Get turned on by PICT’s electrifying 2012 season! American playwrights, Friel and Chekhov bring five Pittsburgh premieres – and new lower ticket prices! – to town this season
Pittsburgh, PA – October 12, 2011. Flip the switch and watch the sparks fly as PICT raises the voltage with their hot 2012 season! Pittsburgh audiences will get a charge out of a titillating new play by a leading American female playwright, a true story, an exploration of the comedic facets of a Russian master (and the great Irishman who was inspired by him), and a zany holiday farce! The 2012 season features FIVE Pittsburgh premieres and a U.S. premiere, and runs April through August, with a special December production in time for the holidays. Great stories, well told, and new lower prices (with special recession-busting seating options for all productions) will leave audiences tingling all over and guarantee a happy ending!
PICT plugs into the 2012 season in April with Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room or the vibrator play, a smash-hit across the country receiving its first production in the Pittsburgh region. Next up, Pittsburgh audiences will be inspired and delighted by The Pitmen Painters, the Evening Standard Award-winning new play by British playwright Lee Hall (Billy Elliot). The heart of the summer is devoted to celebrating the greatest Russian playwright of all time, Anton Chekhov, as seen through the eyes of two contemporary authors who are geniuses in their own right — Tom Stoppard and Brian Friel. The festival includes the American premiere of Stoppard’s brilliant new version of Ivanov, and Brian Friel’s stunning newly-revised adaptation of Three Sisters. Irish master Friel’s long fascination with Chekhov is also evidenced in After Chekhov, a special program of featuring The Yalta Game and Afterplay. A second program of shorts, Funny Chekhov, features Chekhov’s early comic vaudevilles. And speaking of comedy, the super-charged season ends on a dazzling note of verbal virtuosity with the December production of David Ives’ absolutely hilarious new adaptation of Moliere’s The Misanthrope, The School for Lies.
This season features new lower prices on single tickets and subscriptions, and a special recession-busting program to make PICT tickets affordable for everyone. Full-priced tickets for premium seats are reduced, and a special program making $25 seats available for ALL PICT performances is being implemented.
PICT starts the season with the most stimulating play in American theatre today, Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room or the vibrator play. The play centers on Dr. Givings, a physician who treats “female hysteria” patients with a new electric invention, while in the adjoining room his own wife yearns for what is missing in their marriage. Pulitzer prize finalist Sarah Ruhl’s Tony-nominated hit has generated a buzz of excitement from East Coast to West since its Broadway run in 2009. In the Next Room or the vibrator play runs April 19th through May 5th in the Charity Randall Theatre.
May and June herald the regional premiere of a play that celebrates the very notion of community, Lee Hall’s The Pitmen Painters. Winner of London’s 2009 Olivier Award for Best Play, this true story about an inspiring group of miners touched the hearts of audiences around the world. In 1934, a group of Ashington miners and a dental mechanic hired a professor from Newcastle University to teach an evening Art Appreciation class. Unable to understand each other at first, they embarked on one of the most unusual experiments in British art, as the pitmen learned to become painters. Within a few years the most avant-garde artists became their friends, their work was taken for prestigious collections and they were celebrated throughout the British art world; but every day they worked, as before, down the mine. PICT producing artistic director Andrew Paul helms this Pittsburgh premiere, running May 31 st through June 23 in the intimate Henry Heymann Theatre.
PICT amps it up in July and August, continuing its tradition of internationally-recognized festivals with Tragedian in Spite of Himself: A Celebration of the Life and Theatre of Anton Chekhov. In Chekhov’s scenes of provincial life, comic mayhem arises from quarrels over land and money, strategic alliances (usually marriages), and a sense of personal failure that lies, as one character has it, “beyond self ruin”. The festival opens with what is perhaps Chekhov’s best-loved play, Three Sisters, featuring a newly-revised adaptation by beloved Irish playwright Brian Friel. Three Sisters poignantly conveys the struggles, loves and secret desires of Masha, Olga, and Irina and their somewhat ineffectual brother Andrey. Set in a mythological provincial town in late 19th century Russia, we see their lives unfold before our eyes. Three Sisters plays July 19th through August 26th in the Henry Heymann Theatre.
