Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre Presents JANE EYRE 12/3-12/20

Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre is staging an elaborate new theatrical version of Charlotte Brontë's masterpiece Jane Eyre for the holiday season! The production opens on December 3rd in the Charity Randall Theatre at the Stephen Foster Memorial in Oakland, and runs through December 20th.

Young Jane Eyre is abandoned by cruel relatives and left to her fate at the harsh and imposing Lowood School. She grows into a plain but intelligent young woman, and travels to the mysterious Thornfield Hall to work as governess. The Byronic master of the gothic mansion, Edward Fairfax Rochester, sweeps her off her feet -- but a dark secret from his past threatens to tear them apart. Will true love overcome all obstacles? Written in 1847, Jane's inner strength and determination to overcome adversity make her one of the most endearing heroines of classic literature.

A family-friendly adaptation by PICT Associate Artist Alan Stanford (Salome), Jane Eyre set box office records at the Gate Theatre in Dublin, Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, and Maintoba Theatre Center. This huge hit presents the audience with not just one Jane, but three! The play begins with young Jane (Jenna Lanz), the orphaned child left to fend for herself in a harsh world. As young Jane ages, she becomes middle Jane (Allison Mclemore) - the simple governess whose inner beauty and intelligence win the heart of the stolid, implacable Mr. Rochester (David Whalen). Throughout the play, Shelley Delaney guides the audience through the story as older Jane, sharing her life story with us as it unfolds.

Scott Wise directs, and Douglas Levine returns to the PICT stage with an original music score. Costumes are designed by Diane Collins. Gianni Downs and Andrew David Ostrowski bring the world to life through set and lighting.

The brooding, mysterious Mr. Rochester will be played by Pittsburgh favorite David Whalen. Whalen is currently starring as the tortured doctor in City Theatre Company's production of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. His previous PICT credits include The Shaughraun, Julius Caesar, Stuff Happens, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Pride and Prejudice, An Ideal Husband, and King Lear. Whalen is the recipient of the 2007 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Performer of the Year and 2008 Kevin Kline Award for best actor (St. Louis Rep, The Lieutenant of Inishmore).

Allison Mclemore makes her Pittsburgh debut in the role of Jane. Her credits include the role of Jo in Little Women with Peterborough Players, Roxanne in Cyrano de Bergerac for the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, and Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion at Creede Repertory Theatre, for which she won the Denver Post Ovation Award. Most recently she was in The Madras House at the Mint Theatre.

Also making her PICT debut is Shelley Delaney, playing senior Jane. Head of the Professional Actor Training Program at Ohio University, Delaney's credits include Free Man of Color at Victory Gardens (Joseph Jefferson nomination), numerous productions at Capital Repertory Company including Sylvia (Best Actress, Metroland Newspapers), and numerous productions at Two River Theatre Company including The Dining Room (Best Supporting Actress, New Jersey critics/Star Ledger).

Kate Young returns to Pittsburgh to play the dual roles of Mrs. Fairfax and Hanna. A former Pittsburgh resident and professor at Point Park University, Young currently resides in Chicago. Her previous PICT credits include Doubt, Synge Cycle (Riders to the Sea, The Well of the Saints), Salome, Endgame, James Joyce's The Dead, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Major Barbara, and Faith Healer.

Scott Wise, who directed PICT's hugely-successful productions of Pride and Prejudice and James Joyce's The Dead, returns to direct Jane Eyre. Wise is a professor in the School of Theater at Point Park University, and was the founder and artistic director of Pittsburgh International Folk Theatre, for which he was awarded the Pittsburgh Magazine Harry Schwab Award. His many directing credits include recent productions of the musicals The Rocky Horror Show with Point Park Conservatory, and the world premieres of Streets of America (also with the Conservatory) and Eastburn Avenue at The Rep.

Original music for Jane Eyre is composed by Douglas Levine, whose PICT credits include original music for Pride and Prejudice, The Shaughraun, as well as Mother Courage and Peer Gynt for The Rep, and Mimoun for Pennsylvania Dance Theater. Levine was also the composer of the musical Eastburn Avenue, which premiered at The Rep in 2008. As an arranger, Levine has worked on PICT's Boston Marriage and Private Lives, and was the featured pianist in PICT's production of The False Servant.

Costume designer Diane Collins makes her PICT debut with Jane Eyre. Locally, Collins has worked with Dance Alloy, Pittsburgh Opera Theatre, CMU Opera and School of Drama, Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival, City Theatre at Hartwood, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. She has also worked extensively in film, with credits including costume design for Hollywood & Wine and The Bridge to Nowhere, and wardrobe supervisor for Shelter and Dogma.

Returning to PICT are scenic designer Gianni Downs, whose many PICT credits include Boston Marriage, Stuff Happens, Lieutenant of Inishmore, What the Butler Saw; and Andrew David Ostrowski, whose designs for PICT include Private Lives, King Lear, and Doubt.

The production also features Courtney Bassett, Christine Clark, Julia Concolino, James FitzGerald, Lisa Ann Goldsmith, Jeremy Hois, Jenna Lanz, Larry John Meyers, Catherine Moore, Joel Ripka, Laurel Schroeder, and Anna Van Valin.

Jane Eyre runs December 3rd through 20th at the Charity Randall Theatre in the Stephen Foster Memorial, 4301 Forbes Avenue in Oakland. Special student matinees are scheduled for December 2nd and 8th at 10 a.m. Tickets are on sale now, and are available by calling ProArtsTickets at 412.394.3353 or visiting ProArtsTickets online at www.proartstickets.org. To schedule a group for the student matinees, contact Eric Nelson at 412-561-6000 x206 or email enelson@picttheatre.org More information about the play is available on the PICT website, www.picttheatre.org. WDUQ-FM is the media sponsor for Jane Eyre.

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