A Midsummer Night`s Dream - Pittsburgh Public Theater

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A Midsummer Night`s Dream - Pittsburgh Public Theater
ation
Winter 2009/2010
T H E N E W S L E T T E R O F P I T T S B U R G H P U B L I C T H E AT E R
Winter at
The O’Reilly
Classics by two of
the world’s greatest
playwrights heat up
The Public’s stage.
William
Shakespeare’s
A
midsum mer
Night’s
e r ’s
l
l
i
M
r
u
A rt h
Dream
MARCH 4
through APRIL 4
directed by Tracy Brigden
IN THIS ISSUE
Victor and Walter Franz are brothers who
haven’t spoken to each other for 16 years.
We meet them in 1968 in their late father’s
Manhattan brownstone. The brothers, along
with Victor’s wife Esther, are facing each
other again to clear out the attic, and
perhaps clear the air. There to help them sort
through the remnants is a near 90-year-old
antiques dealer who brings wit and wisdom
to the proceedings. “One of the most
entertaining plays that Miller has ever
written,” said Clive Barnes of this drama
about the price that’s paid for the choices
we make.
2.
The Public’s
Midsummer
dream team
6.
A look
at the life of
Arthur Miller
JANUARY 21
through FEBRUARY 21
directed by Ted Pappas
This comic extravaganza brings together
the vibrant fairy kingdom, a quartet of
mismatched lovers, the bewitched Bottom,
and a band of bumbling rustics in the
world’s most magical play. Ted Pappas,
the director of Metamorphoses, Amadeus,
and Cabaret, and his brilliant team of
designers, will transform the O’Reilly
Theater into an enchanted forest in a
ravishing new production of Shakespeare’s
exhilarating masterpiece.
5.
Rob Zellers
introduces
kids to
Shakespeare
8.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
is sponsored by
Meet board
member
Barrie Athol
Pittsburgh, PA
Permit #1989
PITTSBURGH PUBLIC THEATER
at the O’Reilly Theater
621 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
PAID
Non-Profit
Organization
U.S. Postage
Dream Team
2
DESIGN YOUR OWN DREAM SEASON WITH A FLEX PLAN
When Ted Pappas decided to
stage his new production of
A Midsummer Night’s
Dream, his first call was to
Scenic Designer James Noone.
by Margie Romero
TED PAPPAS has never directed a theater
production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
He has staged Benjamin Britten’s opera
version, but never the play. As Producing
Artistic Director at The Public, one of Ted’s
responsibilities is to choose the line-up of plays
that will be seen during the theater’s season.
When thinking about 2009/10 and what he’d
like to direct, he decided the time was right to
dream up a brand-new production of
Shakespeare’s magical masterpiece.
Once Ted made up his mind to Dream, he
knew he wanted to Dream big. That meant a call
to Scenic Designer James Noone, with whom
Ted has collaborated on his most ambitious
projects here and all over the country. At
Pittsburgh Public Theater alone their work
includes Metamorphoses, Cabaret, Amadeus, The
Mikado, The Importance of Being Earnest, Oedipus
the King, Mary Stuart, and Man of LaMancha.
“More than any other guest artist, Jim has
influenced the aesthetic of this company,”
Ted says.
Although Jim is an Assistant Professor of
Scenic Design at Boston University, he works
regularly in theaters across America and
especially likes coming here. “I’ve fallen in love
with the space,” he says, “and The Public has
the best production department in America.”
During their initial phone conversation,
Ted and Jim talked about devising a fresh
approach to the production. At The Public,
they have worked together on numerous
Shakespeare plays, including The Tempest,
Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, and
The Comedy of Errors. “But every time we get
together we start over,” Ted says. “Nothing
looks like anything else. We always surprise
each other, and our goal is to surprise and
astonish the audience,” he says.
Jim was at The Public in November to
supervise the installation of his gorgeous scenic
design for The Little Foxes, which Ted also
directed. During a few minutes of down time,
they switched gears to look at drawings that Jim
Pittsburgh Public Theater Producing Artistic Director Ted
Scenic Designer James Noone is a frequent guest artist at
Pappas.
The Public.
had produced for A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
“A lot of directors bring a concept,” Jim says.
“We never try to make a play fit our concept.
