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FREUD'S LAST SESSION
FREUD'S LAST SESSION

March 1 - April 1, 2012

By Mark St. Germain

Directed by Mary Robinson

"WITTY and ENTERTAINING" - rovingpittsburgher

"INTELLECTUALLY STIMULATING" - broadwayworld

"an abundance of HUMOR" - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Listen to a review of Freud's Last Session from On Stage on KQV:

 

Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud pioneered the Id, the Ego and the Superego. Writer C.S. Lewis created The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Two men, both brilliant, yet vastly different: Freud the atheist, Lewis the believer. In this new play, which has been drawing record-breaking crowds in New York, they meet in 1939 as England goes to war against the Nazis. Their evening of electrifying conversation about God, love, sex, and the meaning of life will spark controversy long after the show is over.

 

RUNNING TIME:  Approximately one hour and fifteen minutes.  This performance contains no intermission.

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.

 

 

The engagement of Mary B. Robinson as Director of Freud’s Last Session is made possible by a generous gift from Christopher Ryan and Ronald Fernandez. 

The set of Freud’s Last Session is made possible by a generous gift from Pittsburgh Valve & Fitting Company.


JONATHAN CROMBIE (C.S. Lewis) is a Toronto native. Jonathan came to the U.S. in 2007 to take over the role of Man in Chair in the Broadway production of The Drowsy Chaperone and its subsequent national tour. Canadian theater credits include The Oxford Roof-Climbers Rebellion, The Dishwashers (Tarragon); This Could Be Love (Artword); The Drowsy Chaperone (Theatre Passe Muraille, Winter Garden); Arcadia, What the Butler Saw (Canstage); Romeo and Juliet, Oedipus Rex, The Comedy of Errors, Hamlet (Stratford Festival); Godspell (New Vic); Beach Days With Gamma (Flatzbo). Film/TV credits include: Cottage Country (upcoming), Empty Room, “Jane Show,” “Slings & Arrows,”  “Power Play,” Cafe Romeo, “Mount Royal,” Bullies, “Anne of Green Gables 1, 2 & 3.” He is a member of the award-winning sketch troupe Skippy’s Rangers and is co-director of the upcoming documentary Waiting For Ishtar.


DAVID WOHL (Sigmund Freud) is making his first appearance at The Public. On Broadway he was seen in Fiddler on the Roof (Minskoff), Dinner at Eight (Lincoln Center), and The Man Who Had All the Luck (Roundabout). Off- Broadway credits include plays at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, Rag and Bone at the Rattlestick, The Frugal Repast at the Abingdon, and The Basement Tapes at the Village Gate. Regional appearances include three seasons at Williamstown, the Goodspeed, the Taper, Cincinnati Playhouse, the Mixed Blood, George Street, the Los Angeles Theatre Center, and the Pasadena Playhouse. His films include Sophie’s Choice, Revenge of the Nerds, Brewster’s Millions, Saving Private Ryan, Joe Gould’s Secret, Hot Shots Part Deux, War of the Roses, Troop Beverly Hills, Presumed Innocent, and The Wackness. On television he was a series regular on “Brooklyn Bridge,” “D.E.A.,” and “Once a Hero.” He has done many episodic television shows and TV movies, among them Rear Window, “Roseanne,” “Family Ties,” “Law & Order,” “Rescue Me,” “The Good Wife,” “Suits,” and “White Collar.”

MARY B. ROBINSON (Director) has directed more than 60 productions at regional theaters, Off-Broadway, and in university settings. Most recently, she directed Edward  Albee’s At Home at the Zoo at the Arena Stage, in Washington DC, and The Crucible  at New York  University,  where she teaches and runs an undergraduate directing program. She was the first  recipient of the Alan Schneider Award in 1987, was nominated for a Drama Desk Award in 1986 for her production of Lanford Wilson’s Lemon Sky, and won Philadelphia’s Barrymore Award in 1995 for her direction of Of Mice and Men.  She  is a longtime member of the Stage  Directors and  Choreographers Society, the national labor union, where she served on the board for 15  years. Her book,  Directing  Plays,  Directing  People:  A Collaborative Art, will be published by Smith and Kraus this spring. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, playwright Erik Brogger.

