Shows & Tickets
September 29 - October 30, 2011
Adapted by Frank McGuinness
Directed by Ted Pappas
A girl burns with the desire to avenge her father's murder.
New stagings of ancient Greek plays are a signature of The Public's leader, Ted Pappas. After acclaimed productions of Medea and Oedipus the King, he will now thrill audiences with a gripping Electra, the story of a family torn apart by adultery, assassination, and revenge. The tragic tale of the deceitful Clytemnestra and her fanatical children, Electra and Orestes, will be told in a crystal-clear adaptation packed with action and suspense.
Run time: 75 minutes
26 or younger? Tickets only $15.75! Use promo code HOTTIX. Valid ID required. Tickets will be held at Box Office. Not valid on previously purchased tickets or in combination with any other offer.
Production Sponsors: Jim and Electra Agras
Production Underwriters: Jim and Kathe Patrinos
Glynis Bell (Chorus) Broadway/National tours: Looped, The Vagina Monologues, Amadeus, My Fair Lady, The Robber Bridegroom, The School for Scandal, You Never Can Tell, Heartbreak House. Off-Broadway: Jewtopia, Richard lll, Blithe Spirit, Badge, Pera Palas. Regional Theatre: Romeo and Juliet, Underneath the Lintel, Martha Mitchell Calling, Woman Before a Glass, The Retreat from Moscow, The Lion in Winter, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Major Barbara, Driving Miss Daisy, The House of Blue Leaves, Macbeth, Six Degrees of Separation, Arms and the Man, Kid Simple, among many others. Television: “Mercy” and all three “Law & Orders,” variously as judges, lawyers, gynecologist, school official, personal assistant.
David J.M. Bielewicz (Pylades) is delighted to be joining the Pittsburgh Public Theater family as he makes his O’Reilly stage debut. He is a native of Brockport, NY and a graduate of Point Park University’s Theater Conservatory. In 2008 he created the role of Radical Man in Streets of America by Matthew Riopelle and Michael Rupert. Other recent Pittsburgh theater credits include work with Musical Mysteries and More, Gemini Children’s Theater, Stage Right, Pittsburgh Playhouse, and PACT. Film credits include: Jeff Donnelly in Anything Goes, Montressor in Cask of Amontillado, Rob Kenesaw in Code Monkey, Bartender in Hollywood and Wine, The Dark Knight Rises, Love and Other Drugs, She’s Out of My League, and One for the Money. When not busy in theater, he is either working tirelessly on writing and producing original music or performing new works with a multitude of local artists.
Catherine Eaton (Electra) recent stage work includes Carnegie Hall (Corsetless, The Bohemians), Guthrie Theatre (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Julius Caesar, The Importance of Being Earnest, Venetian Twins, A Christmas Carol), Origin Theatre (Clocks and Whistles), Fulton Opera House (Michael Archangel), Merrimack Rep (The Exceptionals), Irish Classical (Hedda Gabler, A Moon for the Misbegotten, The Cobbler), Blue Heron (Bee Luther Hatchee), Hampton Shakespeare (The Comedy of Errors), New Jersey Rep (A Child’s Guide to Innocence). Television: recurring role of Sherry on “All My Children.” Film: Training Day, The Collaboration, Last Seen, Miss Bertram’s Awakening, Showers of Happiness, With or Without You. Awards: Katharine Cornell, acting; Field Report, writing; Emmy Award, production; NYFA Fellowship. Catherine is a founding partner of the production house, Stir. She wrote and performs the solo-show, Corsetless, which has toured internationally and is being adapted for film. Training: BA Cornell University, MFA University of Minnesota.
Catherine Gowl (Chrysothemis) is pleased to make her Pittsburgh Public Theater debut. Regional credits include Cordelia in King Lear, Elizabeth in Six Degrees of Separation, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Silvia in Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Valeria in Coriolanus, all at The Old Globe; Kate in The Taming of the Shrew, and Emilia in Othello at The Virginia Shakespeare Festival; and the Narrator in The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later at the La Jolla Playhouse reading. Her New York credits include Oh the Humanity and Other Exclamations, The Director, and ‘Twas all at the Flea Theater; understudying all the female roles in Theater for a New Audience’s New York production and national tour of The Merchant of Venice; and many new works. Catherine received her BA in the History and Literature of France and America from Harvard, and her MFA from The Old Globe/University of San Diego.