The U.S. premiere of Tom Stoppard’s new English language version of Ivanov blends the comic and the tragic elements of this early work by the great Russian master. A sort of comic Hamlet, Ivanov is overcome with inertia and self-disgust. His wife is dying and he feels nothing. He is drowning in debt and despair, and he does nothing. Is it him? Is it Russia? Ivanov was the twentyseven-year-old Chekhov’s shot at dispatching the ‘superfluous man’ of Russian literature; in surrounding him with a brilliantly-drawn set of provincial types, he created some of the finest comedy he ever wrote. Ivanov, directed by Andrew Paul, plays August 2nd through 25th in the Charity Randall Theatre.
The Chekhov Festival also features two programs of short plays. After Chekhov features Brian Friel’s The Yalta Game and Afterplay. The Yalta Game is inspired by a theme in Chekhov’s famous short story “The Lady with the Lapdog”. Two strangers meet on holiday and almost manage to convince one another that disappointments are ‘merely the postponement of the complete happiness to come…’ Afterplay is set in 1920’s Moscow in a small, run-down café. Uncle Vanya’s niece Sonya Serebriakova, now in her forties, is the only customer…until the arrival of the Three Sisters’ put-upon brother, Andrey Prozorov. After Chekhov is directed by Alan Stanford, and performs in the Henry Heymann Theatre from August 10th through the 26th . Funny Chekhov runs August 17 th through the 25th in the Charity Randall Theatre, and will feature an evening of four short comic plays and vaudevilles by Chekhov.
Absolute truthfulness sounds like a GREAT idea…until it shorts out friendships and creates hilarious friction! PICT brings the circuit full-circle with its final show of the season, The School for Lies. David Ives’ freewheeling adaptation of Moliere’s The Misanthrope brings a disillusioned curmudgeon named Frank into direct conflict with everyone he meets when he vows to tell the truth – no matter how disconcerting or offensive it may be! This being a comedy, however, Frank is diverted from his high-minded path by his love for the beautiful Celimene, a bored aristocrat with a sharp wit – and a sharp tongue – to match his! The play’s virtuosic use of language turns their verbal duel into theatrical fireworks of the highest order. The magnetic Nike Doukas and Leo Marks return to PICT for this holiday treat, directed by Andrew Paul and playing in the Charity Randall Theatre from November 29th through December 15th .
For more information, phone 412.561.6000.
PICT 2012 Season Fact Sheet
The Charity Randall and Henry Heymann Theatres, Stephen Foster Memorial, 4301 Forbes Avenue, Oakland
In the Next Room or the vibrator play by Sarah Ruhl A Pittsburgh Premiere The Charity Randall Theatre April 19 – May 5
The Pitmen Painters by Lee Hall A Pittsburgh Premiere Directed by Andrew S. Paul Henry Heymann Theatre May 31 – June 23
Chekhov Celebration Tragedian in Spite of Himself: A Celebration of the Life and Theatre of Anton Chekhov July 19 – August 26
Three Sisters, adapted by Brian Friel Henry Heymann Theatre July 19 – August 26
Ivanov, new English version by Tom Stoppard U.S. Premiere Directed by Andrew S. Paul The Charity Randall Theatre August 2 – 25
After Chekhov Featuring The Yalta Game and Afterplay by Brian Friel Pittsburgh Premieres Directed by Alan Stanford Henry Heymann Theatre August 10 – 26
Funny Chekhov Short plays and vaudevilles by Anton Chekhov The Charity Randall Theatre August 17 – 25
The School for Lies by David Ives A free adaptation of Moliere’s The Misanthrope A Pittsburgh Premiere Directed by Andrew S. Paul The Charity Randall Theatre November 29 – December 15
Tickets: Subscriptions: $252 – $176 (wide range of packages and flex plans available) Single Tickets: $48 – $25 ($20 youth ticket for under 26) Call ProArtsTickets at 412.394.3353 or visit online www.picttheatre.org
PICT – Great Stories. Well Told.