U.S. Premiere of Don Juan Comes Back from the War

PICT Presents U.S. Premiere of Don Juan Comes Back from the War
**Alan Stanford directs Duncan Macmillan’s new version of the Odon von Horvath play**
***Featuring David Whalen and Nike Doukas ***

 Pittsburgh, PA –July 31, 2013. British playwright Duncan Macmillan was asked numerous times to adapt Don Juan Comes Back from the War by Odon von Horvath, and after reading it in the original German as well as a few translations, he felt compelled to accept the challenge. “I thought it was a fascinating play, to take this extraordinary character – the archetypal lover Don Juan – and refract his character through the dark experience of going through the war, and coming back to a war-torn Berlin as an older man, looking for love and redemption.” Macmillan’s version of the play has only been produced once before, at the Finborough Theatre in London in 2012.  Macmillan traveled to Pittsburgh to attend rehearsals and work with director Alan Stanford and the cast for its U. S. premiere. This production will run August 8-31.

Alan Stanford, PICT’s producing artistic director, most recently directed his adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan for PICT in July 2013. “Don Juan Comes Back From the War is a most amazing journey – a pilgrim’s progress into Hell.”

The Cast:

David Whalen plays the iconic lothario Don Juan; in this play, he is a shell-shocked German soldier on a quest for redemption, seeking the love he left at the altar. He is, appropriately, the only male cast member. Whalen recently played Parker in PICT’s production of Lady Windermere’s Fan, and has more than 20 other performances to his credit on the PICT stage, including  Ivanov, Three Sisters, Doubt, The Mask of Moriarty, Stuff Happens, Julius Caesar, King Lear, Salome and The Lieutenant of Inishmore a role he reprised at the Repertory of St. Louis, winning the Kevin Kline Award for Best Actor. In 2012, he was named the MVP (Most Valuable Performer) by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as well as being recognized as Performer of the Year for 2007.  He will soon begin filming a leading role in the independent film The Legion  as well as originating a role in Tammy Ryan’s Soldier’s Heart. In December, he will reprise his role as Sherlock Homes in PICT’s Sherlock Holmes & The Crucifer of Blood.

Each of the female cast members play multiple characters. Nike Doukas just finished an acclaimed turn as Mrs. Erlynne in PICT’s Lady Windermere’s Fan. Nike played Celimene in PICT’s The School for Lies last December, as well as the role of Anna in Ivanov and Olga in Three Sisters. Other PICT credits include The Bear, House and Garden, Betrayal and Celebration.

Melinda Helfrich returns to PICT after appearing as Mrs. Daldry in In the Next Room or the vibrator play.  A native of Pittsburgh, Melinda has most recently appeared as Duck Macatarsney in The Monster in the Hall (City Theatre), and as Sanelma Kayramo in The Howling Miller (Quantum Theatre).  Additional credits include the title role in Yerma (Quantum Theatre) and as Elizabeth in Jeffery Hatcher’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (City Theatre.)

Karen Baum, a Point Park University graduate, has previously appeared in three PICT productions (King Lear, Boston Marriage and The Shaughran) as well as on stage with other Pittsburgh theatres including Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Playhouse REP, Bricolage, No Name Players, Unseam’d Shakespeare, and Off the Wall. She is a SAG-AFTRA member with film and TV credits including Promised Land, The Road, My Bloody Valentine 3D, KillPoint, and The War That Made America. She teaches for the Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Civic Light Opera and Hope Academy.

Lissa Brennan is a Pittsburgh-based actor, director, teach and playwright  whose most recent PICT appearance  was the 2012 production of  In the Next Room or the vibrator play. Previous work with PICT includes the Beckett Festival and Salome, her first opportunity to work with Alan Stanford. She has also performed with barebones, the University of Pittsburgh, Quantum Theatre, Bricolage, and her own company, Dog & Pony Show.