Lisa Harrow (Clytemnestra) after playing three extraordinary women at the Public - Vivienne Bearing in Wit, Medea, and Elizabeth I in Mary Stuart, Lisa is happy to be back playing another great female character. Lisa studied at RADA in London, and began her career with the Royal Shakespeare Company, playing Olivia in Twelfth Night, Desdemona in Othello, Portia in Merchant of Venice, and Lady Amaranth in Wild Oats. She played Ann Whitfield opposite Peter O’Toole in Man and Superman, Juliet opposite John Hurt’s Romeo, Eliza in Pygmalion, and the Queen in The Eagle Has Two Heads. Since moving to Vermont in 1997, Lisa has worked extensively in regional theaters: Vivian Bearing in Wit, in the award-winning, Off-Broadway production; Margrethe in Copenhagen, Santa Fe Stages; Anna in Old Times, George Street Playhouse; Kate Keller in All My Sons, Chautauqua Theatre; Madame Raynevskya in The Cherry Orchard, Yale Rep and Chautauqua Theatre; Creusa in Ion, Shakespeare Theatre, Washington DC; Eleanor/Esme in Rock’n’Roll, Studio Theatre, Washington DC (Helen Hayes Award Best Actress nominee); Gertrude in Hamlet, Northern Stage; and Eleanor in The Lion in Winter, NJ Shakespeare Co. Film and TV highlights include: Nancy in “Nancy Astor” for PBS/BBC; Lizzie Kavanagh in “Kavanagh QC,” PBS; Playing Shakespeare; Beth in Last Days of Chez Nous (Australian Oscar for Best Actress, 1992); Madeleine in Sunday, Best Film at Sundance in 1997 (nomination for Independent Spirit Award for Best Actress). Lisa is the author of an environmental handbook What Can I Do? (Chelsea Green, 2004) that has had four separate editions published in the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand. She and her husband, whale-biologist Roger Payne, have created a program, SeaChange: Reversing the Tide, which explores the idea of sustainability through science and poetry.
Edward James Hyland (The Servant) is pleased to return to Pittsburgh Public for his sixth production. Pittsburgh Public: Harry’s Friendly Service (Harry), Oedipus the King, The Tempest, Mary Stuart, and Much Ado About Nothing. Broadway: Arcadia, The Man Who Had All the Luck, Festen, The Price, Ah! Wilderness. Off-Broadway: Big Doolie, Juno and the Paycock. Regional: Ford’s Theatre – The Heavens Are Hung in Black; Arena Stage – Passion Play, Theophilus North; The Shakespeare Theatre (Washington DC) – Macbeth; Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, Huntington Theatre, Denver Center Theatre Company, Missouri Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Hartford Stage, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, among others. Film/TV: Wedding Tales (in production), The Switch, The Happening, The Caller, Asylum Seekers, The Next Big Thing, Cradle Will Rock, “Boardwalk Empire,” “Law & Order” franchises, “Gossip Girl,” “Guiding Light,” “One Life To Live,” among others.
Shinnerrie Jackson (Chorus) is a native Floridian braving the winters of the northeast. She is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory (BM) and the University of Tennessee (MFA). She has appeared in numerous plays and musicals, favorite roles being: Susan in Race, Esther in Intimate Apparel, and Ain’t I a Woman: a one woman show about heroines of black history. This is Shinnerrie’s first time at Pittsburgh Public Theater and she is so grateful to be a part of Electra.
Amy Landis (Chorus) has appeared regionally at American Repertory Theatre, Meadow Brook Theatre, Fulton Opera House, Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre, Seven Angels Theatre, Centenary Stage Co., Gretna Playhouse, Actor’s Company of Pennsylvania, and others. New York/Off-Broadway: Lincoln Center Salon, Watermark Theatre Company/Ohio Theatre, New York Playwright’s Lab, West Bank Cafe, Centenary Stage. This season Amy played Wendy in the critically acclaimed Hunter Gatherers at Bricolage Production Company. Other Pittsburgh credits: Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, Quantum Theatre, Playhouse REP Co. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s 2010 “Best Performances” for The Queens). Film/TV: Adventureland (Miramax), “SNL,” “As the World Turns.” Amy is a graduate of the American Repertory Theatre Institute at Harvard University and The Conservatory of Performing Arts/Point Park University. She is delighted to return to Pittsburgh Public Theater where she appeared in The Bird Sanctuary and Ted Pappas’ production of The Comedy of Errors.
Michael Simpson (Orestes) is very pleased to be a part of this particular production with Pittsburgh Public, for which he is making his debut. His most recent work includes the film Mooz-lum and Roundabout’s production of The Glass Menagerie as well as a guest spot on “The Cleaner.” His most exciting upcoming project is the independent film, Venice.
