Friday, July 3, 2009

Shanley's Award Winnning Play "Doubt" in Pittsburgh

Media Contact: Melissa Hill Grande

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No “doubt” about it

Kate Young & David Whalen star in Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre’s searing production of John Patrick Shanley’s Tony + Pulitzer Prize-winning play

Pittsburgh, PA – July 1, 2009. PICT brings John Patrick Shanley’s searing drama Doubt, winner of the 2005 Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize, to the intimate Henry Heymann Theatre. The production is directed by Jeffrey M. Cordell, and features Pittsburgh favorites David Whalen as Father Flynn and Kate Young as Sister Aloysius, with Meghan Heimbecker as Sister James and Maria Becoates-Bey as Mrs. Muller.

Set in 1964 in a Catholic school in the Bronx, a hard-edged nun (Kate Young) grows suspicious when a young priest (David Whalen) seems to take a special interest in a new student. Convinced that something improper is occurring and that church hierarchy will blindly protect the man, she sets out to confront him. But are her fears based upon moral certainty or stubborn prejudice? One of the most acclaimed plays of the past decade, Doubt stimulates thought-provoking questions, but leaves the answers to the audience to decide.

Director Jeffrey M. Cordell leads a design team comprised of Gianni Downs (set), Andrew David Ostrowski (lighting), Jane M. Wilder-O’Connor (costumes), Zachary Brown (sound), and Cory Goddard (properties).

Former Pittsburgher Kate Young comes home from Chicago to play Sister Aloysius Beauvier. Young’s most recent PICT appearances were in last season’s Synge Cycle (Riders to the Sea, The Well of the Saints) and Salome. Other PICT appearances include Endgame, James Joyce’s The Dead, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Major Barbara, and Faith Healer.

PICT regular and Pittsburgh favorite David Whalen plays Father Flynn. Some of Whalen’s many PICT appearances include Salome, An Ideal Husband, King Lear, Pride & Prejudice, The Lieutenant of Inishmore and Stuff Happens. Most recently, he was seen locally in the City Theatre production of Speak American, and in Washington, D.C. in the Folger Theatre’s production of A Winter’s Tale.

Point Park graduates Meghan Heimbecker and Maria Becoates-Bey make their PICT debuts in Doubt. Heimbecker’s Point Park credits include Our Country’s Good and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Her Philadelphia credits include My Children! My Africa! (Wilma Theatre, Barrymore Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress) and the Walnut Street Theatre production of Enchanted April.

Becoates-Bey’s credits include The Full Monty with Pittsburgh CLO, as well as appearances in City Theatre’s productions of Intimate Apparel, Crowns and Constant Star.

Jeffrey Cordell (Boston Marriage, Private Lives) returns to PICT to direct Doubt. Other Pittsburgh directing credits include bash: latterday plays (barebones productions) and Everything in the Garden (Pitt Rep). Cordell is an assistant professor in the theatre department at Marietta College, where he earned his B.A. in theatre and English.

The set is designed by PICT Resident Scenic Designer Gianni Downs. His previous PICT credits include:

What the Butler Saw, Boston Marriage, Stuff Happens, Synge Cycle, and Salome, among others. Lighting is designed by Andrew David Ostrowski (PICT’s What the Butler Saw, King Lear, Private Lives and Hedda Gabler, among others), costumes by Jane M. Wilder-O’Conner (PICT debut), and sound by Zachary Brown (Dublin Carol, Private Lives, and An Ideal Husband, among others). Doubt plays July 9 through August 1 in the Henry Heymann Theatre, located at the Stephen Foster Memorial in Oakland.

In conjunction with the play, PICT is hosting a panel discussion, “Issues of Doubt and Faith” on July 19th at 3:45 p.m (following the matinee performance), at the Stephen Foster Memorial in Oakland. The panel discussion will discuss the play within the historical context straddling pre-Vatican II to Vatican II within the Roman Catholic tradition. The panelists will examine the momentousness of the change and its impact on that generation of American Catholics. The panel will also consider the playwright’s engagement with issues of veracity and doubts of the nun and priest, as well as questions of gender, race and power issues as they are brought to the fore in the play. This panel discussion is free of charge and open to the general public. The featured panelists will be Paula M. Kane, John and Lucine O’Brien Marous Associate Professor of Contemporary Catholic Studies, Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pittsburgh; Marianne Novy, Professor of English and Women’s Studies at the University of Pittsburgh; and Jeffrey M. Cordell, director of Doubt, Assistant Professor of Theatre at Marietta College (Ohio), and PICT Artistic Associate.

PICT will also host a post-show talk-back with the company following the Sunday, July 11 matinee performance, as well as two pre-show discussions beginning at 7:00 on Wednesday, July 15 and Thursday, July 16. The pre-show discussions are free of charge and open to the public.

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