Othello) in The Hothouse, The Dumb Waiter and Celebration; Sheila McKenna (Synge Cycle, BeckettFest, Wilde Tales) as director of The Room; Larry John Meyers (Crime and Punishment, Dublin Carol, Stuff Happens) in The Hothouse and The Room; Doug Pona (Salome) in The Hothouse and The Room; and David Whalen (Jane Eyre, Salome, An Ideal Husband, Julius Caesar) in No Man's Land and Betrayal. The design team includes Gianni Downs (scenic design), Jim French (lighting), and Elizabeth Atkins (sound).

The festival runs July 22 through August 22 in the Charity Randall and Henry Heymann Theatres, and concludes with a special evening of Pinter sketches, poetry and prose on August 22nd, featuring the entire Pinter company.

Storytellers Series returns in conjunction with the Pinter Celebration. "Pinteresque" features four readings of contemporary plays inspired by Pinter: Blue/Orange by Joe Penhall on April 26th; Parlour Song by Jez Butterworth on May 24th; Geography of a Horse Dreamer by Sam Shepard on June 28th, and The Ruffian on the Stair by Joe Orton on July 12th. All readings begin at 7 p.m.

A free panel discussion, "Power, Politics and Preconceptions: A Discussion about the Controversial Works of Harold Pinter" will be held on August 14th at noon. Panelists include Alan Stanford, and Ann C. Hall, President of the International Harold Pinter Association.

The PICT 2010 season concludes with the delightful family-friendly Victorian comedy Hobson's Choice, by Harold Brighouse. Canadian legends Michael Ball and Simon Bradbury (King Lear, The Shaughraun, Chaplin) reprise their roles from the wildly popular production that played two seasons at the Shaw Festival, and Derdriu Ring (Synge Cycle, Boston Marriage, James Joyce's The Dead) returns to Pittsburgh to play the cantankerous daughter Maggie. It plays December 2 - 18 in the Charity Randall Theatre.

Single tickets are available now through ProArtsTickets at 412.394.3353. A range of options are available for money-saving season subscriptions, and can be purchased by contacting Eric Nelson at 412.561.6000 x206, emailing enelson@picttheatre.org, or on the PICT website at www.picttheatre.org.


FACT SHEET
Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre
Mainstage Productions

Beautiful Dreamers by Martin Giles
(also dir.)
Arrangements and Musical Direction by Douglas Levine
Music by Stephen Foster
The Charity Randall Theatre
April 15 - May 1
(a co-production with Opera Theater of Pittsburgh)

Othello by William Shakespeare
Directed by Andrew S. Paul
Henry Heymann Theatre
May 20 - June 12

Pinter Celebration
Hearing Noise in the Silence:
A celebration of the life
and theatre of Harold Pinter

The Hothouse
Directed by Matthew Gray
Henry Heymann Theatre
July 22 - August 22


No Man's Land
Directed by Andrew S. Paul
The Charity Randall Theatre
July 30 - August 21

Four One-Act Plays
The Dumb Waiter & Betrayal
Directed by Martin Giles and Alan Stanford
Henry Heymann Theatre
August 5 - 21

The Room & Celebration
Directed by Sheila McKenna and Alan Stanford
The Charity Randall Theatre
August 14 - 20

Pinter Celebration Finale
The Charity Randall Theatre
August 22

Hobson's Choice by Harold Brighouse
Directed by Andrew S. Paul
The Charity Randall Theatre
December 2 - 18

Storytellers Series
Pinteresque: Four contemporary plays inspired by Harold Pinter
Mondays at 7 p.m.

