Wednesday, March 30, 2011

World Renowned Artists Showcased in PICT 2011 Season

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:

Melissa Hill Grande
Associate Artistic Director and Director of Marketing
412-561-6000 x203

PICT 2011 Season Showcases Local, National and International Stars

Ireland, New York, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh come together on the PICT stages to present a Shakespearean classic, four hilarious comedies, and an incendiary peek into the world of lawyers

Pittsburgh, PA – March 28, 2011. Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre has assembled a stellar team of world-renowned artists for the 2011 Dynamic Duos season! Audiences can look forward to enjoying the work of popular Pittsburgh actors Helena Ruoti, David Whalen, and Martin Giles, New Yorkers Sam Tsoutsouvas and Beth Hylton, Los Angeles actors Leo Marks, Nike Doukas, and James Sutorius, Ireland’s Alan Stanford and Conall Morrison, and England’s David Bryan Jackson and Sarah Manton.

PICT’s 2011 Actor in Residence will be Leo Marks, a company member in PICT’s extraordinary Pinter Celebration. The OBIE award-winning actor has appeared at some of the most respected theatres in the country, including The Shakespeare Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Actors Theater of Louisville, the Old Globe, and Intiman. He is also a founding member of New York’s acclaimed Elevator Repair Service. Marks will be featured as the supremely political Octavius in Antony & Cleopatra, the haughty and smarmy Gavin Ryng-Mayne in House & Garden, and the suave and unflappable Algernon Moncrief in The Importance of Being Earnest.

Pittsburgh’s leading lady of the theatre Helena Ruoti returns to PICT this season to star as the steely and outrageous Eqyptian queen in Shakespeare’s masterpiece Antony and Cleopatra, and as the long-suffering housewife Trish Platt in Alan Ayckbourn’s hilarious duo of plays House & Garden. Ruoti’s previous PICT credits include Rock ‘n’ Roll, What the Butler Saw, The Seagull, and King Lear.

Renowned Shakespearean actor Sam Tsoutsouvas returns to Pittsburgh to play the ill-fated Roman general Mark Antony in Antony & Cleopatra, reuniting with Ruoti following their acclaimed turns in PICT’s 2009 production of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Tsoutsouvas recently completed an extended run in the Red Bull Theatre’s hit production of The Witch of Edmonton. His Broadway credits include By Jeeves, Three Sisters and Our Country’s Good, and his previous PICT credits include the Pinter Celebration, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Heartbreak House, and Henry IV.

Lauded Southern California-based actor James Sutorius makes his PICT debut as cynical warrior Enobarbus. Sutorius’ Broadway credits include The Farnsworth Invention, Conversations with My Father, The Changing Room and The Cherry Orchard. His regional credits include Old Globe Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Repertory and Seattle Repertory Theatre.

Antony and Cleopatra is directed by Barrymore award winner James J. Christy (King Lear), and also features David Berry, Ken Bolden (Julius Caesar), Dan Derks, Jarrod DiGiorgi (Pinter Celebration, Salome, The Lieutenant of Inishmore), James FitzGerald (Pride & Prejudice), Parag Gohel, Daina Michelle Griffith (Beautiful Dreamers), Daniel Krell (Beautiful Dreamers), Shammen McCune, Michael Mueller, Jim Platania, Sean Sears, Mark Staley (King Lear), Bria Walker and Aaron White. The scenic design is by David P. Gordon (King Lear), lighting by Cindy Limauro (Beautiful Dreamers, Pride & Prejudice), costume design by Jen Sturm, sound design by David Huber, and properties by Ricardo Vila-Roger. The production plays May 4 – 21 in the Charity Randall Theatre.

Martin Giles stars as Teddy Platt, a wealthy philanderer making a move into politics, in Alan Ayckbourn’s two-play comic extravaganza House & Garden. Giles’ PICT credits include Pinter Celebration, What the Butler Saw, Synge Cycle, BeckettFest, Uncle Vanya and The Gigli Concert. Giles will also appear as Merriman in The Importance of Being Earnest, and will co-star as Dr. John Watson in PICT’s holiday production of The Mask of Moriarity.

Beth Hylton and Nike Doukas return to PICT to play respectively Teddy’s mistress, Joanna, and a glamorous French film star he becomes enamored of, Lucille Cadeau. Hylton’s credits include Woolly Mammoth, Ford’s Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Delaware Theatre Company, Everyman Theatre, Olney Theater Center, Weston Playhouse, and PlayMakers Rep. Doukas was featured prominently in last season’s Pinter Celebration. She has an MFA from the American Conservatory Theatre and is a regular presence at theatres throughout Southern California including South Coast Rep and The Old Globe in San Diego. House & Garden reunites Hylton and Doukas with Anwen Darcy (Rock ‘n’ Roll) and Mary Rawson (Copenhagen). The four last appeared together in PICT’s 2008 production of Wilde’s An Ideal Husband.

British-born actors Sarah Manton and David Bryan Jackson bring authentic stiff-upper-lip to Ayckbourn’s comedies in their PICT debuts. Manton, a graduate of the Guildford School of Acting, London, plays the feisty young maid Pearl. Her credits include the world premiere of Tom Stoppard’s Coast of Utopia (National Theatre), the role of Baby in the West End production of Dirty Dancing, and the National Theatre production of South Pacific. She was recently seen in the Pittsburgh Public Theatre production of Ayckbourn’s Time of My Life. Jackson plays Giles Mace, Teddy’s best friend and Joanna’s husband. His credits include multiple productions with The Shakespeare Theatre, Folger Theatre, Studio Theatre, and Olney Theatre Center.

House & Garden is co-directed by Andrew S. Paul and Melissa Hill Grande, and also features Jon Farris (Synge Cycle, Hobson’s Choice), Michael Fuller (Beautiful Dreamers, Pride & Prejudice), Tressa Glover, Allison Scarlet Jaye, and Sean Mellott. Scenic design is by Gianni Downs, lighting design by Cindy Limauro and Christopher Popowich, costumes by Jen Sturm, sound by Zach Moore, and properties by Ricardo Vila-Roger. House & Garden perform simultaneously in the Charity Randall and Henry Heymann Theatres, June 23 – July 17.

Two of Ireland’s favorite sons – Conall Morrison and Alan Stanford - come to Pittsburgh in August for a vibrant, stylish production of Oscar Wilde’s outrageous comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest, featuring a cast comprised entirely of gentlemen! Director Morrison joins PICT for the first time this summer, but his credits are legendary. Morrison is a former associate artist with Dublin’s famed Abbey Theatre. His current projects include the Abbey’s revival of Brian Friel’s Translations, and Arthur Miller’s classic play The Crucible, slated as the grand re-opening production in the new Lyric Theatre in Belfast. Other credits include his own adaptation of Tarry Flynn, and Martin Guerre for Cameron Mackintosh., along with productions for the Royal National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, and the English National Opera.

Stanford is well-known to PICT audiences as the director of the stunning 2008 production of Salome, as well as the Pinter Celebration’s much-lauded productions of Betrayal and Celebration. He makes his PICT acting debut as Oscar Wilde/Lady Bracknell in Earnest, though local audiences may remember Stanford for his portrayal of Pozzo in the Gate Theatre’s touring production of Samuel Beckett’s masterpiece, Waiting for Godot, which visited Pittsburgh in 2006. This critically-acclaimed production has toured the world, and is featured as part of the “Beckett on Film” series. He received a Harvey’s Theatre Award for Best Actor for his performance as Salieri in Amadeus, and was nominated for his performances as Astrov in Uncle Vanya, Higgins in Pygmalion, and Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

David Whalen returns to PICT this season to play the charming Jack Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest, and a youthful, comic Sherlock Holmes in The Mask of Moriarity. Whalen’s PICT credits include Pinter Celebration, Doubt, An Ideal Husband, and The Lieutenant of Inishmore. He has performed with some of the country’s most respected companies, including South Coast Repertory, the Shakespeare Theatre of D.C., Folger Theatre, Round House Theatre, and St. Louis Repertory Theatre.

CMU alumnus Will Reynolds and young New York-based character actor Matthew Cleaver were chosen for the plum roles of Gwendolen and Cecily following an extensive national search. Reynolds was in the PICT 2004 production of A Woman of No Importance and recently played Frank Churchill in the pre-Broadway production of Paul Gordon’s musical version of Jane Austen’s Emma at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. His other credits include productions with West Virginia Public Theatre, Goodspeed, and the national tour of Mamma Mia. Cleaver is a recent graduate of Ohio University, where he earned a B.F.A. in Theatre Performance.

The brilliant French scenic designer Sabine Dargent makes her PICT debut with The Importance of Being Earnest. The lighting design is by Jim French (Pinter Celebration, Rock ‘n’ Roll), costume design by Pei-Chi Su (King Lear, The History Boys), sound design by Erik T. Lawson (Hobson’s Choice), and properties by Ricardo Vila-Roger. The Importance of Being Earnest plays August 4-27 in the Charity Randall Theatre.

Casting for Race and The Mask of Moriarty will be completed later in the spring.

Single ticket sales begin April 4th, and money-saving season subscriptions are available now! For tickets or subscriptions, phone ProArtsTickets at 412.394.3353, or visit

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 Alliance. 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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