PICT Classic Theatre announces 2015 is its final season at University of Pittsburgh

PICT embraces the opportunity to explore new horizons.

Pittsburgh, PA, June 8, 2015-   PICTClassic Theatre will enter its twentieth year in 2016, and today PICT announced a number of changes to its current and upcoming seasons, including an expanded schedule, additional productions and a move to a more flexible model of performance venues.

Many changes have been in the planning stages since PICT received the official notification that its relationship with the University of Pittsburgh will cease in the New Year. Because of expansions planned in the University of Pittsburgh’s Theatre Arts Department, the Stephen Foster Memorial can no longer be home to PICT’s Mainstage Series in 2016.

“We havAlan-headshot-emaile certainly benefitted from the relationship with the University of Pittsburgh, and we are proud of our long record of cooperation with the department,” affirms Alan Stanford, PICT’s Artistic & Executive Director. “But this change is an opportunity to reshape some of our plans in ways that we believe our audience will enjoy.”

“For the time being we will explore a variety of venues, and in 2016 we will adopt a new fall-to-spring season structure,” Stanford continued. “With three large-scale productions planned for this fall, we found the need to shift one into next season. As a result, Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw, which was scheduled for this September, will be postponed and will become the kick-off presentation for our 2016-2017 season. We are replacing it with Willy Russell’s brilliant play, Educating Rita.”

In addition, this current season will continue past The Tempest and Oliver Twist and into the New Year. Two additional productions are planned, including a new production of Stanford’s global smash-hit, Pride and Prejudice, which just finished two sold-out runs in Dublin and at the Hong Kong Arts Festival. This will be added to the season in early 2016, bringing the current season to a total of nine productions.

These moves by PICT come on the heels of the recent successes including the sold-out performances of Jacques Brel at the Peirce Studio in Pittsburgh’s cultural district.

Because of the changes that are the result of the move away from the University of Pittsburgh, the company is taking its financial health very seriously. In fact, PICT is not only looking for every opportunity to save, it is also focusing on new ways to raise money.

PICT announced an innovative new fundraising initiative, also spearheaded by Stanford. In an effort to draw upon the reservoir of goodwill felt by so many of PICT’s long-time supporters, PICT is seeking to raise $66,000, in honor of Stanford’s 66th birthday. This is above and beyond PICT’s normal fundraising and, as an illustration of Stanford’s commitment to PICT, he has decided to donate a portion of his salary to this campaign which already is nearly half-way toward its goal. Stanford comments, “I spend so much of my time telling people that they should donate to PICT, and now I am proving just how serious I am. I’m putting my money where my mouth is.”

“I often say that when I inherited this company, it was as if I had been given a beautiful ship and told to sail it off into the horizon, but there was this enormous anchor holding me back,” muses Stanford, “Now that we have ‘graduated’ and are moving on from our location at the University of Pittsburgh, I finally feel like we are ready to clear the decks and sail onward.”