Instead, we provide a context. We try to come out
of the center of the play and find the truth.”
Ted describes A Midsummer Night’s Dream as
romantic, comic, and mystical. “It’s a playful,
open, and generous play,” he says. It includes
22 characters, which will be played by 14 actors,
many of whom double as per Shakespeare’s
casting assignments. As the story begins, Duke
Theseus and Hippolyta are preparing for their
wedding. The ceremony will be carried out,
“With pomp, with triumph, and with revelling,”
the script tells us. Also with love on their
minds, but not quite ready for marriage, are the
younger members of the party – Hermia,
Lysander, Helena, and Demetrius – who escape
into the woods near Athens to pursue their
fickle yet amorous adventures.
“Our interpretation is not psychological and
it’s not metaphoric,” Jim says. “It will look like
how we feel about the play: it will have a sense of
mystery and also of movement, like a ballet
space. Most of all it will be a theatrical space,”
he says, “a magical transformation from palace
to forest that is delightful and beautiful.”
Jim says the production will be neo-classical,
with the setting and costumes (created by
Costume Designer Gabriel Berry) in the style of
the early 1800s – reminiscent of ancient Athens
but more French. Ted says that both he and Jim
do a lot of research, investigating art, poetry,
and music. “It is part of our never-ending quest
for detail and context,” he says. Whenever
possible the director and designer take their
cues from Shakespeare’s own stage directions
in the First Folio, published in 1623. For
instance, the entrances of the Fairy King and
Queen, Oberon and Titania, are from separate
doors on the set.
“Jim is enamored of actors and creates a
world where the actors rule,” Ted says. “He
gives us a ravishing physical production
but you can’t take your eyes off the performers.”
According to Jim, that’s the way it should be.
“Design is there to allow the actors and
the play to be heard,” he says. Both believe in
letting Shakespeare run the show. “The
language creates the imagery,” Ted says. Jim
agrees, “ All I have to do is unlock the
audience’s imagination.”
“All of the play takes place outdoors,” Ted says.
“We want to get a real sense of being outside
without a literal recreation. We also want the
scenic design to be site-specific, to take full
advantage of the width, height, and openness of
the O’Reilly Theater.”
In addition to the lovers, also found in the
forest are the “rude mechanicals,” a sextet of
sincere though hilarious craftsmen who meet to
rehearse an entertainment they will perform at
the Duke’s wedding feast. Meanwhile, all this
activity among the oaks is disturbing the true
woodland residents: the Fairies.
FOR TICKETS CALL
412.316.1600 OR ORDER ONLINE PPT.ORG
3
Back By Popular Demand!
Public Theater favorites return with Midsummer surprises.
by Ted Pappas
JOHN AHLIN
Shakespeare had Will
Kempe as his Clown
Prince. Pittsburgh Public
Theater, blessedly, has
John Ahlin. His
performances as
Dogberry in Much Ado
About Nothing and
Stephano in The Tempest
were so alive,
spontaneous, and true
that it seemed as if the
great writer himself had John Ahlin as Dogberry in
used John as the
Much Ado About Nothing.
inspiration for the roles.
He is a busy Broadway actor and an
accomplished playwright, but for the next
few weeks he will be Bottom the
Weaver/turned Thespian/turned Ass in another
tour-de-force performance.
Harris Doran as The Emcee in Cabaret.
HARRIS DORAN Every performance by
Harris Doran is an event. He is a one-of-a-kind
actor who galvanized the Pittsburgh theater
scene with his astonishing portrayals of The
Emcee in Cabaret and Mozart in Amadeus.
Now he tackles one of the most delightful
roles in Shakespeare’s canon: Puck, the
jester-in-chief to Oberon, King of the Fairy
World. Harris is a force of nature – ideal
casting as a creature of the forest.
Daniel Krell as Cliff in Cabaret.
J.T. Arbogast as Phaëton in Metamorphoses.
ALEX COLEMAN
His friends call
him Stephen. His colleagues call him a brilliant
chameleon. The gifted Mr. Coleman has
graced our stage in a variety of guises, from
the knife-wielding Carmine in the premiere
of Harry’s Friendly Service to the bereft father
searching for his family in The Comedy of
Errors. For Midsummer, he plays Quince,
stage director of “Pyramus and Thisbe,”
Shakespeare’s play within the play –
another star in his constellation of
marvelous performances.
BETH WITTIG
J.T. ARBOGAST Remember Phaëton,
the fellow on the raft in Metamorphoses
whining about his lot in life? Or the winged
Eros floating through the water, blindfolded, or
the drunken Silenus making a splash in Midas’
pool in the same play? Well, they were all
played by one man: the amazing J.T. Arbogast.
He is a classically trained actor who is quickly
gaining renown as an improvisational artist
and comedian. Watch him work his magic on
the role of Demetrius, the fickle suitor of both
Hermia and Helena. Welcome back, J.T.!
Alex Coleman as Carmine Carducci in Harry’s Friendly Service.
DANIEL KRELL Apparently, there is no
role that is out of this versatile actor’s reach.
He made his debut with our company as
Anthony, the lovelorn sailor in Sondheim’s
Sweeney Todd. His rendition of “Johanna”
was ravishing. Since then he has appeared in
everything from the dramatic works of
Sophocles and Eugene O’Neill to the operettas
of Gilbert and Sullivan. Our audiences still rave
about his definitive performance as Cliff in
Cabaret. Now he returns as Shakespeare’s
Francis Flute, for his 16th production with
The Public.
She is a comedienne.
She is a tragedienne.
She is a leading lady.
She is a young actress
on the brink of a
dazzling career. Beth
Wittig is all of these
and more. Pittsburgh Beth Wittig as Josie in A
audiences fell in love Moon for the Misbegotten.
with her as Josie in A Moon for the
Misbegotten, in a heartbreaking performance
of depth and power. She returns to The
O’Reilly to enchant us, once again: this time as
the side-splitting Helena, hell-bent on snagging
the man of her dreams.
4
INTRODUCE YOUR FAMILY TO SHAKESPEARE WITH A “FUN PACK”
The cast of A Midsummer Night’s Dream
John Ahlin
Nick Bottom
Bianca Amato
Titania/Hippolyta
J.T. Arbogast
Demetrius
Tony Bingham
Tom Snout
Meggie Booth
First Fairy
Alex Coleman
Peter Quince/Egeus
Harris Doran
Puck/Philostrate
James Fitzgerald
Robin Starveling
Daniel Krell
Francis Flute
Lindsey Kyler
Hermia
Devin E. Malcolm
Snug
Lucas Near-Verbrugghe
Lysander
A midsumme r
Night’s Dream
William
Shakespeare’s
Alex Lindsay Roth
First Fairy
David Whalen
Oberon/Theseus
Beth Wittig
Helena
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
FA M I LY F U N PAC K
✦
✦
★
✦
TICKET
PRICES
Sunday through
Thursday
evenings and
all matinees:
$35, $45, $50
a
Friday and
Saturday
evenings:
$40, $50, $55
Students and age
26 and younger
$15 (see back cover
for more about
discounts)
P – Preview
TGIF – Post-show music
a – Brunch Series
O – Opening
SF – Sunday Forum
FOR TICKETS CALL
✦
✦
✦
✦
✦
INCLUDES:
2 adult tickets
2 student tickets
to
A Midsummer
Night’s Dream
and more!
✦
✦
✦
✦
✦
★
✦
✦
✦
✦
✦
✦
ONLY
100
$
★
PER PACK
412.316.1600 OR ORDER ONLINE PPT.ORG
TGIF —Friday, January 22
Donora’s music can be heard on MTV
programs, a Starz film, and their own
recording. On Friday, January 22, you can hear
the melodic power pop of this local trio live
after the show in The Public’s main lobby.
Complimentary coffee from Starbucks and a
cash bar will also be available.
Fun Packs can be customized
to fit your needs.
✦
The number of tickets in each package can vary
(a minimum of one student ticket per package is
required). Recommended for ages 10 and up.
Call 412.316.1600 for details.
Valid ID required for all student tickets.
FOR TICKETS CALL
412.316.1600 OR ORDER ONLINE PPT.ORG
5
CHAIRMAN OF THE BARD
Through the Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest,
Rob Zellers helps students to become great characters.
For Pittsburgh Public Theater patrons, Rob
Zellers is a marquee name. He’s well-known as
co-author of The Chief, and for the world
premiere last season of his play Harry’s
Friendly Service.
But for thousands of current and former
elementary and high school students,
Mister Zellers is the adult who helped them
understand and speak some of the most
thrilling language ever written – the words of
William Shakespeare.
In addition to being a playwright, Rob is
The Public’s Director of Education & Outreach.
In this role he runs the theater’s annual
Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest, now
in its 16th year. The competition invites kids in
grades 4 through 12 to come to The Public and
perform short selections they’ve chosen from
among the works of the immortal Bard.
“Shakespeare is typically taught in literature
class, where it’s often read as a homework
assignment,” Rob says. “That’s quite distant
from what a theater does with it. Performing
Shakespeare is a much better way for young
people to approach and understand it.”
Rob believes that by understanding
Shakespeare, an understanding is gained of
what it means to be human. He explains:
“King Lear making the decision to divide up his
estate; Juliet, a teenager head over heels in love,
contrary to her parent’s wishes; Benedick and
Beatrice firmly committed to not getting
together; Henry V rallying his small army
against terrible odds in his St. Crispin’s Day
speech. Jealousy, rage, greed, foolishness,
nobility – it’s all these things that make us
human,” he says.
In addition to these insights, Rob thinks that
simply learning the lines is a great exercise for
students. “Kids don’t have that many reasons to
memorize anymore,” he says. “The Shakespeare
Monologue & Scene Contest is a unique
opportunity for young people to do this and to
appreciate the great joy and fun of performance.”
According to Rob, most participants in this
event have no interest in acting as a profession,
but year after year they compete with many
students from our region who are intent on
pursuing an acting career. “We welcome,
embrace, and value everyone,” he says. Rob
mentions two of the many who have gone on to
have successful acting careers: Gillian Jacobs,
from Mt Lebanon, who in addition to stage and
film work is now appearing in the TV sitcom
“Community,” and Lara Hillier, from Upper St.
Clair, who just played Alexandra in The Public’s
production of The Little Foxes and has a growing
resume of New York acting credits.
Those who attend A Midsummer Night’s Dream
will see two more recent Shakespeare Contest
winners: seventh-graders Meggie Booth and
Alex Lindsay Roth, who will share the role of
SUMMER YOUTH CLASSES AT THE PUBLIC
First Fairy (appearing in alternate
performances).
Whether professional or not, Rob is intensely
proud of all the students who take part in the
Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest. “The
kids totally seize it and make it their own,” he
says. “They’re brilliant!”
16th Annual Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest
SHOWCASE OF FINALISTS
ACTING WORKSHOP : SCENE STUDY
Ages: 13 - 17
June 14 through 25, 2010
M-F: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
$300
Rob Zellers
Featuring 25 Performances
Monday, Feb. 15, 7 p.m. • O’Reilly Theater • FREE Admission
INTRODUCTION TO PLAYWRITING
& SCREENWRITING
Ages: 13 - 17
June 21 through July 9, 2010
MWF: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
$250
ACTING WORKSHOP : MAKING IT REAL
Ages 10 - 12
June 14 through 25, 2010
M-F: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
$250
ACTING WORKSHOP : IMPROVISATION
Ages: 13 - 17
July 5 through 9, 2010
M-F: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
$250
ACTING WORKSHOP :
SHAKESPEARE INTENSIVE
Ages: 13 - 17
July 12 through 30, 2010
M-F: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
$350
All classes and workshop are held in the O’Reilly Theater, Pittsburgh
Public Theater’s home in the heart of the Cultural District. To enroll, visit
www.ppt.org or call the Education Department at 412.316.8200, ext. 715.
Last year’s winners from Beaver County Christian School did a scene from A Midsummer
Night’s Dream
Funding for The Public’s Youth Education and
Outreach Programs was provided by a grant from
The BNY Mellon Charitable Foundation.
Additional Support Provided By
6
CUSTOMIZE YOUR THEATER EXPERIENCE WITH A FLEX PLAN
The
Drama
of
ARTHUR
MILLER
A LOOK AT THE THEATER TRIUMPHS
AND OFF-STAGE TRAGEDIES OF A
GREAT AMERICAN PLAYWRIGHT
by Margie Romero
Arthur Miller was both brilliant and flawed. In
most occupations, flaws are not an asset. In
playwriting, however, they can sometimes
help the artist to understand all sides of the
human condition. Especially an artist whose
life was as full and complicated as Miller’s.
With the skill and fearlessness of a surgeon,
Miller probes the emotional anatomy of a family
in The Price. What he reveals are layers of
feelings that most people have experienced at
some point in their lives: who can I trust, what’s
the right thing to do, should I let heart or head
lead my life?
The Price debuted on Broadway in 1968 and is
set during that time, yet it feels as current as
today’s news reports. The play’s relevance lies
in a central question it asks: how would I behave
if my family lost a fortune overnight? Many
people across America have had to face this
situation recently, and the answers found can
have a huge effect on relationships.
That’s the dilemma faced by brothers Victor
and Walter Franz in The Price. Although they
haven’t talked to each other for years, they meet
again to clear out the attic of their late father’s
house, which is about to be torn down. We learn
that their father lost his wealth in the stock
market crash of 1929, and that the brothers’
lives were shaped by decisions they made
during the Great Depression.
Miller had personal knowledge of this
difficult time. He was born in 1915 in New York,
the son of wealthy Jewish immigrants who ran a
lucrative garment manufacturing business and
lived in an apartment overlooking Central Park.
When Miller was 13, the business went under
and the family downsized to Brooklyn. Brought
up to believe his privileged youth would
continue into adulthood, Miller now had to
revise his idea of what the American Dream had
to offer. As a young man Miller decided to
become a writer, and he worked at many
different jobs to save for college. The themes of
success and failure, morality and responsibility,
would resound throughout his work, and also haunt
his life.
During his 20s Miller wrote radio scripts, a
novel, and the play The Man Who Had All the
Luck, which closed after four performances.
But his next play, All My Sons, brought him to
national prominence in 1947. A powerful family
drama about love, lies, and guilt, the plot
revolved around a patriarch who sold defective
machine parts, which caused the deaths of 21
Army pilots. Miller received a Tony Award for
the play when he was just 31 years old.
Two years later, in 1949, he would be back on
Broadway with a play The New York Times
described as “a landmark of 20th century
drama.” Death of a Salesman is the story of Willy
Loman, an aging traveling salesman who’s been
“riding on a smile and a shoeshine,” but who
knows he is losing his edge. The tragic tale of
this working man’s demise earned Miller
another Tony, a Pulitzer Prize, and a New York
Drama Critics Circle Award. It was the first play
to capture all three top honors.
In the 1950s, tension between the United
States and the Soviet Union resulted in
concerns that Communism was infiltrating
America. To uncover the “Red Menace,”
Congress had created the House Un-American
Activities Committee (HUAC) to ferret out the
Communists. Many artists and intellectuals,
including Miller, believed the government had
gone too far, letting accusations rather than
evidence ruin the lives of innocent people.
In 1953, Miller’s play, The Crucible, called
attention to this situation. Although the play was
set during the Salem witch trials of the 17th
century, its warnings about the abuses of power
are timeless.
Miller himself was called before HUAC in
1956 and was expected to name those of his
acquaintance who were Communists. He
refused and was found guilty of contempt of
Congress, although a year later the conviction
was overturned. Miller received another Tony
Award for The Crucible and it has continued to
be one of the most produced plays on the
American stage.
Miller had married Mary Stattery in 1940 and
the pair had a daughter and a son. By the
mid-50s, however, the relationship was over.
In 1956, Miller wed Marilyn Monroe, the most
famous movie star in the world. Although
seemingly a golden couple, the five-year
FOR TICKETS CALL
marriage was fraught with problems, reportedly
stemming mainly from Marilyn’s miscarriage
and her drug use for depression. The two
divorced in 1961 and Monroe would be dead of a
drug overdose just a year later.
In 1962, Miller married photographer Inge
Morath. Their daughter, Rebecca (an actress
now married to Daniel Day-Lewis), was born
shortly afterwards. In 1966 the couple also had
a son, Daniel, who was the subject of a Vanity
Fair magazine exposé in 2007. The story
revealed that Daniel, born with Down
syndrome, was institutionalized after his birth
and never publicly acknowledged by Miller. It is
an awful irony that a writer who would mine the
depths of father/son relationships in his plays
would have to face a personal conflict of this
magnitude in his real life.
In The Price, written toward the end of what
had to have been a difficult decade for Miller,
he returned to the family dynamic for his first
Broadway work in more than 10 years. This
time, he created a surprising new character –
Gregory Solomon, an old Yiddish antiques
dealer whose lust for life injects a survivor’s
spirit into the play.
412.316.1600 OR ORDER ONLINE PPT.ORG
7
SPEAKING ANTIQUE
One of the most pleasurable things in The Price is listening to the character
Gregory Solomon, an aged yet vital antiques dealer, talk about his trade and
his memories. Connoisseurs of period furniture and turn-of-the century fashion
will certainly understand the references, but for the rest of us, here’s a little
lesson in speaking antique.
Louis Seize
Shortly before the French revolution,
the court of Louis XVI started to forsake
the opulence of the Rococo style for the
leaner Neoclassical look known as Louis
Seize (says).
Spanish Jacobean
This furniture style began in the 17th
century, and like the chairs above, it was
heavy and usually ornamented with floral or
geometric carvings.
Chiffonier
This is the name for a small piece of
furniture, like a sideboard but with doors on
the front, that originated in Europe during
the Empire period (early 19th century).
Biedermeier
After Napoleon’s
defeat, tastes changed
from grand and
pompous to simpler
and functional. This
style of furniture
became known as
Biedermeier, from
the German word
bieder, which
means plain.
Gallagher and Shean
Solomon mentions this vaudeville team, who
performed from 1910 to 1925, often with the
Ziegfeld Follies. Al Shean was also the uncle
of the Marx Brothers.
Borsalino Hat
Today we simply call them
fedoras, but the style
originated in 1857, in Italy,
when Giuseppe Borsalino
founded his company. His designs were
considered the last word in elegant and
stylish hats.
TGIF
Friday, March 5
A r t h u r M il le r ’s
Busy guy Mike Tomaro
is a horn player,
composer, arranger,
author, and the
Director of Jazz
Studies at Duquesne
University. On Friday,
Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller during the honeymoon phase
of their marriage.
It is perhaps through Solomon that we get a
glimpse of how Miller found the strength to
endure. Over his long life Solomon had his
share of heartaches – he describes a family
suicide and talks about the disposable nature of
relationships – but at his deepest level he is a
fighter who believes he will always bounce back.
Audiences responded so favorably to The Price
that it became Miller’s biggest success since
Death of a Salesman.
Miller continued writing, not just for the
stage but also for television, film, and books,
including his 1987 autobiography Timebends.
He spoke against the Vietnam War and used his
position as president of the writer’s group PEN
International to lobby for freedom of
expression. He remained with Inge Morath
until she died in 2002. After his death in 2005,
his New York Times obituary stated that Miller,
“Grappled with the weightiest matters of social
conscience in his plays.” He also clearly carried
heavy burdens that never made it to the stage.
March 5, he’ll perform
THE PRICE
PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
THE PRICE
PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
with his own jazz trio
after the show in The
Public’s main lobby.
Complimentary coffee
from Starbucks and
a cash bar will also
be available.
TICKET
PRICES
a
Sunday through
Thursday
evenings and
all matinees:
$31, $41, $46
Friday and
Saturday
evenings:
$35, $45, $50
P – Preview
TGIF – Post-show music
a – Brunch Series
O – Opening
SF – Sunday Forum
FOR TICKETS CALL
412.316.1600 OR ORDER ONLINE PPT.ORG
Students and age
26 and younger
$15 (see back cover
for more about
discounts)
The Public s stage.
Pittsburgh Public Theater is a Family Affair for Trustee Barrie Hamilton Athol
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Evanston,
Illinois. My parents
met while my father
was completing his
engineering PhD at
Northwestern and my
mother was finishing her
MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
stories from Aristophanes, Euripides, and
Aeschylus as though they were the same as
hearing about Uncle Leo going to the corner
grocery store. I don’t think I realized this wasn’t
“normal” until I was in middle school (yes, I
was that big a nerd!).
What were you surprised to learn about
The Public that others may not know?
All the “behind the scenes” work that goes into
a production. Seeing the sets built from scratch,
the costumes designed and sewn from a blank
slate, the careful choreography of the lights
high above the stage. People may not
appreciate how much hard work and skill it
takes to get them right, and what a huge
difference it makes to a production when
you do!
