Directed by John Shepard, show previews Jan. 30, runs Jan. 31-Feb. 16 at Pittsburgh Playhouse
PITTSBURGH – The REP, Point Park University’s professional theatre company, continues its compelling 2013-2014 season with the Pittsburgh premiere of EM Lewis’ heart-wrenching prize-winning drama, Heads.
Directed by John Shepard, Heads previews on Thursday, Jan. 30, and runs Jan. 31-Feb. 16, in the Studio Theatre at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, 222 Craft Ave. Performances are 8 p.m., Thursday – Saturday, and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Written by EM Lewis and called “provocative and wonderfully threatening” by Edward Albee, Heads tell the deeply human story of four hostages in a war zone and how they each respond to their ordeal by making difficult choices to survive.
The REP’s production of Heads stars Tony Bingham as Michael Apres, Patrick Cannon as Jack Velazquez, James Fitzgerald as Harold Wolfe, and Diana Ifft as Caroline Conway. Scenic design is by Britton Mauk, costume design by Don DiFonso, lighting design by Todd Wren, and sound design by Steve Shapiro. Alicia DiGiorgi is the stage manager.
Tickets range from $24 to $27; preview tickets are $15. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Pittsburgh Playhouse box office at 412.392.8000, or online at www.pittsburghplayhouse.com. Patrons can take advantage of the “Pay what you will” performance at 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 1, subject to availability. New in 2013-2014, The REP’s Talkback series, where the audience is invited to stay after the performance and discuss the show, has been moved to the matinee performance on the second Saturday of every show. For Heads, the Talkback session will be held after the 2 p.m. performance on Saturday, Feb. 8.
The Los Angeles Times named Heads one of the Top 10 productions of 2007, with critic David Ng writing, “EM Lewis’ new drama at the Blank Theatre Company, tells a story so topical that it feels as if the play was co-written by CNN.” The Denver Examiner said of the play, “If you are looking for an evening of theatre that will get you thinking, that will leave an indelible impression long after the show has ended, and that will move you to tears – then this is for you. … Heads is a welcome, intelligent, and moving drama that is a must see.
For The REP, John Shepard has directed Buried Child, The Chicken Snake (world premiere), One Flea Spare, The Visit, Mother Courage and, most recently, August: Osage County, which was named “Best of 2012” by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Conservatory Theatre Company productions he has directed include Evita, Marat/Sade, Candide, and Joined at the Head, among others. He has directed locally for Off the Wall (Shining City) and at theatres across the country. As an actor, he recently appeared in the Pittsburgh Public Theater’s production of Our Town, as well as the world premieres of The Electric Baby for Quantum and Mid-Strut for The REP. He has appeared in many other productions for Quantum, City Theatre, PICT and The REP, and was chosen as Performer of the Year by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for his performance as Willy Loman in The REP’s 2008 production of Death of a Salesman. Shepard has appeared on Broadway – in American Buffalo with Al Pacino (as well as the subsequent national tour and on the West End) and A View from the Bridge (with Tony LoBianco) – Off-Broadway, and at many regional theaters. He teaches acting and directing at Point Park. For more information visit www.johnshepard.info.
EM Lewis won the 2008 Francesca Primus Prize for an Emerging Female Theater Artist for Heads. Her award-winning plays have been produced around the country, and worldwide. In addition to winning the Primus Prize for Heads, Lewis won the 2009 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award for her play Song of Extinction, and 2010-2011 Hodder Fellowship in playwriting from Princeton University. Lewis is a member of Moving Arts Theater Company, the Dramatists Guild, the International Centre for Women Playwrights, and the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights.