Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ivanov Continues PICT's Chekhov Celebration



Media Contact: Michelle Belan
Marketing Director Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre mbelan@picttheatre.org
412-561-6000 x203

Pittsburgh, PA – July 23, 2012. PICT’s celebration of Anton Chekhov continues with the American premiere of Tom Stoppard’s hilarious new adaptation of Chekhov’s early play, Ivanov. Directed by Andrew S. Paul, this production features David Whalen in the title role, Nike Doukas as his ailing wife Anna, Alan Stanford as his aristocratic uncle Count Shabelsky, Matt DeCaro as his scheming estate manager Borkin, Helena Ruoti as neighbor Zinaida Lebedev, Martin Giles as her husband Pavel Lebedev, and introducing Katya Stepanova as Sasha. The show runs from August 2- 25 in The Charity Randall Theatre, Oakland. Ivanov portrays the life of a man trapped by his own inaction. Hamlet-like, he leaves those around him struggling to find satisfaction. Chekhov’s irrepressible Russian humor combines with the tragedy of the human condition, and all is filtered through Tom Stoppard’s uniquely zany perspective. The result is a powerful, often hilarious play that will keep audiences thinking long after the curtain closes.  Many in this cast of 19 also play roles in the three other festival productions, Three Sisters, After Chekhov and Funny Chekhov.

Andrew S. Paul selected Ivanov in part because Tom Stoppard’s brilliant adaptation rescues this early play from obscurity. “No longer can this masterpiece be considered a lesser work. Stoppard recognized the humor woven throughout the play, staying true to Chekhov’s original text but bringing the characters and their words alive for contemporary audiences.” This production marks the U.S. premiere of Stoppard’s adaptation.


Harriet Power, director of Three Sisters, which opened July 19, 2012 and runs through August 26th, chose Paul Schmidt’s distinctly American translation for similarly humorous reasons. “He understood how funny Chekhov often is – and his translation is indispensable for me, as a director, in mining the superb humor that’s often missed, even when tragedy strikes.” Three Sisters features Nike Doukas, Allison McLemore and Vera Varlamov as sisters Olga, Masha and Irina; Christian Conn as brother Andrei, David Whalen as Vershinin and Joe Domencic as Masha’s husband Kulygin. Megan McDermott, Leo Marks, Jonathan Visser, Larry John Meyers, Adrian Blake Enscoe, Billy Hepfinger, Robert Haley, Colette Freiwald and Grace Ellen complete the cast.

Irish playwright Brian Friel, a frequent adapter of Chekhov’s work, is featured in the festival’s After Chekhov. In Afterplay, Martin Giles and Helena Ruoti portray Chekhov characters from Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya decades into the future; working from Chekhov’s famous short story, “The Lady with the Lapdog,” Friel imagined two characters who meet on holiday in The Yalta Game. (starring Jonathan Visser and Allison McLemore.)

Funny Chekhov celebrates Chekhov’s wit in 5 short plays and vaudevilles: The Bear, The Proposal, Swan Song, Drama: A Comedy, and On the Evils of Tobacco. These neglected gems of the theatre are served up by our talented repertory cast, including Pittsburgh’s own James FitzGerald, Larry John Meyers, Terry Wickline, Colette Freiwald and Joe Domencic, as well as recent Pittsburgh transplant and PICT artist-in-residence  Alan Stanford.


The festival repertory company includes celebrated Pittsburgh actors David Whalen and Martin Giles, who most recently graced the PICT stage as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson in PICT’s The Mask of Moriarty, and Helena Ruoti, PICT’s Cleopatra in last season’s Antony and Cleopatra.  Nike Doukas returns to PICT, where she last appeared in House & Garden.  She is the recipient of the 2011 Lunt-Fontanne fellowship and is widely known for her recurring role on "Desperate Housewives." Irish stage legend Alan Stanford is PICT’s 2012 Artist in Residence.  Jonathan Visser recently played Sylvia in CLO Cabaret’s Ruthless. Larry John Meyers (fresh off the success of PICT’s The Pitmen Painters) Robert Haley, whose numerous credits include performances in Canada’s Shaw and Stratford festivals, and PICT’s 2011 Actor-in-Residence  Leo Marks are also featured.