Blue/Orange by Joe Penhall
April 26

Parlour Song by Jez Butterworth
May 24

Geography of a Horse Dreamer
by Sam Shepard
June 28
The Ruffian on the Stair by Joe Orton
July 12

PICT Special Events (All Free of Charge)

Stephen Foster Symposium
"Stephen Foster in American Cultural History" - April 23rd and 24th
Sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh

Panel Discussion Series
"Othello for a 21st Century Audience" - June 6, following the 2 p.m. performance - Javon Johnson, star of Othello; Dr. Kristen Olson, scholar and dramaturg; and Andrew S. Paul, director of Othello and PICT artistic director

"Power, Politics and Preconceptions: A Discussion about the Controversial Works of Harold Pinter" - August 14, noon - Alan Stanford, internationally-acclaimed actor and director; Ann C. Hall, President of the International Harold Pinter Society

Tickets:
Subscriptions: $215 - $265 (10 packages and 4 Flex Plans available)
Single Tickets: $34 - $50 ($20 under 25 with valid ID)
Pinter One-Act Evenings: $32 ($20 under 25 with valid ID)
Storytellers Series: $15 ($40 for series with subscription)

Call ProArtsTickets at 412.394.3353 or visit PICT online at www.picttheatre.org
Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre. Great Stories. Well Told.
PICT 2010 Cast Lists
Beautiful Dreamers

Moses Walker: Joel Ripka
Susannah Milsap: Stephanie Riso
Caleb Jefferson: Kevin Brown
Man 1: Daniel Krell
Man 2: Michael Fuller
Woman 1: Daina Michelle Griffith
Woman 2: Allison Moody

Othello
Othello: Javon Johnson
Brabantio/ Gratiano: Larry John Meyers
Cassio: Jay Stratton
Iago: Michael Hanrahan
Roderigo: Joel Ripka
Duke/Lodovico: Martin Giles
Montano: Darryl Heysham
Desdemona: Allison McLemore
Emilia: Shelley Delaney
Bianca: Georgia Guy
Ensemble: Ben Blazer, Rich Venezia

Pinter Celebration
The Company

Fredi Bernstein: Sonia (Celebration); Mrs. Sands (The Room)

Jarrod DiGiorgi: Foster (No Man's Land); Gus (The Dumb Waiter); Mr. Sands (The Room)

Tami Dixon: Miss Cutts (The Hothouse); Suki (Celebration)

Nike Doukas: Emma (Betrayal); Julie (Celebration)

Martin Giles: Matt (Celebration); Lamb (The Hothouse); Bert Hudd (The Room); Director (The Dumb Waiter)

Matthew Gray: Director (The Hothouse)

Michael Hanrahan: Lush (The Hothouse); Ben (The Dumb Waiter); Lambert (Celebration)

Leo Marks: Gibbs (The Hothouse); Robert (Betrayal); Russell (Celebration)

Sheila McKenna: Director (The Room)
Richard McMillan: Spooner (No Man's Land); Richard (Celebration)

Larry John Meyers: Roote (The Hothouse); Mr. Kidd (The Room)

Andrew Paul: Waiter (Celebration); Director (No Man's Land)

Doug Pona: Tubb (The Hothouse); Riley (The Room)

Bernadette Quigley: Prue (Celebration); Rose (The Room)

Alan Stanford: Director (Betrayal, Celebration)

Sam Tsoutsouvas: Hirst (No Man's Land); Lobb (The Hothouse)

David Whalen: Briggs (No Man's Land); Jerry (Betrayal)


Hobson's Choice

Henry Horatio Hobson - Michael Ball
Willie Mossop - Simon Bradbury
Maggie - Derdriu Ring

(Hobson's Choice casting will be finalized later in the spring).

The Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre was founded in 1996 to diversify the region's theatrical offerings by providing Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania audiences with high-quality, text-driven, affordable productions of classical theatre and the works of classical and contemporary Irish playwrights and to significantly improve employment opportunities for local talent in all facets of theatrical presentation and production. PICT is a Small Professional Theatre (SPT) affiliated with Actors' Equity Association, and a constituent member of Theatre Communications Group (TCG) and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. PICT is the Professional Theatre in Residence at the University of Pittsburgh and PICT Productions at the Charity Randall and Henry Heymann Theatres are presented in cooperation with the University of Pittsburgh - Department of Theatre Arts.

 



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