PICT Presents the Pittsburgh Premiere of The Crucifer of Blood by Paul Giovanni

PICT Theatre’s final production of the season is the Pittsburgh premiere of Paul Giovanni’s The Crucifer of Blood, a Sherlock Holmes adventure featuring characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Matt Torney directs. David Whalen returns to reprise the role of Sherlock Holmes since his 2011 turn as the master detective. Also returning from the 2011 production is Daryll Heysham as Inspector Lestrade. Justin R. G. Holcomb makes his PICT debut as Dr. Watson.

Matt Torney – Director
Director Matt Torney is a writer and director based in New York City. He is originally from Belfast in Northern Ireland. Since August 2009, he has been an Associate Director of Rough Magic Theatre Company, one of Ireland’s leading independent theatre companies, with whom he just directed Plaza Suite by Neil Simon (Gaiety Theatre, National Tour). In 2008 he worked for a year as the Resident Assistant Director at the Abbey Theatre. He holds an MFA in theatre directing from Columbia University taught by Anne Bogart and Brian Kulick. He also works extensively as an Art Director for film, televisions and commercials all over the United States.

Crucifer of Blood Cast Members

Top: David Whalen, Justin R. G. Holcomb, Gayle Pazerski. Bottom: Daryll Heysham, Jonathan Visser, Ken Bolden.

David Whalen – Sherlock Holmes
As an Associate Artist with PICT, David has performed more than 20 roles, including Don Juan in Don Juan Comes Back from the War this season and the title role in 2013’s Ivanov. He has performed on other Pittsburgh stages: Good People, God of Carnage, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Electra and The Royal Family (Pittsburgh Public Theatre); The Monster in the Hall, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Opus, Speak American, and The Morini Strad (City Theatre); August Osage County (The REP); Cymbeline (Quantum); and Take Me Out (barebones). In 2012, he was named the MVP Performer by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as well as being recognized by the paper as Performer of the Year for 2007. He played Claudius in the Folger Theatre’s Hamlet, which won the Helen Hayes Award in 2010. In 2009 he won the Kevin Kline Award for Best Actor for The Lieutenant of Inishmore at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, a role he previously played for PICT. David has performed across the country, in New York and in Europe, including The Roundabout, South Coast Rep, Alley Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Arden Theatre, Hartford Stage, Everyman Theatre, The Roundhouse, Center Stage, Huntington Theatre, Laguna Playhouse, McCarter Theatre, Syracuse Stage, and Venice’s Bienalle Festival, among others. David also recently wrapped filming for The Fault in Our Stars and the leading role in The Legion, and has many other film and TV credits.

Justin R. G. Holcomb – Dr. John Watson
Justin is delighted to be making his PICT debut in The Crucifer of Blood. He was recently seen in New York City playing Claudius in Hamlet. Additional credits include A Christmas Story for Actors Theatre of Louisville, Unnecessary Farce for Gulfshore Playhouse, Great Expectations for Mill Mountain Theatre; His off-Broadway credits include Channeling Kevin Spacey (Charlie) and Monster (Wray); other New York credits include Orphan Train (directed by Patricia Birch); Henry VI, pt 3 (Warwick); The Cherry Orchard (Lopakhin); Richard Foreman’s Georges Bataille’s Bathrobe (U.S. Premiere); The Moose That Roared (Theodore Roosevelt); King Lear (Cornwall); As You Like It (Dukes Frederick & Senior). He has written and composed Teen Party Massacre! and Snatchers! (both with John D. Ivy). He holds a B.F.A. in musical theatre from the University of Oklahoma. He is a Master Mason at The Brick Theatre of Brooklyn and is a member of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels.

Gayle Pazerski – Irene St. Clair
Gayle was mostly recently seen on the PICT stage in Don Juan Comes Back From the War in August. She has performed regionally in New York, Ohio, and West Virginia, and locally with Quantum Theatre, Bricolage, No Name Players, and Caravan Theatre. Favorite roles include Chantalle in Chicks with Dicks, Elvira in Blithe Spirit, Liz in The Book of Liz, and Sarah in The End of the Affair. 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. Gayle has a BFA in Theatre from the University of Kentucky and studied in the graduate acting program at Rutgers University under William Esper.

Daryll Heysham – Inspector Lestrade (and Durga Dass)
Daryll returns to PICT for a fourth time. He played the role of Inspector Lestrade in PICT’s 2011 smash hit The Mask of Moriarty. Daryll also appeared as Jimmy in The Pitmen Painters and Montano in Othello. Recently at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, he played the King of Bohemia in Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure. At the Pittsburgh Public Theater, Daryll has performed in Superior Donuts, The Royal Family, and Harry’s Friendly Service, all directed by Ted Pappas. Other Pittsburgh credits include 12 Angry Men for Prime Stage, That Championship Season for The REP, and The Clockmaker for City Theatre. Off-Broadway credits include Tony ‘n’ Tina’s Wedding and Much Ado About Nothing. Daryll played opposite George Peppard in a national tour of The Lion in Winter and logged over 1,000 performances of Shear Madness in its original Philadelphia production. Favorite roles include Biff in Death of a Salesman (opposite Harold Gould), Milo in Sleuth, Bernard in Arcadia, and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. Daryll has appeared at numerous regional theatres, including the Walnut Street Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Geva Theatre, Iowa’s Riverside Shakespeare Festival, People’s Light and Theatre Company, and Florida Stage.

Ken Bolden – Major Alistair Ross
Ken returns to PICT after having appeared in Antony and Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, and The Picture of Dorian Gray. His last local appearance was in Our Town (Prof. Willard) at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre, where he was also see in The Comedy of Errors, Amadeus, The Odd Couple, and Born Yesterday. With Quantum Theatre, he has performed in Mnemonic, John Gabriel Borkman, Mouth to Mouth, Anna Karenina and Twelfth Night. He has performed with Bricolage, Barebones, The REP, Pittsburgh Playwrights and Open Stage. On TV he has been seen in a commercial for the PA Lottery and as the Vice Principal in Nickelodeon’s Supah Ninjahs! And in film, he has been messily dispatched in Sorority Row (Dr. Rosenburg).

Jonathan Visser – Captain Neville St. Clair
In Jonathan’s short time in Pittsburgh he has worked with Bricolage, City Theater, The REP, and the The CLO. His last roles with PICT were Zygmunt in Our Class, Solyony in Three Sisters, Kosyk in Ivanov, and Dmitri in Yalta Game. Regional Credits include Dallas Theater Center, Casa Manana, Clarence Brown Theater, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Hope Summer Repertory and PCPA. Jonathan is a proud graduate of the Masters program at the University of Tennessee, 2010.

Malcolm Madera – Jonathan Small
Malcolm is making his PICT debut and in The Crucifer of Blood. His off-Broadway credits include The Mnemonist of Duchess County (The Attic); Derby Day (Camisade Theatre); Al’s Business Cards (At Play); The Tenant (Woodshed Collective); The Pied Pipers of the Lower East Side (The Amoralists); Dance Lessons (Samuel French Festival Winner); Somewhere in the Pacific (PTP, The Atlantic Stage 2); I.E., In Other Words (The Flea). His TV credits include House of Cards (Netflix); Boardwalk Empire (HBO); Taxi Brooklyn (TVFR). Film credits include The Days God Slept, And if I Stay, Dead Men, LVJ, My Brother Jack, and Circledrawers. Malcolm is a company member of The Amoralists and a founding member of The Camisade Theatre Company.

Michael Fuller – Wali Dad/Hopkins/Mordecai Smith
Michael most recently worked with PICT two seasons ago, playing Barry Love in House and Garden and Charles Strickland in Mamet’s Race. Previous PICT credits include Mark Twain (and other characters) in Beautiful Dreamers, Mr. Bingley in Pride and Prejudice, Hastings in She Stoops to Conquer and various characters in Noel Coward’s Tonight at 8:30. Other recent roles include Capt. Baines in the critically acclaimed world premiere of Tammy Ryan’s Soldier’s Heart and Steve in Becky’s New Car both at The REP, and Hamilton Effing in Too Many Cooks at St. Vincent Summer Theatre. In addition to working as a professional actor, Michael teaches theatre at Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, Carnegie Mellon University’s Drama Pre-College Program and Point Park University.

Luke Halferty – Leper/Birdy Johnson
Luke was most recently seen on the PICT stage as Mr. Hopper in Lady Windermere’s Fan. He is currently pursuing a BFA in Acting from Point Park University, where his credits include Oklahoma (Jud Fry), The Crucible (Rev. Parris), The School for Scandal (Rowley), The Outsiders (Dallas), and Afternoon of the Elves (Mr. Lennox). He has also worked with St. Vincent Summer Theatre in Too Many Cooks.

When Irene St. Clair calls on Sherlock Holmes, fearing for her father’s safety, Holmes is intrigued and Watson is smitten. With every clue, this exotic mystery becomes more deadly. Can the master detective save the day, or will an ingenious villain stay one step ahead of Holmes at every turn? Will the curse of the Treasure of Agra harm all who touch it? From the blood oath made over the chest of jewels in India, this thriller moves us throughout foggy London, from Baker Street to the spooky Pondicherry Lodge, to a Limehouse opium den to a boat chase on the Thames…and finally back to Baker Street.