PITTSBURGH – The 2014-2015 season of The REP, Point Park University’s professional theatre company, will include two world premieres by Pittsburgh playwrights, a classic by Nobel laureate John Steinbeck and a hilarious comedy about an American singer renowned for her lack of rhythm, tone and especially an ability to sing.
The season runs Sept. 4 through April 12, 2015, at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, 222 Craft Ave., in the city’s Oakland neighborhood.
The 2014-2015 season opens with Steinbeck’s timeless tale of two migrant workers in the Great Depression, Of Mice and Men, directed by Robert A. Miller, Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts Distinguished Master Artist-in-Residence.
The REP will next present Tomé Cousin directing Souvenir, Stephen Temperley’s uproarious and poignant comedy about the infamous soprano Florence Foster Jenkins, whose inability to carry a tune did not prevent her from selling out Carnegie Hall. Variety called the play, “A beguiling comic jewel with a heart,” and The Boston Globe raved, “There aren’t many theatrical experiences as good as Souvenir.”
The REP’s remaining productions in the season will be two world premieres of works by Pittsburgh playwrights – Gaby Cody’s riotous farce, Prussia: 1866, directed by Kim Martin, and Anthony McKay’s stirring family drama, Endless Lawns, directed by Greg Lehane.
The REP 2014-2015 season subscriptions, which save patrons up to 35 percent off single ticket prices, are available now and can be purchased for $64-$72. Single tickets, ranging from $24-$27, will go on sale at 10 a.m., Monday, Aug. 4. Those who purchase three subscriptions get the fourth free. To order a season subscription, contact the Pittsburgh Playhouse box office at 412.392.8000. For single tickets, when they become available, or more information about the Pittsburgh Playhouse, visit www.pittsburghplayhouse.com.
The REP’s 2014-2015 season:
Of Mice and Men
By John Steinbeck
Directed by Robert A. Miller
Friday, Sept. 5 – Sunday, Sept. 21, preview Sept. 4
Adapted for the stage by Steinbeck from his novella, Of Mice and Men tells the story of two migrant workers, George and Lennie, and their dream of settling down one day on their own piece of land.
Of Mice and Men premiered on Broadway with Broderick Crawford and Wallace Ford, and was named Best Play by the New York Drama Critics’ Circle in 1938. Brooks Atkinson of The New York Times said about the play, “Steinbeck has caught on paper two odd and lovable farm vagrants whose fate is implicit in their characters.” Steinbeck’s work has been revived many times on Broadway, most recently earlier this year with James Franco and Chris O’Dowd in the lead roles.
Acclaimed Hollywood producer, director and screenwriter, Robert A. Miller, is best known for producing The Crucible, nominated for two Academy Awards and featuring Daniel Day-Lewis, Winona Ryder, Joan Allen and Paul Scofield. Miller also produced Focus, starring William H. Macy, Laura Dern and David Paymer. His directorial credits include Company of Angels in Hollywood, and Bend in the River, a live PBS broadcast featuring Ken Kesey. Miller directed several plays for The REP, including his first-ever production of his father’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Death of a Salesman in 2008. He also directed The REP’s world premieres of The Umbrella Man in 2010 and A Child’s Guide to Heresy in 2011, and is a producer of the movie The Umbrella Man, filmed in 2012 in Pittsburgh and Dallas. Miller has served as a Distinguished Master Artist in Residence at the Conservatory of Performing Arts since 2009.
By Stephen Temperley
Directed by Tomé Cousin
Friday, Sept. 26 – Sunday, Oct. 12, preview Sept. 25
Told through the eyes of her accompanist, Cosme McMoon, Souvenir recounts the remarkable life of Florence Foster Jenkins, an eccentric wealthy socialite who suffered under the delusion that she was a great soprano when, in reality, her voice made people cringe. Nevertheless, growing fans packed her annual recitals at the Ritz Carlton hotel and single concert at Carnegie Hall in 1944 sold out in two hours. “What is extraordinary about Souvenir is that Temperley has made Jenkins, for all her foolishness, a remarkably sympathetic woman. You never doubt that Jenkins has tremendous dedication to the composers whose work she massacres,” wrote the New York Daily News.
Point Park University graduate Tome’ Cousin is an internationally recognized director, choreographer, educator, performer and creator of musical theater works, ballets, films, new opera, song cycles and art installations, as well as a published author. Cousin has appeared on Broadway in Contact, A Free Man of Color, and Dreamgirls, national tours of Dreamgirls, My One and Only, and A Chorus Line, and internationally in Bob Fosse’s Sweet Charity (Switzerland), The Who’s Tommy, La Cage aux Folles, Starlight Express, and Tabaluga und Lilli (Germany). He serves as the directing supervisor for original director/choreographer Susan Stroman’s Tony Award-winning musical Contact, having staged 12 companies worldwide including premieres in Hungary, Korea and Poland. Earlier this year, he directed By the Way, Meet Vera Stark for The REP. Cousin teaches at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama.
By Gab Cody
Directed by Kim Martin
Friday, Feb. 6 – Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, preview Feb. 5
Written by Pittsburgh playwright and Point Park alum Gab Cody, Prussia: 1866 is a farcical examination of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and his proto-feminist friends. When confronted with a difficult life decision so many have asked, “What would Nietzsche do?” Prussia: 1866 asks this question and finds the answer is a farce. While some of the details of Nietzsche’s life may not exactly jive with the details of the play, we do know, however he was alive and 22 and living in Prussia, and was, we can imagine, a passionate and conniving young man at the time.
Kim Martin has directed The REP’s productions of Becky’s New Car, The Lonesome West, and Mojo. A graduate of Point Park University, Martin has directed, acted in, and stage-managed more than 150 productions. Some favorites include Glengarry Glen Ross, Guys & Dolls, Drinking in America, Deathtrap, The Dumb Waiter, Annie, La Ronde and Three Sisters. Martin is the Director of Production at the Playhouse, and serves as an adjunct faculty member instructing students pursuing a technical theatre degree.
By Anthony McKay
Directed by Greg Lehane
Friday, March 27 – Sunday, April 12, 2015, preview March 26
Written by Pittsburgh playwright and Carnegie Mellon University professor Anthony McKay, Endless Lawns is an emotionally trenchant story about two sisters and the men who love and care for them.
McKay, who received an acting degree from CMU in 1969, has appeared on Broadway with the Negro Ensemble Company in The First Breeze of Summer and in Jean Kerr’s Lunch Hour with Gilda Radner. Off-Broadway, he appeared in Moonchildren, Incident At Vichy, and Clarence at the Roundabout Theatre.
A professor of drama and music at Carnegie Mellon, Greg Lehane has directed plays in New York City, where he was a founding member of Primary Stages Company and directed five New York premieres with that company. His work has been seen in American Regional Theatres, in Canada and in Egypt, where he was a Distinguished Lecturer in Drama at the American University in Cairo. He directed a trilogy of Greek tragedies for the Moscow Art Theatre School. He also has directed television programs for all three networks, PBS, TBS, Lifetime, Nickelodeon, USA, The Disney Channel, in London, and in France for worldwide syndication. He has been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Direction twice.