PICT presents a turbulent tale for the holidays with THE LION IN WINTER


Alan Stanford is Richard II. Cary Anne Spear is Eleanor of Aquitaine.

On December 1st, PICT Classic Theatre will continue its 2016-2017 season at Union Project with THE LION IN WINTER. The play, written in 1966 by James Goldman, depicts Henry II’s transition of power during Christmas in the year 1183 amid family dysfunction and political maneuvering.

Though Goldman’s play is fictional, it is based upon actual historical events including the imprisonment of Eleanor of Aquitaine and her campaign for her sons to rebel against Henry II and seize power in 1173.

PICT’s Artistic and Executive Director Alan Stanford takes to the stage in the role of Henry II, accompanied by Cary Anne Spear as Eleanor. The cast also includes Tony Bingham, Karen Baum, Gregory Johnstone, Matt Henderson, and Dylan Marquis Meyers. THE LION IN WINTER is directed by John Shepard in a theatrical space custom built for the Union Project.

“Classic theatre, in its purest sense, is exquisite actors telling enduring stories,” said Stanford. “This season, PICT delivers ‘Classics in the Raw,’ an opportunity for theatre goers to examine five classic tales in the unique playing space of the Union Project, staged within the heart of the audience and accentuating the qualities that make them timeless. The barriers of the stage have been removed, as we invite patrons to get up close and personal with great plays, great actors, and great ideas.”

THE LION IN WINTER is the third of five plays to be produced by PICT in its 2016-2017 season at Union Project, located at 801 Negley Avenue in Highland Park. PICT Classic Theatre has partnered with Union Project in support of the organization’s mission of bridging gaps between communities through art. The season’s productions, which in addition to September’s SHIRLEY VALENTINE and THE MERCHANT OF VENICE in October, will include OEDIPUS REX and SIVE in the Spring of 2017, will all take place upon a stage especially crafted for a theatrical experience within Union Project.

THE LION IN WINTER performs December 1st through 17th, with tickets and season flex subscriptions available at pict.staging.wpengine.com or by calling the PICT Ticket Office at 412-561-6000. Student and senior discounts available. An opening night celebration will be held at Union Project following the December 3rd performance.

About John Shepard:

John Shepard has acted for PICT Classic Theatre in A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE and HEDDA GABLER. He has directed across the country from CA to ME and in Pittsburgh for Quantum (TAMARA), Off the Wall (OR, SHINING CITY) and The REP (AUGUST, OSAGE COUNTY, HEADS, CHICKEN SNAKE, ONE FLEA SPARE among others). As an actor he recently played Solness in Quantum’s THE MASTER BUILDER and on television and film in “Banshee,” “The Race” and “Fathers and Daughters.” He has played many roles for The REP, Pittsburgh Public, City and Quantum Theatre. Last year his book “Auditioning and Acting for the Camera” was named one of Backstage Magazine’s “11 Amazing Books for the On-Camera Actor.” He teaches acting and directing at Point Park.

About Alan Stanford:

Alan Stanford (Artistic & Executive Director) is in his ninth season at PICT. He was, for more than thirty years, a principal and leading actor with the renowned Gate Theatre, Dublin, where he recently directed a box office record breaking production of The Constant Wife, and previously Pride and Prejudice, which was taken to the Hong Kong Arts Festival in February 2015. He founded Ireland’s Second Age Theatre Company. PICT credits: Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, For the Tree to Drop, Great Expectations, Macbeth, Woman and Scarecrow, Macbeth, Pozzo in Waiting for Godot, Blithe Spirit, Don Juan Comes Back from the War, Lady Windermere’s Fan, and The Kreutzer Sonata. Other credits: The School for Scandal (Point Park Conservatory), works by Shakespeare, Molière, Noël Coward, Oscar Wilde, Shaw, Beckett, and Brecht.

About Union Project:

Union Project is a historic space that community restored maintained; the space was transformed as a creative solution to provide a safe and open space for the community. Union Project has come a long way since 2001, but its work still centers on the transformative power of the arts. Union Project believes that art can create change, and help to build a more inclusive, empathetic, and just community.

About PICT Classic Theatre:

PICT Classic Theatre is committed to the creation of high-quality, professional thought-provoking theatre of substance. PICT accomplishes its mission by investing in and promoting the greater Pittsburgh community. PICT is the only professional company within the Pittsburgh region dedicated solely to presenting classics and the “modern” classics of Irish and world theater.