PICT Announces a ‘Wonderfully Wicked’ 2014 Season

PICT Theatre (Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre) packs its eighteenth year of classic favorites and pure Irish genius, a return to its original mission under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Alan Stanford. The selection of plays all fit the theme, “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” a line taken from the fifth show of the season.

BLITHE SPIRIT – MAY 1-17, 2014 – THE CHARITY RANDALL THEATRE

PICT launches its season next May with Noel Coward’s immensely popular comedy Blithe Spirit.  This play made its Pittsburgh premiere at the Nixon Theatre in 1942 and was produced again in 1943, and then the Pittsburgh Playhouse produced it in 1945, but since then, there have been no professional productions of this comic gem in Pittsburgh. The story is simple: after a séance gone bad, Charles Condomine is disturbed to find that he now has two wives occupying his home— one of which is his late wife, Elvira. Blithe Spirit playfully mocks the traditions of love and marriage through the machinations of spiritual folly and the fight between a wife living, a wife dead and the haunted husband stuck between them. Even the grim reaper has no rest. A darkly amusing comedy, Blithe Spirit will be directed by PICT Producing Artistic Director Alan Stanford.

WAITING FOR GODOT – JUNE 4-21, 2014 – THE CHARITY RANDALL THEATRE

Though PICT produced BeckettFest in 2006, the company only offered a staged reading of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. In October of that same year, Alan Stanford starred as Pozzo in the Gate Theatre Dublin’s touring production at the Byham. PICT is finally producing this work as the second production of the 2014 season.Waiting for Godot, considered by many to be one of most influential plays ever written. Of this play, Alan Stanford notes, “ Two men waiting on a road for someone who never arrives. Two other men on a journey that seems to have no purpose or end.  In this simple tragic-comedy, Beckett has captured all life – the waiting and the journeying.” Aoife Spillane-Hinks, who directed PICT’s 2013 season opener Our Class will return to PICT  to direct.

WOMAN AND SCARECROW – JULY 10-AUGUST 20, 2014, THE HENRY HEYMANN THEATRE

First performed at the Royal Court Theatre in London and subsequently presented at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin,Woman and Scarecrow is Marina Carr’s perfect play about the last moments of a woman’s life. With great beauty and with clear Irish wit and wonder, this play tells the story of a life that was lived and the joy and sadness that comes that comes at journey’s end. The woman of the title is surrounded by colorful characters including her husband, her Auntie, her strange companion- and not forgetting the ‘thing’ in the closet. A wickedly wonderful plot for the adventurous spirit. Directed by Alan Stanford and starring Nike Doukas and Karen Baum.

OBSERVE THE SONS OF ULSTER MARCHING TOWARDS THE SOMME – SEPTEMBER 4-20, 2014, THE CHARITY RANDALL THEATRE

Almost legendary in Irish Theatre, Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme was written in the height of “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland. It was one of the few plays from the Irish Republic which addressed the traditions and sense of Uster-ness of the Northern Protestants. Set during the First World War, the play follows a group of new recruits to the British army from basic training to the night before the Battle of the Somme where over 50,000 British troops died on the first day. Most of the Ulster contingent were killed in the first onslaught. Award-winning Irish playwright Frank McGuinness gives us a play which brilliantly demonstrates duty, loyalty, friendship, and above all, the effect of war on men. PICT’s production marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I.

MACBETH – OCTOBER 8-25, 2014 – THE CHARITY RANDALL THEATRE

One of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, Macbeth chronicles the lust for power and the enticements that fate can offer. Macbeth, of all Shakespeare’s heroes, is the one on whom temptation and vanity wreak their most terrible revenge. He is the victim of his own delusions and of his own blind ambition. This is a play with no sub-plot. No deviations. No overtly intellectual debate. It is a play of action, power and passion. And there are three wicked witches! Alan Stanford will direct.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS – DECEMBER 3-20, 2014 – THE CHARITY RANDALL THEATRE

One of the best-known novels of England’s most prolific and loved Victorian writers, Great Expectations chronicles the life and loves of Philip Pirrip, known simply as Pip. Apprenticed to a blacksmith, kind to an escaped convict, sent to the home of an eccentric old woman (still in the bridal wear from her wedding day), Pip falls hopelessly in love with her ward. He is sent to London with great expectations of an inheritance. But the truth behind his expectations is far from anything he believed and the conclusion of his adventures is far from anything he dreamed. This classic of literature by Charles Dickens, which contains some of the author’s most colorful characters, was adapted by Hugh Leonard for Alan Stanford for production at the Gate Theatre Dublin. Alan Stanford will direct.

PICT IS NOW A BLUE STAR THEATRE

PICT Theatre is pleased to announce its participation in the Blue Star Theatre program, a program of Blue Star Families and Theatre Communications Group, with support from the MetLife Foundation. Through this program, military service members and their families can receive discounted tickets. More information about the program can be found here.

PICT Theatre (or 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 Theatre 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 performs in The Charity Randall and Henry Heymann Theatres from April through December in cooperation with the University of Pittsburgh – Department of Theatre Arts.