David Whalen (Aegisthus) is thrilled to be back at The Public where he appeared in God of Carnage (Alan), The Royal Family (Tony), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oberon/Theseus). He just finished playing Jack in The Importance of Being Earnest with PICT. Other PICT appearances include: Betrayal, Stuff Happens, Julius Caesar, King Lear, Doubt, among others. Earlier this year, he did the American premiere of The Pride of Parnell Street in Philadelphia and the world premiere of Charming Billy (title role) in Washington DC. Other Pittsburgh appearances include: City Theatre in Opus, Speak American, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, and The Morini Strad; Quantum in Cymbeline, barebones Take Me Out (director). He played Padraic in The Lieutenant of Inishmore at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (2009 Kevin Kline Award for Best Actor) and is a former Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Performer of the Year. Last Spring, he played Claudius in Hamlet at the Folger Theatre in DC (Helen Hayes Award for Best Production of a Play for 2010). He has played leading roles across the country, Europe, and in New York including: The Roundabout Theatre, South Coast Repertory (10 productions), Houston’s Alley Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Arden, Hartford Stage, The Roundhouse, Center Stage in Baltimore, Huntington Theatre, Laguna Playhouse, McCarter Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Clarence Brown Theatre, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Biennale Festival in Venice, Italy, among others. TV & Film credits include: 61*, The Xmas Tree, Black Dalia, My Bloody Valentine 3D, True Blue, Without Warning, Indictment: The McMartin Trial, “Three Rivers,” “Diagnosis: Murder,” “All My Children,” and “The Guiding Light.” Next up, Sherlock Holmes in The Mask of Moriarty with PICT.
TED PAPPAS (Director) celebrates his 12th season as Producing Artistic Director of Pittsburgh Public Theater and his 19th year of close association with the company as a director. He has staged 38 productions for The Public, including the works of Euripides, William Shakespeare, Friedrich Schiller, Oscar Wilde, Gilbert & Sullivan, Lillian Hellman, and Stephen Sondheim. Some highlights include Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Kaufman & Ferber’s The Royal Family, Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus, Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses, Kander & Ebb’s Cabaret, the American premiere of Alan Ayckbourn’s RolePlay and the world premiere of Zeller & Collier’s The Chief, which played The O’Reilly for seven seasons and was filmed. His career began in New York City where he worked at Playwrights Horizons, Joseph Papp’s Public Theater, John Houseman’s The Acting Company, New York City Opera under the leadership of Beverly Sills, and shows on and off Broadway. His regional credits are numerous and varied and include productions for Williamstown Theatre Festival, Arena Stage in DC, The Kennedy Center, the Canadian Opera Company, Toronto’s Royal Alexandra, and Goodspeed Musicals. He staged a hip-hop concert hosted by Harry Belafonte which galvanized the Cannes Film Festival, directed a Las Vegas extravaganza for impresario Steve Wynn, and served as choreographer for NBC’s legendary series “Saturday Night Live.” He studied Shakespeare with Samuel Schoenbaum and modern drama with Eric Bentley, and holds degrees from Northwestern University and Manhattan’s Hunter College. He is a past president of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, the national labor union.
SOPHOCLES (Playwright) was a leading dramatist during the rise and fall of the Athenian Golden Age. Born in 495 BC near Athens, Greece, he was beloved in his day and is remembered more than two millennia later for his great works of tragedy. His father was wealthy and Sophocles received the best education available, which included music, dancing, and gymnastics. He became a playwright and at age 28 won first place in the drama festival known as the City Dionysia. From that time on Sophocles received numerous prizes for his work, which included well over 100 plays. Only seven of those plays have survived intact: Ajax, Antigone, The Women of Trachis, Oedipus the King, Electra, Philoctetes, and Oedipus at Colonus. In his plays Sophocles revered his country’s gods but also sought to understand human motivations. He was considered an innovator who improved dialogue, clarified plot, and added spectacular effects. He is appreciated by modern audiences for his treatment of the individual and the complex issues he addressed in his plays. Sophocles was a friend of Pericles, who fostered democracy and promoted arts and architecture to the extent that Athens became the cultural center of ancient civilization. In addition to being a writer, Sophocles served as a general, a director of the treasury, and a priest to Asclepios, the god of medicine. He died peacefully when he was over 90 years old, around 406 BC, as mighty Athens was being brought down by plague and war.