Tell us about your career.
I work for BNY Mellon, one of the world’s
leading financial services firms. For the last
three years my primary focus has been the
day-to-day leadership of the integration of
Mellon Financial and The Bank of New York.
It is a great job, but I have to admit I am
looking forward to the successful conclusion
of the merger.
What is your favorite PPT production?
Tell us about your family.
My lovely wife and I have been married 21
years and we are blessed with three wonderful
children. All five of us love Pittsburgh Public
Theater and we all attend every play. My son
(16) and older daughter (14) also participate in
The Public’s Shakespeare Intensive summer
education program, and my younger daughter
(12) will as well this summer.
Wow, you may as well ask me to pick which
one of my children is my favorite. If forced, I’d
probably say either A Moon for the
Misbegotten because it was a fantastic
production of one of the very best (if not best)
American plays, or Oedipus the King, because I
grew up with ancient Greek plays and I think
Ted Pappas does an amazing job recasting
them in modern settings.
Describe your first experience with theater.
How does theater impact your life?
Unlike most people, I think, my first experience
with theater was not in a playhouse but from
The Public really brings my family together in a
different way than any other activity. My wife
and children and I all go to the performances
together and then discuss them afterwards.
my mother’s story telling. My mother is Greek
and when I was a child she used to tell me
P I T T S B U R G H P U B L I C T H E AT E R
FLEX
PLANS
Each plan provides
SIX VOUCHERS redeemable
for SIX TICKETS to any
2009/2010 Pittsburgh Public
Theater mainstage production.
YOU CHOOSE THE
COMBINATION that fits
your needs.
or
How does The Public impact the community?
I have seen my son’s participation in acting
workshops at The Public improve his
self-confidence and communication skills –
which has made him more successful and
happier. And I have spoken with the teachers
and parents of some of the 13,500 other
children who participate in The Public’s
programs. They all echo the same message:
these programs change young peoples’ lives in
a meaningful way.
Why should others support The Public?
Without the arts, any community is poorer and
all the visual and performing arts deserve our
support. But The Public is special. From the
quality and diversity of its productions, to its
education and outreach programs that give the
next generation of theater lovers their start, no
other performing arts organization in our city,
in my opinion, has such a broad, deep, and
meaningful impact.
What would you like to accomplish through
your role as a trustee?
Like all my fellow trustees, I hope that in some
way, however small, I may be able to help
ensure that Pittsburgh Public Theater continues
to thrive.
just the way you want it...We’re
Choose either
TWO
TICKETS TO
THREE
DIFFERENT
P L AY S
I don’t want to say the level and content of
these conversations is “more elevated,” but it
certainly is different than, “How was your day
at school?”
flexible.
PICK FROM THESE
GREAT PLAYS:
BUY NOW
AND
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S
or
SIX
TICKETS TO
ONE
S I NG L E
P L AY
ANY
COMBINATION
IN BETWEEN.
YOU
CHOOSE!
Groups of 10+ save 30% on tickets.
Contact Becky at 412.316.8200 ext. 704, or [email protected]
$15 single tickets (plus a $.50 per ticket District Fee) are available to
full-time students and age 26 and younger. On Friday and Saturday
nights this rate is available at the Box Office only — no phone orders.
Valid ID is required.
A MIDSUMMER
NIGHT’S DREAM
SAVE
JAN. 21 through FEB. 21
10%
ARTHUR MILLER’S
THE PRICE
MAR. 4 through APR. 4
CALL
ALAN AYCKBOURN’S
412.316.1600
TIME OF MY LIFE
OR VISIT THE O’REILLY
APR. 15 through MAY 16
BOX OFFICE TODAY
YASMINA REZA’S
ART
MAY 27 through JUNE 27
To follow Pittsburgh Public Theater
go to twitter.com/PublicTheater
To find us on Facebook go to
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See preview videos at
youtube.com/PublicTheaterPgh
O’Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Avenue, in the heart of the Cultural District
Call
412.316.1600 • Tickets & Info online at PPT.ORG
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To read Pittsburgh Public Theater’s blog, PUBlog, and
post your comments, go to www.post-gazette.com, click
on A&E, then pgTHEATERnow.