MARK ST. GERMAIN (Playwright) has written the plays Best of Enemies, to be produced in New York City next season, Freud’s Last Session (Best Play 2011, Off -Broadway Alliance), Camping With Henry and Tom (Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle Awards), Ears On a Beatle, The God Committee, and Out of Gas On Lover’s Leap. His play Dr. Ruth will premiere this summer at the Barrington Stage Company and The Fabulous Lipitones, a musical comedy co-written with John Markus, will premiere at the Theatrical Outfit in Atlanta in Summer, 2013. With composer Randy Courts, Mark has written the musicals The Gifts Of The Magi, Jack’s Holiday, and Johnny Pye. He wrote the Tammy Wynette musical Stand By Your Man for the Ryman Theater in Nashville. Television work includes writer and creative consultant for “The Cosby Show.” He co-wrote Carroll Ballard’s film Duma and produced and directed the documentary My Dog, an Unconditional Love Story. Mark wrote the award-winning children’s book “Three Cups.” He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America East. Mark is an Associate Artist of the BSC and recipient of the William Inge Festival’s New Voices Award.

ALLEN MOYER (Scenic & Costume Designer) Scenery credits include Broadway productions of Lysistrata Jones, After Miss Julie, Grey Gardens (Tony/Drama Desk Nominations and Henry Hewes Award), Thurgood, The Little Dog Laughed, The Constant Wife, Twelve Angry Men, In My Life, Reckless, The Man Who Had All the Luck, A Thousand Clowns. Off-Broadway: Passion Play (Epic Theater Co.), Mr. and Mrs. Fitch (Second Stage), A Minister’s Wife and The New Century (Lincoln Center Theater), From Up Here (MTC), Mr. Marmalade and The Dazzle (Roundabout Theater), Landscape of the Body and A Few Stout Individuals (Signature Theater Company), Lobby Hero (Playwrights Horizons), This is Our Youth (New Group/Second Stage), and numerous productions for the Drama Dept, including As Bees in Honey Drown. Regional theater: Giant for the Dallas Theatre Center, Educating Rita (Huntington), and productions for the Guthrie Theater, The Goodman, Yale Rep, Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, Long Wharf, Steppenwolf, Baltimore’s Center Stage, LA’s Center Theater Group, and several productions for Pittsburgh Public Theater. Extensive opera credits include work for the Metropolitan Opera (Orfeo Ed Euridice, directed by Mark Morris), New York City Opera, Houston Grand, Santa Fe Opera (most recently sets and costumes for The Last Savage), San Francisco Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Boston Lyric Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Scottish Opera, and the Wexford Festival (Ireland). Also with Mr. Morris, the Delibes ballet Sylvia for San Francisco Ballet and Romeo and Juliet; On Motifs of Shakespeare with the Mark Morris Dance Group. Recipient of the 2006 OBIE for Sustained Excellence.

PHIL MONAT (Lighting Designer) has designed 26 productions for Pittsburgh Public Theater over many years, most recently God of Carnage. Regionally, his work has been seen at Seattle Rep, the Old Globe Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, Mark Taper Forum, Studio Arena Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Alliance Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cleveland Play House, La Jolla Playhouse, Syracuse Stage, Intiman Theatre, Geva Theatre, Great Lakes Theater Festival, McCarter Theatre, Alley Theatre, Huntington Theatre, Indiana Rep, Pasadena Playhouse, Kansas City Rep, and Dallas Theater Center, among others. Broadway designs include Sly Fox starring Richard Dreyfuss, Finian’s Rainbow, and Sally Marr…and Her Escorts. Off-Broadway credits include: Woman Before a Glass (OBIE Award); Adult Entertainment; Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill; Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah; If It Were Easy; Visiting Mr. Green; Mere Mortals; Robbers; The Springhill Singing Disaster; The Boys in the Band; Three Tall Women; Camping with Henry & Tom (1995 Lucille Lortel Award); The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged); The World Goes ’Round with Kander & Ebb; Fortune’s Fools; Godspell; Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill; and Goblin Market (Drama Desk Nomination). In New York he has also designed at PlaywrightsHorizons, Lincoln Center Theater, Circle Repertory Theatre, the New York Shakespeare Festival,
Manhattan Theatre Club, the WPA Theatre, Second Stage, and the Vineyard Theatre.


