Monday, September 27, 2010

Pittsburgh Irish & Cultural Theatre Announce 2011 Season

For Immediate Release:

Contact: Melissa Hill Grande

Associate Artistic Director and Director of Marketing
412.561.6000 x203

Release on or after September 15, 2010

“Dynamic Duos” take the stage in PICT’s 2011 season
Timeless, iconic lovers, the world’s most famous detective and his sidekick, TWO plays at the SAME time with the SAME cast, and more pairs fill out the upcoming season!

Pittsburgh, PA – September 13, 2010. Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre packs its fifteenth year of theatrical excellence with an exciting array of productions running from May through September, concluding with a special end-of-year production for the holidays. The anniversary season includes one of Shakespeare’s greatest romantic tragedies, a provocative new comic drama from David Mamet, and four fantastic comedies!

PICT launches the season with a lavish production of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, followed by Alan Ayckbourn’s House & Garden. The season continues with Conall Morrison’s hilarious and innovative production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, and David Mamet’s funny and incendiary new play Race (pending licensing). Hugh Leonard’s comic Mask of Moriarity, featuring Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, wraps up the season at the year-end holidays. The Storytellers Series: Second Helpings features readings of plays by PICT 2011 playwrights Alan Ayckbourn, David Mamet, and Hugh Leonard.

A rarely-produced tragedy, Antony and Cleopatra is a story of love and loss that features two of the most famous star-crossed lovers the world has ever known. A Roman General and an Egyptian Queen, Mark Antony and Cleopatra are great leaders of their time who share a passion for each other – but at a price. Power, politics and betrayal overshadow their doomed and legendary affair. Joining critically-acclaimed Shakespearean actor Sam Tsoutsouvas as Mark Antony is the incomparable Helena Ruoti as Cleopatra.

Tsoutsouvas’ previous PICT credits include Henry IV, Parts I and II, Heartbreak House, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and No Man’s Land. His Broadway credits include By Jeeves, Dracula, and Our Country’s Good. He also played Salieri in the first national tour of Amadeus.

Ruoti is the 1985 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Performer of the Year. Her PICT credits include The Seagull, King Lear, and Rock ‘n’ Roll. She is currently starring in The Royal Family at Pittsburgh Public Theatre.

Antony and Cleopatra is generously underwritten in part through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Arts through their Shakespeare in American Communities program. PICT is one of only four recipients of this grant in the state of Pennsylvania, and the only one in Pittsburgh.

Antony and Cleopatra plays May 4 through 21 in the Charity Randall Theatre.

Alan Ayckbourn’s comic triumph House & Garden pits actors, directors and crew against the clock! One of the most clever duos written for the stage, House & Garden are two separate comedies that play in the Charity Randall and the Henry Heymann theatres simultaneously…with the SAME CAST! Co-directed by Andrew S. Paul and Melissa Hill Grande, the plays can be seen singly, and in no particular order, and play June 23 through July 17. House will be performed in the Charity Randall, and Garden in the Henry Heymann theatre.

The plays are both set in the household of Teddy Platt, a wealthy philanderer awaiting a visit from a Tory power-broker who can establish Platt’s political career. Everything that can go wrong on this most important of days is destined to occur, as Platt’s wife refuses to acknowledge his existence, his affair with the wife of his best friend and neighbor is revealed, his daughter is seduced and discarded by the visiting politico, and his head is turned by a glamorous French actress who is the celebrity guest star for the community fete at the bottom of his garden. Further down the social scale, ongoing conflict is coming to a head between the gardener, the housekeeper and her promiscuous daughter, and the couple who’ve come to set up the fete is headed for marital disaster. Boozers and cuckolds, insanity and depravity all come together for one fantastic story told in two hilarious plays.

Irish director Conall Morrison makes his Pittsburgh debut with The Importance of Being Earnest, featuring a cast comprised entirely of gentlemen. Morrison’s production begins in The Brasserie Dauphine, Paris, 1900, three months before Wilde's death. In the brief prologue (written by Morrison), Wilde is busy drinking himself to death when the bar patrons come to life as the characters from his most famous play. Alan Stanford (director, Salome, Betrayal, Celebration) returns to PICT to play Oscar Wilde and Lady Bracknell, roles which he originated in Morrison’s Abbey Theatre production of the play. Stanford’s extensive acting resume includes Pozzo in the Gate Theatre production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, which is recorded for the Beckett on Film series and toured through Pittsburgh in 2006; Salieri in Amadeus, for which he received a Harveys Theatre Award for Best Actor; as well as Astrov in Uncle Vanya, Higgins in Pygmalion, and Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses – all performances which were nominated for Harveys Theatre Awards. Wilde’s razor-sharp wit and a lively male cast make Earnest the crowd pleaser of the summer, playing August 4 through 27 in the Charity Randall Theatre.

Conall Morrison is an associate artist at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, where he premiered his adaptations of Patrick Kavanagh’s Tarry Flynn and Dion Boucicault’s The Colleen Bawn, both of which transferred to acclaimed runs at London’s Royal National Theatre. Renowned for his fiercely physical style, his many other Abbey productions include Hamlet, Brian Friel’s The Freedom of the City, and Tom Murphy’s A Whistle in the Dark. A native of Northern Ireland, his productions at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast include Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa, Sean O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock, and Murphy’s Conversation on a Homecoming. He made his American debut at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis with the American premiere of the Boublil/Schonberg musical Martin Guerre. Morrison previously collaborated with Alan Stanford on the Abbey Theatre production of The Importance of Being Earnest. This is his PICT debut.

PICT heats up the fall with David Mamet’s latest Broadway hit, Race.

The creator of Glengarry Glen Ross, The Untouchables, Speed-the-Plow, and Boston Marriage (PICT 2006), Mamet returns with his most anticipated work in years. Race is set in the law offices of Jack Lawson, who is white, and his partner Henry Brown. We meet them as they’re deciding whether to represent Charles Strickland, a white man accused of raping a black woman. The answers aren’t black and white in this incendiary story about the perceptions and realities that color our world, and the subtle shades between being a victim and being victimized.

Race may be the central theme, but Mamet is also interested in how differences – in color, gender, ethnicity, and class – foster a lack of communication and breed resentment. Race is directed by PICT Artistic Director Andrew S. Paul, and plays September 8 through October 1 in the Henry Heymann Theatre.

The 2011 season ends on a high note with two characters more widely known than any figures from history – the dynamic duo of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson! Holmes and his faithful sidekick come up against their most brilliant and dastardly malefactor in The Mask of Moriarity, a comedy thriller by beloved Irish playwright Hugh Leonard (Da, A Life). Leonard throws everything into the mix from mop-headed hunchbacks to Hitler’s secret parentage – even the identity of Jack the Ripper! This frothy holiday comedy features PICT company members and Pittsburgh favorites David Whalen as Holmes and Martin Giles as Watson.

Whalen’s previous PICT credits include Julius Caesar, Stuff Happens (2007 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Performer of the Year), and The Lieutenant of Inishmore (also at Repertory Theatre of St. Louis – 2008 Kevin Kline Award, Best Actor).

Giles’ previous PICT credits include The Gigli Concert (2002 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Performer of the Year), Uncle Vanya, St. Nicholas, and What the Butler Saw.

The Mask of Moriarity plays November 30 through December 18 in the Charity Randall Theatre.

This year’s Storytellers Series plays on the theme of Dynamic Duos by giving audiences the opportunity to experience a second play by three of the authors featured in the mainstage season. Second helpings of comedies by Alan Ayckbourn, David Mamet and Hugh Leonard will be served up throughout the year. Relatively Speaking, Alan Ayckbourn’s farcical look at relationships, will be read on May 16th. David Mamet’s Romance on July 11, and Hugh Leonard’s The Patrick Pearse Motel on September 19. All readings begin at 7 p.m.

For more information, phone 412.561.6000 or visit the PICT website at
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Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre 2011 Season Fact Sheet
The Charity Randall & Henry Heymann Theatres, Stephen Foster Memorial,
4301 Forbes Avenue, Oakland

Main Stage Productions
Antony & Cleopatra by William Shakespeare
Directed by TBA
The Charity Randall Theatre
May 4-21, 2011
(10 a.m. Student Matinees on May 4th and 10th)

House & Garden
Two plays by Alan Ayckbourn
Co-directed by Andrew S. Paul and Melissa Hill Grande
The Charity Randall and Henry Heymann Theatres
June 23-July 17, 2011

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Directed by Conall Morrison
The Charity Randall Theatre
August 4-27, 2011

Directed by Andrew S. Paul
Henry Heymann Theatre
September 8-October 1, 2011

The Mask of Moriarty by Hugh Leonard
Directed by TBA
The Charity Randall Theatre
November 30- December 18, 2011
(10 a.m. Student Matinees November 30th and December 6th)

Storytellers Series: Second Helpings
Relatively Speaking by Alan Ayckbourn- May 16
Romance by David Mamet – July 11
The Patrick Pearse Motel by Hugh Leonard – September 19
Subscriptions: $270 - $216
(wide range of packages and flex plans available)
Single Tickets: $50 - $40 ($20 under 25)

Storytellers Series with subscription: $30 for all 3 shows
Storytellers Series single tickets: $15

Subscriptions are available by calling Eric Nelson at 412.561.6000 x206

Call ProArts Tickets at 412-394-3353 or visit PICT online at

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