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THURGOOD
THURGOOD

March 7 - April 7, 2013

By George Stevens, Jr.

directed by Ted Pappas

In 1967, Thurgood Marshall became our first African-American Supreme Court Justice. In this exuberant one-man play we hear Thurgood’s story in his own words – from humble beginnings as a waiter in Baltimore, to behind the scenes with leaders such as General MacArthur, Robert Kennedy and President Lyndon Johnson, to his triumphant rise to the highest court in the land. A journey of epic proportions, Thurgood is an eye-opening, humorous, and uplifting portrait of a true American hero.

RUN TIME: 90 minutes, without intermission.


Starring Montae Russell as Thurgood Marshall


Presented by  
Production Co-Sponsors 
                                          Randi & L. Van V. Dauler, Jr. 
 


P: Preview     TGIF: Post-show entertainment in the lobby
O: Opening Night     B: Brunch Series     SF: Sunday Forum 

MONTAE RUSSELL (Thurgood Marshall) This veteran theater, television, and film performing artist is pleased to appear in his seventh production at Pittsburgh Public Theater in Thurgood. His television credits include: "ER" (six-time winner of Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble), "One Life to Live," "Detroit 187," and guest star appearances on many other shows such as "Cold Case," "The Shield," and "Numbers." His film credits include: The Players Club, Lily in Winter, Godzilla, Laurel Avenue. His Broadway credits include: King Hedley II, A Few Good Men, Prelude to a Kiss. Off-Broadway: East Texas Hotlinks, I Am a Man, Three Ways Home, The Angelo Herndon Story. Pittsburgh Public Theater: Fences, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Two Trains Running, Gem of the Ocean, Radio Golf. Regional Theater: The Glass Menagerie, Marcus or the Secret of Sweet, Last of the Line, Seven Guitars, Jitney. Montae is also a voice-over and audio book recording artist. He is originally from Pittsburgh, but resides in Los Angeles. He is a graduate of both the University of Pittsburgh and Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of the Arts, where he trained under William Esper and Maggie Flanagan. When praises go up...you know the rest!

TED PAPPAS (Directorcelebrates his 13th season as Producing Artistic Director of Pittsburgh Public Theater and his 20th year of close association with the company as a director. He has staged more than 40 productions for The Public, including the works of Euripides, Shakespeare, Schiller, Wilde, Gilbert & Sullivan, and Sondheim. Some highlights include Sophocles' Electra, Shakespeare's As You Like It, Kaufman & Ferber's The Royal Family, Peter Schaffer's Amadeus, Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses, Kander & Ebb's Cabaret, the American premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's RolePlay, and the world premiere of Rob Zellers & Gene 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 for 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 the 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. 

GEORGE STEVENS, JR. (Playwright) has achieved an extraordinary creative legacy over a career spanning almost 50 years as a writer, director, producer, playwright, and author. He conceived "The Kennedy Center Honors," which took place for the 35th time in 2012. Stevens has earned 15 Emmys, two Peabody Awards for Meritorious Service to Broadcasting, the Humanitas Prize, and eight awards from the Writers Guild of America, including the Paul Selvin Award for writing t hat embodies civil rights and liberties. In 2012 he recieved an Honorary Academy Award for "extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement." He serves as co-chairman of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities following his appointment by President Obama in 2009. Stevens made his debut as a playwright with Thurgood. He was also executive producer of The Thin Red Line, nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture. He co-wrote and produced the mini-series The Murder of Mary Phagan, starring Jack Lemmon, and wrote and directed the mini-series Separate But Equal. Stevens won two Emmys for the 1994 documentary George Stevens: D-Day to Berlin, which depicted the wartime experiences of his father, one of the most highly regarded directors of all time. He produced an acclaimed feature length film about his father, George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey. Stevens is the founder of the American Film Institute and during his tenure more than 10,000 irreplaceable American films were preserved. He also established the AFI's Center for Advanced Film Studies. In 2006, Alfred A. Knopf published Stevens' Conversations with the Great Moviemakers of Hollywood's Golden Age. Conversations with the Great Moviemakers - The Next Generation was released in 2012. In collaboration with his son and partner Michael Stevens, he is nearing completion of a feature length documentary on the famed political cartoonist Herb Block.

JAMES NOONE (Scenic Designer
Designs for Pittsburgh Public Theater include 1776, Born Yesterday, Private Lives, As You Like It, Electra, 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, Judgement 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 Commited, 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, Seattle Rep, Washington Opera, Canadian Opera, Portland Opera, Geffen Playhouse, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and Cleveland Play House. Tours include 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. Mr. Noone heads the Scenic Design Program at Boston University. 