ZACH MOORE (Sound Designer) most recently designed the sound for As You Like It, Red and Electra here at PPT, and Sweeney Todd for the University of Pittsburgh Rep where he teaches sound design. This marks his 60th sound design for Pittsburgh Public. Other designs at PPT include 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 Circle Mirror Transformation (also original music), 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. Other designs include House and Garden (Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre), 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, who has two albums released world-wide.

DON WADSWORTH (Dialect Coach) Over the past decade Don has served as the dialect/voice coach for many Public Theater productions including work with Lisa Harrow in Wit, Carole Shelley in The Secret Letters of Marilyn and Jackie, as well as the casts of The Little Foxes and Camelot. On Broadway he taught the Irish dialect to the full cast of the musical The Pirate Queen. Don has had the distinction of coaching six Oscar-nominated actors. For the film Warrior Don taught Australian and British actors how to sound like American brothers! In Los Angeles he worked with Chris Pine on Unstoppable (now on DVD) for Twentieth Century Fox. Upcoming projects include an ABC-TV movie called Elixir where he coached Jane Seymour, a feature film titled A New York Heartbeat, and a future production of Romeo and Juliet where he helped Holly Hunter as she prepared to play the Nurse. He is a Professor of Voice and Speech for Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama.

McCORKLE CASTING, LTD. (Casting) Pat McCorkle (C.S.A.) and associates have most recently cast Broadway productions of The Toxic Avenger, Over the Rainbow, and Off-Broadway plays The Seventh Monarch, and Tribes. Memorable Broadway casts include High with Kathleen Turner, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Glass Menagerie, Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, Amadeus, She Loves Me, Blood Brothers, A Few Good Men, among many others. Notable Off-Broadway projects include Our Town, Almost Maine, Ears On a Beatle, Down the Garden Paths, Killer Joe, Mrs. Klein, Driving Miss Daisy. A partial list of feature film projects include Ghost Town, Secret Window, Basic, The Thomas Crown Affair, The 13th Warrior, Madeline, Die Hard With a Vengeance, School Ties etc. Television shows: “Electric Company,” “Californication” (Emmy nomination), “3Lbs.,” “Barbershop,” “Chapell’s Show,” among several others. Premium Rush, a feature for Sony Pictures, is scheduled for summer release.

FRED NOEL (Production Stage Manager) marks his 23rd season at Pittsburgh Public Theater. He also completed four seasons with the National Theatre of the Deaf, touring throughout the United States and China. Mr. Noel was Stage Manager for the Performing Arts Season at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington, D.C. and Gallaudet University’s tours of Europe, Argentina, Japan, India, South Africa, Mexico, and Romania. He also serves part-time as Production Manager for D.C. area Quest Productions, assisting the company in producing Deaf Way II, an international deaf arts festival, and several shows as part of the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe. His credits also include the Off-Broadway production of Women of Manhattan. Mr. Noel is a Pennsylvania native and alumnus of Duquesne University. In Pittsburgh, he has also stage managed for Don Brockett Productions, Pittsburgh CLO, and Carnegie Mellon Showcase of New Plays.