Catherine Moore has performed with PICT since 2001 in Portia Coughlin, Tonight at 8:30, The Seagull, the PICT Ireland tour of Faith Healer, BeckettFest, Julius Caesar, Salome, and Jane Eyre. She was last seen in Pittsburgh in the Quantum Theatre production of  Golden Dragon. As a fight choreographer, her work has been seen at PICT, City Theatre, and Pittsburgh Opera. She is an Associate Teaching Professor at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama.

Gayle Pazerski makes her PICT debut in Don Juan. She earned her BFA in Theatre from the University of Kentucky and studied in the graduate acting program at Rutgers University under William Esper. Gayle’s previous acting credits include Chicks with Dicks (Bricolage), The Book of Liz (No Name Players), and The End of the Affair (Quantum). As a playwright, Gayle’s work has been featured with Bricolage’s Midnight Radio series, No Name Players’ SWAN Day, Organic Theater Pittsburgh, and the Future Ten 10-minute play festival.

ABOUT THE PLAY:

Don Juan Comes Back from the War by Odon von Horvath in a new version by Duncan Macmillan.

The Great War has just ended. Infamous lothario Don Juan, a shell-shocked German soldier returns to a devastated Berlin, his prospects bleak. After a few days of debauchery to shed the horrors of war, Don Juan embarks on a quest to find the love he left at the altar years before. His reputation and the desires of the women he meets along the way – some who wish to love him, some who seek revenge – threaten to keep him from his goal. With dark humor, Don Juan makes his way to an uncertain fate.  Note: Appropriate for ages 18 and up. This play contains male and female full-frontal nudity and violence.

PICT Theatre (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.

FACT SHEET –  Don Juan Comes Back from the War by Odon von Horvath in a new version by Duncan Macmillan

Directed by Alan Stanford
The Henry Heymann Theatre in the Stephen Foster Memorial
4301 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Cast: David Whalen, Nike Doukas, Melinda Helfrich, Karen Baum, Lissa Brennan, Catherine Moore, Gayle Pazerski.

Design Team: Narelle Sissons (scenic and costume design); Allen Hahn (lighting design); Joe Pino (sound design); Johnmichael Bohach (properties)

Performance Schedule:
Wednesdays – Saturdays at 8pm
Sundays at 2pm
Tuesday, August 27 at 7pm
Saturday, August 31 at 2pm and 8pm

First Week:         Thursday and Friday, August 8 & 9, 8:00 pm – Previews

Saturday, August 10, 8:00 pm – Opening Night

Sunday, August 11, 2:00 pm – Talkback following performance

Second Week:    Wednesday* – Saturday, August 14-17, 8:00 pm

Sunday, August 18, 2:00 pm

Third Week:       Wednesday – Saturday, August 21-24, 8:00 pm

Sunday, August 25, 2:00 pm

Fourth Week:     Tuesday, August 27, 7:00 p.m. (Early Tuesday** performance)

Wednesday-Friday, August 28-30, 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, August 31, 2:00 pm – Matinee performance***

Saturday, August 31, 8:00 pm – Final performance

*Pre-show lecture begins at 7:00 pm in The Charity Randall Theatre.

**Early Tuesday includes 6:00 pm happy hour – free food buffet + drink specials — hosted at Joe Mama’s Restaurant, 3716 Forbes Ave. 15213)

***American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation available at this performance

PICT Special Events  

Talkback – Free to the public

Sunday, August 11, following the 2:00 p.m. performance includes director Alan Stanford and the cast of Don Juan Comes Back from the War (Approximate start 3:30 pm)

Pre-Show Lecture – Free to the public
Wednesday, August 14, 7:00-7:30 p.m.

 American Sign Language (ASL) Interpretation available at one matinee performance
Saturday, August 31, 2pm — (Must purchase ticket for performance)

 Subscription Packages: $222 – $258 (Standard prices; flex plans and pro-rated plans now available)

Single Tickets: $25-$48 ($20 under age 26 with valid ID) Prices do not include Handling Fees

Pick, purchase and print your tickets online at www.picttheatre.org,

or call 412-561-6000

# # #