Monday, July 12, 2010

faustUS Coming to the Cultural District!


Contact: Veronica Corpuz, 412-471-6082/

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Education and Community Engagement Department Presents:


The James E. Rohr Building, 805-807 Liberty Avenue

July 21-25 and July 28-August 1 at 8pm

PITTSBURGH, PA: Following a sold-out premiere of faustUS last autumn, 404 Strand brings its raucous reenactment of the myth of Faust to the heart of the Cultural District on July 21-25 and July 28-August 1, 2010. Presented by the Education and Community Engagement Department of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, faustUS is based on the The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe (1604). It is directed by Dan Jemmett and devised by the theatre collective 404 Strand. The performance features Andrew Hachey, John Fitzgerald Jay, Rick Kemp, Molly Simpson and Kristin Slaysman with artistic collaborator Richard Parsakian. All performances of faustUS begin at 8 p.m. at the James E. Rohr Building at 805-807 Liberty Avenue. Tickets ($25.50) are available at the Box Office at Theater Square, by calling 412-456-6666 or visiting

faustUS was originally presented by the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater and 404 Strand in association with Pittsburgh Filmmakers with support from the Heinz Endowments, the Pittsburgh Foundation and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

404 Strand combines theatre makers from the USA, Canada and England, some of whom have worked previously in Pittsburgh on Quantum Theatre productions Dogface, The Collected Works of Billy the Kid and The Museum of Desire. faustUS is a modern retelling of the ancient story of Faust, a man who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge and power. Jemmett describes the work as an installment performance, a theatrical experience marked by the immediate and intense proximity of the audience to the performers.

Award –winning international theatre director Dan Jemmett directs at some of Europe’s most highly regarded theatres, including Théâtre de Vidy, Lausanne, the Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris, The Lyric Hammersmith and The Almeida Opera in London, the Deutsche-Oper-Am-Rhein in Düsseldorf, Holland’s Reisopera , and the Teatro dell’opera in Rome among many others. After being awarded the French critics’ Revelation Théâtral prize in 2002, he was the first British director to be invited to direct at France’s national theatre the Comedie Francaise, where Les Precieuses Ridicules and La Grand Magie have received rave reviews in the European press. His film, Curtains, produced by Warp Films in London, was selected for The Edinburgh Film Festival 2009, and in 2010 he directed Berlioz’s opera Beatrice and Benedict for the Opera Comique in Paris, and Le Donneur de Bain at the Theatre Marigny. In 2011 he will direct Richard III at Poland’s national theatre in Warsaw.

In Pittsburgh, Dan has conceived and directed three highly acclaimed shows for Quantum Theatre. Dogface, his adaptation of The Changeling, was performed in an abandoned steel mill, while The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, a dramatization of Michael Ondaatje’s celebrated book of poems, was presented in a disused porn cinema. Both of these productions were invited to Madrid’s prestigious Festival de Otono, and were followed by The Museum of Desire, a presentation of stories by renowned art historian and writer John Berger that took place in Pittsburgh’s Frick Museum.

Rick Kemp has received numerous awards on both sides of the Atlantic for his work as an actor and director. He has performed with leading British companies Complicite, the Almeida, and The Oxford Playhouse, as well as touring his solo clown show Coming Home worldwide. He was the Artistic Director of London’s Commotion Theatre Company from 1991 to 1998, and collaborated with Nobel Prize-winning playwright Dario Fo on the English language premiere of Mistero Buffo, performing the show at London’s Riverside Studios and Tricycle Theatre and on tour, subsequently receiving the French Government's CROUS Award for Theatre. Work in the USA includes directing Hamlet and RiddleyWalker at The Pittsburgh Playhouse, directing Shrew! and The Comedy of Errors for Unseam'd Shakespeare, and acting in numerous shows for Quantum Theatre, including The Wild Duck, Richard II, I.D., The Crucible, Le Grand Meaulnes, The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, The Museum of Desire, and Cymbeline. His work as a writer and director of new works with Squonk Opera has been supported by awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, and he is the recipient of the 2004 Heinz Endowments Creative Heights Award for his clown show e-lectricity.


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