FRANK MCGUINNESS (Adaptation) is the Tony Award-nominated author of Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me. Other notable plays include The Bird Sanctuary, which had its American premiere at Pittsburgh Public Theater, Dolly West’s Kitchen, The Factory Girls, and Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme. His most recent play, Great Garbo Came to Donegal, was staged in London in last year. The Abbey Theatre production of John Gabriel Borkman, his most recent Ibsen adaption, was staged at Brooklyn Academy of Music earlier this year. He is the author of 20 plays and 16 adaptations of plays by Ibsen, Brecht, Chekov, Euripides, and Sophocles. His adaptation of A Doll’s House won a Tony Award in 1997 for Best Revival. Screenplays include Dancing at Lughnasa and A Short Stay in Switzerland for which he received a BAFTA nomination. Mr. McGuinness is Professor of Creative Writing at University College Dublin’s School of English, Drama and Film.
JAMES NOONE (Scenic Designer) designs for Pittsburgh Public Theater include Camelot, The Royal Family, Time of My Life, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Little Foxes, Harry’s Friendly Service, Metamorphoses, The Lady With All the Answers, The Odd Couple, The Comedy of Errors, This Wonderful Life, and Amadeus. Mr. Noone’s Broadway credits include A Bronx Tale, Come Back Little Sheba, Match, Urban Cowboy, A Class Act, Judgment at Nuremberg, Jekyll and Hyde (Drama Desk, American Theater Wing Design Awards), The Rainmaker, Night Must Fall (Drama Desk nomination), Getting and Spending, The Sunshine Boys, The Gin Game, and Inherit the Wind. Off-Broadway credits include Fully Committed, Full Gallop, Three Tall Women, Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune, The Boys in the Band, Cowgirls, Breaking Legs, The Green Heart (Lincoln Center Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons, Primary Stages, Roundabout Theatre, Atlantic Theater, Second Stage). Regional credits include Huntington Theatre Company, Goodspeed Musicals, Long Wharf Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Washington Opera, Canadian Opera, Portland Opera, Geffen Playhouse, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and Cleveland Play House. Tours included Jekyll and Hyde (1999), The Belle of Amherst, The Gin Game, Deathtrap, Three Tall Women, Stieglitz Loves O’Keefe, and also The History of Sex at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas and Latin Soul in Atlantic City. He is the recipient of several design awards, including the Drama Desk, American Theatre Wing, two Helen Hayes, and the LA Ovation awards. Mr. Noone currently heads the Scenic Design Program at Boston University.
GABRIEL BERRY (Costume Designer) designed the costumes for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Medea, The Tempest, Man of La Mancha, and Things of Dry Hours for Pittsburgh Public Theater. Recent work includes Burn This at the Mark Taper Forum, She Stoops to Conquer at Williamstown Theatre Festival, and The Coward at Lincoln Center, for which she received the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Costumes. Upcoming projects include King Lear for New York Public Theater; You, Nero for Arena Stage; and Ainadamar for the Madrid Opera.
KIRK BOOKMAN (Lighting Designer) returns to Pittsburgh Public Theater where he has designed several productions, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The World Goes ’Round, Metamorphoses, Oedipus the King, The Tempest, and Ain’t Misbehavin.’ He recently designed Charles Busch’s new Off-Broadway play The Divine Sister. For the National Actors Theatre: The Sunshine Boys (Jack Klugman and Tony Randall), The Gin Game (Julie Harris and Charles Durning), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Right You Are. For the Irish Rep: Bedbound, Playboy of the Western World, Eclipsed, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Major Barbara. Other New York productions: What Then (Ohio Theatre), The Cook (Intar Theatre 53), Recent Tragic Events (Playwrights Horizons, starring Heather Graham), My One Good Nerve (starring Ruby Dee), The Green Heart (Manhattan Theatre Club), Rude Entertainment, The Book of Liz (David and Amy Sedaris), Les MIZrahi (Isaac Mizrahi), As Thousands Cheer, and June Moon. Ballet productions with: English National Ballet, Santiago Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, and Kansas City Ballet. For the San Francisco Symphony: Thomashefsky, Of Thee I Sing, Oedipus Rex, Nightingale, A Flowering Tree (directed by Peter Sellars), and El Nino. Most recently: Company for the New York Philharmonic. www.KirkBookman.com
ZACH MOORE (Sound Designer) most recently composed music and designed the sound of House and Garden for Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, and designed God of Carnage, Superior Donuts, Circle Mirror Transformation (also original music), and Camelot for Pittsburgh Public Theater. He has designed more than 55 productions at Pittsburgh Public, including the world premieres of The Chief, Harry’s Friendly Service, The Glorious Ones, The Secret Letters of Jackie and Marilyn, and Paper Doll; the American premieres of The Bird Sanctuary and RolePlay (also original music); as well as A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Metamorphoses, Cabaret, Oedipus the King, I Am My Own Wife, Anna in the Tropics, Man of La Mancha, Tea, Wit, and You Can’t Take It With You. He teaches Sound Design at the University of Pittsburgh, where he designed Angels in America and is currently working on the upcoming production of Sweeney Todd. Other designs include Completely Hollywood (abridged) (Reduced Shakespeare Company), The Bird Sanctuary (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), Falsettos (The Huntington), Paper Doll (Long Wharf Theatre), and Fully Committed (PPT, Dallas Theater Center, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, and McCoy/Rigby Productions). Zach also plays guitar in Hero Destroyed, whose latest album, THROES, was released worldwide last summer.
RUTH E. KRAMER (Production Stage Manager) is delighted to return to Pittsburgh Public Theater for her 15th season. Camelot, The Royal Family, Amadeus, Cabaret, RolePlay, The Mikado, Man of La Mancha, and Forum are among her favorite, previous productions. Other credits include the Off-Broadway productions of Anne of Green Gables and Tovah: Out of Her Mind, stints at the Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Riverside Theatre of Vero Beach, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Pioneer Theatre Company, Goodspeed-at-Chester, Great Lakes Theater Festival, New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, Ogunquit Playhouse, and Trinity Repertory Company; touring with Pilobolus Dance Theatre; six seasons at Maine State Music Theatre and six at Mountain Playhouse in Jennerstown. Ms. Kramer lives in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC, is an avid Geocacher, has visited all of the 32 Bridges and Arches in Central Park, and proudly serves on the National Council of Actors’ Equity Association.
FREDRIC H. ORNER (Assistant Stage Manager) Pittsburgh Public Theater: Superior Donuts, The Price, A Moon for the Misbegotten, Rabbit Hole, Radio Golf, The Glorious Ones, Cabaret, Amadeus, The Comedy of Errors. For Pittsburgh CLO: A Musical Christmas Carol, Miss Saigon, The Producers, Curtains, Hairspray, The Student Prince. Broadway: Private Lives, Waiting in the Wings, If You Ever Leave Me…I’m Going With You, The Capeman, Laughter On the 23rd Floor, City of Angels, A Few Good Men, Mule Bone, Sunday in the Park With George (original cast), St. Joan, Our Country’s Good. National Tours: Cats, City of Angels, Laughter On the 23rd Floor. Off-Broadway: Indian Blood, The Syringa Tree, Beast On the Moon, Big Bill (Lincoln Center Theater), Hamlet, The Death of Von Richthofen (Public Theater). Elsewhere: MUNY (St. Louis), American Repertory Theater, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Long Wharf Theatre, Hartford Stage, McCarter Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Roundabout Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Pasadena Playhouse, ACT (Seattle), Theatreworks (Mountainview, CA). He also has stage managed tours in the UK, Ireland, and Canada.
KEEPING UP WITH THE ATREIDES
The family at the center of Electra would be right at home with today’s raging relatives.
by Margie Romero
From the Dune to “Dallas,” Roots to British royalty, family sagas of fact and fiction have always been endlessly fascinating. But nobody told tales of raging relatives quite like the ancient Greeks. Their lurid stories were the prototype of drama as we know it today.
When acclaimed Greek playwright Sophocles sat down in 410 BC with his papyrus and reed to create Electra, he followed an impulse similar to what Alan Jay Lerner would pursue when he set to work on Camelot. Lerner, writing in the 20th century, reached back a thousand years to the myths of King Arthur and his Round Table. Putting his own spin on a legend that had been told through the ages, Lerner came up with a version of the story that was both faithful to history and uniquely his own.
Special for PPT.ORG readers:
SAVE $10 per ticket to Electra!
Call 412.316.1600 or CLICK HERE and use promo code 10OFF. This offer expires on Thursday, Oct 13.
Not valid on previously purchased tickets or in combination with any other offer.
Buy your tickets to any Tuesday performance of Electra and get the best seats available for only $20.
Tuesday, Oct 4 at 8pm
Tuesday, Oct 11 at 8pm
Tuesday, Oct 18 at 8pm
Tuesday, Oct 25 at 7pm
Call 412.316.1600 or CLICK HERE and use promo code 20TUES.
Not valid on previously purchased tickets or in combination with any other offer.
26 or younger? Tickets only $15.75!
Call 412.316.1600 or CLICK HERE and use promo code HOTTIX.
Valid ID required. Tickets will be held at box office. Not valid on previously purchased tickets or in combination with any other offer.