‘Phoenix’ goes ‘Kinetic’: a new company transforms with Mamet’s ROMANCE

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Andrew Paul and Phoenix Theatre board re-name company, announce summer plans for Pittsburgh premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet’s ROMANCE


Pittsburgh, PA – June 20, 2014. Long-time PICT artistic director and founder Andrew Paul and Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre founder and former director of theatre initiatives at the August Wilson Center Mark Clayton Southers have decided to part ways after just one production of their fledgling company, The Phoenix, but Paul and the Board of Directors have decided to re-name the company and continue with a 2014 season of two plays. “The two Artistic Director model simply didn’t work,” says Paul, “we work in very different ways and it proved impossible for Mark and me to adapt to one another’s methods. After much discussion, we have decided to separate. Mark will continue to produce through his excellent Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Co. and the Board and I will continue on under this new moniker.” The newly minted Kinetic Theatre Co. will produce the Pittsburgh premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet’s Romance this summer, running July 17-August 2 at the Alloy Studios on Penn Avenue and a second play TBA, running from September 25-October 5 at The New Hazlett Theatre on Pittsburgh’s north-side. The mission of Kinetic Theatre Co. is three-fold: to explore the issues facing our diverse and rapidly changing world through the language of theatre, to value text, both classic and contemporary, as our primary source of inspiration, and to honor, value, and respectfully compensate the artist.

David Mamet meets the Marx Brothers in Romance, an uproarious courtroom comedy.  The play will star two of Pittsburgh’s go-to leading men, Patrick Jordan and David Whalen, alongside Matt DeCaro, who starred in the play’s Chicago premier at the Goodman Theatre. Patrick Jordan will play the defendant, a Jewish chiropractor. Jordan is the founder and artistic director of Pittsburgh’s Barebones Productions and recently starred in the acclaimed Barebones productions of The Motherfucker with the Hat and A Steady Rain. His conservative Christian, anti-semitic defense attorney will be played by David Whalen. Whalen played Bruce in The Phoenix’s production of Blue/Orange last November and recently appeared in Shaw’s Candida at Pittsburgh Public Theatre. He plays the father of Gus (the Ansel Elgort character) in the current hit film The Fault in Our Stars, based on the best-selling novel by John Green. Matt DeCaro played the judge in the Chicago premier of the play at the Goodman Theatre and repeats his acclaimed performance here. DeCaro is well-known to Pittsburgh audiences for his many collaborations with director Paul at PICT. He recently starred in Mary Zimmerman’s The White Snake at the Goodman and McCarter Theatres and in productions of Gypsy and The Merry Wives of Windsor at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. The ensemble will include Kevin Brown (PICT’s Beautiful Dreamers, Comfort Zone, Jitney, and Radio Golf at Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Co,) as the bailiff, Paul Guggenheimer (Bricolage’s The War of the Worlds, host of Essential Pittsburgh on WESA radio) as the prosecutor, John Reilly as the Doctor, and Point Park University graduate Andrew Swackhamer (No Name Players Viva los Bastarditos!) as Bernard.

Andrew Paul directed the acclaimed production of Joe Penhall’s Blue/Orange that launched The Phoenix last year. He recently directed a sold-out, extended run of David Ives’ The School for Lies at San Diego’s North Coast Repertory Theatre and a workshop of Edward Ravenscroft’s The London Cuckolds at Los Angeles’ classic repertory company, Antaeus Theatre. Paul previously co-founded the acclaimed Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre (PICT) and served as the company’s producing artistic director from 1996 to 2013.  Under his leadership, PICT produced more than a hundred plays, festivals devoted to the plays of Samuel Beckett, John Millington Synge, Harold Pinter, and Anton Chekhov, and two successful international tours.  His many PICT productions as director include the 2012 productions of Lee Hall’s The Pitmen Painters, Chekhov’s Ivanov, and David Ives’ The School for Lies, 2011’s productions of David Mamet’s Race and Alan Ayckbourn’s House and Garden (co-directed with Melissa Hill Grande), the 2010 productions of Shakespeare’s Othello, Pinter’s No Man’s Land, and Harold Brighouse’s Hobson’s Choice, and the 2009 productions of Alan Bennett’s The History Boys and Tom Stoppard’s Rock’n’Roll.   Andrew’s 2002 production of Friel’s Faith Healer starring Bingo O’Malley played to acclaim at thirteen venues in Ireland and Northern Ireland and he appeared as an actor in the 2003 PICT production of Shaw’s Major Barbara which performed 14 sold-out performances at the Galway Arts Festival and transferred to Dublin for three weeks of performances at the Pavilion Theatre.  In 2008, he directed and collaborated with David Hare on the non English language premiere of Stuff Happens at the Slaski Theatre in Katowice, Poland.  In 2010, Andrew was a featured speaker at the World Theatre Conference in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The design team for Romance reunites Paul with two of his favorite collaborators, scenic designer Gianni Downs and sound designer Elizabeth Atkinson. Downs is a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh. His many designs for director Paul at PICT include The Pitmen Painters, The School for Lies, No Man’s Land, House & Garden, The History Boys, and Stuff Happens. Atkinson served as sound designer and composer for The Phoenix production of Blue/Orange and recently re-united with director Paul on the San Diego production of The School for Lies at North Coast Repertory Theatre. Her many PICT designs include the Beckett, Synge, Pinter, and Chekhov festivals. CMU graduate students Julianne D’Errico and Keith Truax will design the costumes and lighting. Production stage manager is A.J. Bradshaw.

This autumn, Kinetic Theatre Co., thanks to the generosity of Richard E. Rauh, The Steinberg Charitable Foundation, and Dr. Michael Ramsay, will begin a two-play residency at the beautiful New Hazlett Theatre on Pittsburgh’s historic Northside. The two plays will be announced this summer, with the first production running September 25-October 5, 2014 and the second running April 16-May 3, 2015.

The Alloy Studios, former home of the Dance Alloy, is located at 5530 Penn Avenue, between Negley and Stratford Avenues and across the street from the restaurant Salt of the Earth. There will be a special Pay-What-You-Can industry night performance on Monday, July 28th.   Single tickets for Romance at Alloy Studios are available now! For tickets, phone 1-888-718-4253, visit Showclix online at www.showclix.com/event/KineticTheatreCoROMANCE, or visit Kinetic Theatre Company online at www.kinetictheatre.org.


Kinetic Theatre Company

Mainstage Productions

2014 Season


Romance by David Mamet

A Pittsburgh Premiere

Directed by Andrew Paul

Starring David Whalen, Patrick Jordan, Kevin Brown, Paul Guggenheimer, Andrew Swackhamer, John Reilly, and Matt DeCaro

Alloy Studios, 5530 Penn Avenue

(near Negley and across from the restaurant Salt of the Earth)

July 17-August 2, 2014


Advance Single Tickets:      $30

           At the door:                           $35

25 and Under (w/ valid ID) $15

Artists            :                                   $20

To Purchase tickets online go to:


Call Showclix at 1-888-718-4253 or visit Kinetic Theatre Co. online at www.kinetictheatre.org

Performance Schedule

Week One:

Thursday and Friday, July 17 & 18 – previews at 8:00pm, Saturday, July 19 (opening night) at 8:00pm, and Sunday, July 20 at 2:00pm.

Week Two:

Wednesday-Sunday, July 23-27 all performances at 8:00pm

Week Three:

Monday, July 28 (pay-what-you-can industry night) at 8:00pm, Wednesday, July 30 at 8:00pm, Friday, August 1 at 8:00pm, and Saturday, August 2 at 2:00pm AND 8:00pm.

There is no performance on Thursday, July 31.

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