KATE MITCHELL (Costume Designer) most recently designed costumes for RED at Pittsburgh Public Theater. Previous costume design work includes productions of Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Kiss Me Kate, Side Show, and Born Yesterday. She has worked for the Alley Theater, American Players Theater, Indiana Repertory Theater, the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, and the Public Theater in New York among others.

PHIL MONAT (Lighting Designer)
 has designed 29 productions for Pittsburgh Public Theater over many years, most recently Good People,  Private Lives and Superior Donuts. Regionally, he has designed more than 450 productions at theaters around the country, including Seattle Rep, The Old Globe, Cincinnati Playhouse, Mark Taper Forum, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, The Alliance, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, La Jolla Playhouse, Syracuse Stage, McCarter Theatre, Alley Theatre, Huntington Theatre, among others. Broadway designs include Sly Fox staring Richard Dreyfuss, Finian's Rainbow, and Sally Mar...and Her Escorts. Off-Broadway credits include: Woman Before a Glass (Obie Award), Adult Entertainment, Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weil, Visiting Mr. Green, Mere Mortals, The Boys in the Band, Three Tall Women, Camping With Henry & Tom (1995 Lucille Lortel Award), The World Goes Round With Kander & EbbGodspell,Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, and Goblin Market (Drama Desk nomination). In New York he has also designed at Playwrights Horizons, 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 1776Good People and Born Yesterday here at The Public. He has designed more than 60 productions for Pittsburgh Public, including the world premieres of The ChiefHarry's Friendly ServiceThe Glorious OnesThe Secret Letters of Jackie and Marilyn, and Paper Doll; the American premieres of The Bird Sanctuary and RolePlay (also original music); as well as Red, Electra, Circle Mirror Transformation (also original music), A Midsummer Night's Dream, Metamorphoses, I Am My Own Wife, Man of La Mancha, Tea, and Wit. Other designs include Sweeney Todd and Angels in America (Pitt Rep), House and Garden (Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre), Completely Hollywood (abridged) (Reduced Shakespeare Company), Falsettos (The Huntington), Paper Doll (Long Wharf Theatre), and Fully Committed (PPT, Dallas Theater Center, McCoy/Rigby Productions). Zach also plays guitar in Hero Destroyed, and operates a small music mastering studio. 

LARRY SHEA (Projection Designer) is an artist working with film, video, and interactive digital media. His work takes a variety of forms and he has exhibited his short experimental videos, interactive environments, and kinetic sculptures at national and international venues. Larry has created stage effects and environments for several of Mike Albo's monologue performances at PS122 and Here Theater, New York. He worked with artist Julia Scher for many years on her surveillance-art installations, including "Securityworld" (1996 at Galerie Hussenot, Paris); "Wonderland" (1998 Andrea Rosen Gallery, NY, and several European venues); and "Predictive Engineering 2" (1999 at SFMOMA). He was the Technical Designer for Mary Ellen Strom and Ann Carlson's large-scale outdoor video projection and performance extravagana "Geyserland," taking place on an observation-car train trip from Bozeman to Livingston, Montana in 2003. Larry is currently Associate Professor of Video and Media Design in the Drama Department at Carnegie Mellon University. His work can be seen at www.lshea.org

RUTH E. KRAMER (Production Stage Manager) 16th season at Pittsburgh Public Theater. 1776, Around the World in 80 Days, The Royal Family, Amadeus, Cabaret, RolePlay, The Mikado, Man of LaMancha, You Can't Take It With You, and Forum are among her favorite productions. Other credits include the Off-Broadway productions of Anne of Green Gables and Tovah: Out of Her Mind, Ain't Misbehavin' and Buddy at the Riverside Theatre of Vero Beach, stints at the Lyric 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, and proudly serves on the National Council of Actors' Equity Association.

ALICIA DeMARA (Assistant Stage Manager) has been working on productions in the great city of Pittsburgh for over 10 years with companies such as Bricolage, barebones productions, City Theatre, The Rep, Pittsburgh Musical Theater, Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, Unique Staging Solutions, and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Some favorite productions include Good People, Around the World in 80 Days, Talley's Folly, Superior Donuts and RED (The Public); August: Osage County, The Lonesome West, Mojo, A Moon to Dance By, and Death of a Salesman (The Rep): Strata, Midnight Radio, B.U.S., and Wild Signs (Bricolage); Killer Joe, Frozen, The Glory of Living (barebones); The Missionary Position, Shooting Star, Human Error, Fiction, and Cafe Puttanesca (City Theatre); House and Garden, King Lear, Endgame, Uncle Vanya, and The Lieutenant of Inishmore (PICT).

 

 

 

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