ADRIENNE WELLS (Assistant Stage Manager) is pleased to be rejoining Pittsburgh Public Theater this season. Past local productions include: The Chief, Rabbit Hole, The Lady With All the Answers, The World Goes ’Round, Harry’s Friendly Service, The Little Foxes, The Price, Art, The Royal Family, Circle Mirror Transformation, God of Carnage, and The Servant of Two Masters at Pittsburgh Public Theater; Beggar’s Holiday at Opera Theater of Pittsburgh; Hobson’s Choice, The Importance of Being Earnest, and The Mask of Moriarty at Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theater. She has also had the pleasure of working with the University of Pittsburgh’s Shakespeare in the Schools program as well as in opera, jazz, fashion, and television. Ms. Wells is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama. She is a proud member of Actors Equity.

TED PAPPAS (Producing Artistic 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 39 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 Washington 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.

 

 

 

Pittsburgh will now see the play that's become a surprise sensation in New York and beyond.

The Freud phenomenon


 
From Architectural Digest, to "Cribs" to HGTV specials, people love a peek inside the homes of the famous. The play Freud's Last Session offers this kind of celebrity thrill by taking the audience into the study of Dr. Sigmund Freud - not only one of the most recognized names in history, but owner of that most renowned piece of furniture, the iconic couch.

Playwright Mark St. Germain set his story in 20 Maresfield Gardens, the home Freud made for himself in London in 1938 after he and his family fled Vienna to escape Nazi persecution. The play's scenic design replicates the feel of his actual office, with its profusion of books, antiques, and works of art.

The playwright is also specific about the date on which the action takes place - September 3, 1939, the day Britain declared war on Germany. While the play is true to history in its place and time, the meeting that St. Germain recounts is imaginary. In Freud's Last Session the legendary psychoanalyst and atheist welcomes into his home C.S. Lewis, the Oxford professor and writer who was becoming known for his embrace of Christianity.

St. Germain uses the two men's well-known and contradictory beliefs about God to spark a riveting conversation. The talk centers on religious dogma, but also reveals spritual yearnings and impulses that exist in the heart rather than the head.

At  the time of the story Freud is 83 and living with cancer, but his wickedly dry wit and amazing intellect is still strong. C.S. Lewis is age 41 and full of the charm that will be seen in his future books, such as The Chronicles of Narnia.

Although New York theaters are currently filled with flying witches and superheroes, Freud's Last Session has pulled off an even bigger stunt: the 80-minute drama has managed to run for more than a year and transfer to a larger venue.

The play began in New York in July of 2010 at the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater in the YMCA at 63 Street and Central Park West, a popular Upper West Side gathering place since 1930. It receieved great reviews, such as John Simon's "A brainy fencing match of Olympic caliber." But as Martin Rayner, the actor in the title role, recently told The New York Times: "About 80 percent of people tell me they bought tickets because of word of mouth, whether it was recommendations from friends, from neighbors, even from their own psychiatrists. We've had Jewish groups, Christian groups, even a group called Socrates in the City," he said.

It doesn't hurt that many of the people talking about the play are oft-quoted celebrities. The start-studded audience has included "30 Rock" actor Alec Baldwin, comedian Jerry Stiller, TV personality Barbara Walters, filmmaker Woody Allen, Tony-wining actress Marcia Gay Harden and TV actor T.R. Knight, playwright Peter Shaffer, news correspondent Christiane Amanpour, former talk show host Dick Cavett, and Monty Python actor John Cleese. Sex therapist Dr. Ruth has seen it twice. To further this coveted buzz, the play's producers hand out butons to the audience that say, "I had a session with Freud."

Freud is currently in session at New World Stages on West 50th Street. Productions have also been scheduled internationally in cities such as Tokyo, London, Rio de Janeiro, and Madrid. Now the winner of the 2011 Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Play, Pittsburgh Public Theater is thrilled to give this surprise sensation its local premier.

Although it is said that in polite company you should never talk about religion or politics, most people have heated debates about the existence of God. When the discussions take place between Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis, the subject is irresistible.

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