Allison McLemore returns to PICT for her third season; she previously starred in PICT productions Jane Eyre and Othello. Vera Varlamov is making her professional debut at PICT.  She was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and received her MFA from Rutgers. Matt DeCaro’s previous PICT credits include King Lear and The Lieutenant of Inishmore; he has worked in film and on television, including a recurring role for two seasons on “Prison Break.” Christian Conn is in his first season with PICT, but recently played Orlando in As You Like It at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre. Katya Stepanova, a rising senior in Carnegie Mellon University’s BFA program, makes her PICT debut in Three Sisters. Adrian Blake Enscoe, a 2012 graduate of the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, also lends his guitar artistry to the productions. Colette Freiwald, a Point Park University graduate with an extensive career in voiceover and commercial film work, returns to the stage for the Chekhov Celebration. Keith Foster, a student at Marietta College, makes his professional debut. Grace Ellen, a PICT intern and sophomore at NYU’s Tisch School of Drama, rounds out the repertory cast.

Chekhov Celebration scenic design is by Gianni Downs, lighting by Allen Hahn and sound design by Liz Atkinson. Costumes for Three Sisters and Ivanov by Pei-Chi Su; Funny Chekhov and After Chekhov by Rachel S. Parent. Properties by George DeShetler, Jr.

The 2012 Media Sponsors are WYEP and Essential Public Radio. Single tickets are available now through PICT’s new online ticketing system at www.picttheatre.org,  or by calling ProArtsTickets at 412.394.3353 for an additional $1.50 phone fee. A range of options are available for money-saving season subscriptions, and can be purchased by contacting Carolyn Ludwig at 412.561.6000 x207, emailing tickethelp@picttheatre.org, or on the PICT website at www.picttheatre.org.

PICT receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as well as funding from the Allegheny County Regional Assets District and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Chekhov Celebration is also sponsored by The Pittsburgh Foundation and Mr. Richard E. Rauh.

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 Council. 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.

Ivanov Performances
First Week: Thursday – Friday, August 2-3, Previews, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 4, Opening, 8:00 p.m. (followed by reception)
Sunday, August 5, 2:00 p.m. (followed by talk-back)

Second Week: Tuesday, August 7, 7:00 p.m. (Professional Tuesday performance) Thursday, August 9, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 11, 8:00 p.m. Third Week: Wednesday, August 15, 8:00 p.m.
Fourth Week:  Friday, August 24, 8:00 pm
Saturday, August 25, 2:00 p.m.

For the schedule of performances for the other festival offerings, please visit picttheatre.org

Subscriptions: $224 - $252 (10 packages and Flex Plans available)
Single Tickets: starting at $25 ($20 under 26 with valid ID)

Chekhov Celebration Special Package:
See all four shows (selected dates) for $136 – includes all fees:
  Three Sisters (7/19 or 7/20)
  Ivanov (8/2, 8/3, 8/4, 8/5, 8/7, 8/9, 8/11, 8/15, 8/24, 8/25)
  After Chekhov (8/17 or 8/18)
   Funny Chekhov (8/22 or 8/26)
Must call 412-561-6000 x. 207 or x. 203 to order.

Three Sisters Performances
First Week: Thursday – Friday, July 19-20, Previews, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 21, Opening, 8:00 p.m. (followed by reception)
Sunday, July 22, 2:00 p.m. (followed by talk-back)

Second Week: Tuesday, July 24, 7:00 p.m. (Professional Tuesday performance) Wednesday – Friday, July 25-27, 8:00 p.m.*
Saturday, July 28, 2:00 p.m & 8:00 p.m. (2 shows)
*preshow lectures Wednesday and Thursday, July 25 and 26, 7:00 p.m. Free.

Third Week: Wednesday, August 8, 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 12, 2:00 p.m.

Fourth Week:  Thursday, August 16, 8:00 pm
Sunday, August 19, 7:00 p.m.

Fifth Week: Thursday, August 23, 8:00 pm
Sunday, August 26, 2:00 p.m.

After Chekhov Performances
First Week: Friday, August 10, Opening, 8:00 p.m. (followed by reception)
Saturday, August 11, 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 12, 7:00 p.m. (followed by talk-back)

Second Week: Tuesday, August 14, 7:00 p.m. (Professional Tuesday performance) Saturday, August 18, 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 19, 2:00 p.m.

Third Week: Wednesday, August 22, 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 26, 7:00 pm

Funny Chekhov Performances
First Week: Friday, August 17, Opening, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 18, 2:00 p.m.

Second Week: Tuesday, August 21, 7:00 p.m. (Professional Tuesday performance) Saturday, August 25, 8:00 p.m.

Pick, purchase and print your tickets online at  www.picttheatre.org, or call ProArtsTickets at 412.394.3353
PICT - Great Stories. Well Told.

Posted on behalf of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates.  Joyce Kane is the owner of Cybertary Pittsburgh, a Virtual Administrative support company, providing virtual office support, personal and executive assistance, creative design services and light bookkeeping.  Cybertary works with businesses and busy individuals to help them work 'on' their business rather than 'in' their business.  www.Cybertary.com/Pittsburgh

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