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OTHER DESERT CITIES
OTHER DESERT CITIES

May 30 - June 30, 2013

By Jon Robin Baitz

Lyman Wyeth is an actor-politician in the Ronald Reagan mold. His impeccable wife Polly never has a strand of hair out of place. Now retired, their life in a wealthy Palm Springs enclave is upset when relatives arrive for the holidays. Son Trip is a TV reality show producer; Polly’s sister Silda is a wisecracking liberal just out of rehab; most troubling is daughter Brooke, who announces that she is about to publish a revealing memoir. This new Broadway sensation is an entertaining look at unruly family politics. 

RUN TIME: 2 hours and 20 minutes with a 15 minute intermission.

The engagement of Helena Ruoti in this production has been generously supported by
Richard W. Moriarty, M.D.


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

SUSAN CELLA (Silda Grauman) is thrilled to be making her Pittsburgh Public debut! Broadway: The Graduate, Crazy He Calls Me, Me and My Girl (opposite Robert Lindsey and Jim Dale), Evita, On the Twentieth Century, and Allegro and Lady in the Dark for ENCORES! Off-Broadway: Hello Muddah Hello Fadduh, Mayor, Jacques Brel...National Tours: Fiddler on the Roof (opposite Theo Bikel, Topol and Harvey Fierstein), Hairspray, 42nd Street, La Cage aux Folles, Me and My Girl (opposite Tim Curry), CanCan. Regional: Funny Girl, Witness for the Prosecution, Lombardi, Noises Off, Gaslight, Bye Bye Birdie, Hollywood/Ukraine, The Boyfriend, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Full Monty, Mame, Sideman, Most Happy Fella, Jake's Women. Film and TV: "Person of Interest," "Law & Order" (two episodes), "The Sopranos," "The Astronaut's Wife," "Tavern on Jane," "Hi Honey I'm Home" (series regular), "All My Children," "Follies," and "A Sondheim Celebration" for PBS.

JAMES De MARSE
(Lyman Wyeth) Broadway: Dividing the Estate at The Booth. Off-Broadway: Orphans Home Cycle and The Trip to Bountiful at Signature; Dividing the Estate at Primary Stages; Y2K and Bits and Pieces at Manhattan Theatre Club; Cantorial at The Lambs; Cahoots at the South Street Theatre; Subject to Fits and Happiness Cage at The Public; War of the Roses, Twelfth Night, Peer Gynt at The Delacourte. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf directed by Arthur Penn, Last Moon directed by Estelle Parsons, Machinal directed by Arthur Storch at the Actors Studio, Diminished Capacity by Tom Dulack at the New Group, Slouching Toward the Millennium by Murray Schisgal at the 42nd Street Workshop. Regional: Breaking Legs at the Pasadena Playhouse, Serenading Louie at Cincinnati Playhouse, Shooting Craps at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Misery by William Goldman at the Bucks County Playhouse. Film: Side by Each with Blythe Danner, The Baxter, Soldier's Heart, Fresh Cut Grass. TV: "Rescue Me," Law & Order," "Law & Order: CI," "Law & Order: SVU," "The Sopranos," "The Good Wife," "Royal Pains." Member: Ensemble Studio Theatre and Dramatists Guild of America.

JOHN PATRICK HAYDEN
(Trip Wyeth) Broadway: Tartuffe. Off-Broadway: Fly at Lincoln Center, The Fifth Column at Mint Theatre. Favorite Regional: Hedda Gabler at Hartford Stage; The Misanthrope and Trelawney of the Wells at Shakespeare Theatre of NJ: Hamlet (Moss Hart Award), Stones in His Pockets, 39 Steps, Dangerous Liaisons at Northern Stage; Other Desert Cities at Denver Center. Film: Shadowboxing for Breadth Films. TV: "Blue Bloods" for CBS, "Mercy" for NBC, "Socio" for ABC. johnpatrickhayden.com


HELENA RUOTI
(Polly Wyeth) is thrilled to be returning to Pittsburgh Public Theater where she last appeared as Julie in The Royal Family and Regina in The Little Foxes. As an actor in the Pittsburgh region her career encompasses leading roles in more than a dozen productions at The Public. Favorites include Ann Landers/Eppie Lederer in The Lady With All the Answers, Adriana in The Comedy of Errors, Jocasta in Oedipus the King, all directed by Ted Pappas; Hannah in The Night of the Iguana, Masha in The Three Sisters, and the title roles in Hedda Gabler and Edith Stein. She has made many notable performances at City Theatre, Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival, Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, barebones productions and the Pittsburgh Playhouse; as well as appearances with the International Poetry Forum and the Pittsburgh Symphony. Favorites among these include Maria Callas in Master Class at City; Elinore/Esme in Tom Stoppard's Rock'n'Roll, Trish in House and Garden, and the Chekhov Festival with PICT. Helena has also performed two seasons with the Philadelphia Theater Company. She is the recipient of a Post-Gazette Performer of the Year Award and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Creative Achievement Award for Established Artist. She was also honored with the City Theater Robert M. Frankel award for outstanding comitment to new play creation and support of the arts.


PILAR WITHERSPOON
(Brooke Wyeth) is delighted to be working with Pittsburgh Public Theater. International Theatre: Theatre Lliure in Barcelona, Spain; Rezo Gabriadze's acclaimed production of The Doctor and the Patient opposite Mikhail Barishnykov. New York: Lincoln Center, Playwrights Horizons/Underwood Theatre, 59 E 59 Street Thaetre, Second Stage Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, Cherry Lane Theatre, The Drama League. Regional: The Kennedy Center, Shakespeare Theatre in Washington D.C., Guthrie Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Sundance Theatre Lab, Baltimore's Centerstage, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Pioneer Theatre COmpany, and the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, among others. Film and TV: Three Days in September, Ten Stories Tall, Warlord, "Blue Bloods," Law & Order: SVU," "Law & Order," "Third Watch," "Trio Sonata." Pilar is a proud recipient of the Fox Fellowship Award.

ROB RUGGIERO
(Director) is a freelance professional director whose work has earned him national recognition on both plays and musicals. He is delighted to return to Pittsburgh Public Theater for the sixth time, having directed The Subject Was Roses, Anna in the Tropics, Lobby Hero, Rabbit Hole, and most recently Ella. Mr. Ruggiero's Broadway credits include HIGH (starring Kathleen Turner) and Looped (starring Valerie Harper in a Tony nominated performance). Looped recently completed a first national tour (starring Stefanie Powers). Off-Broadway, he conceived and directed the original musical revue entitled Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn. The production received nominations for both the Drama Desk Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award. Mr. Ruggiero conceived and directed the world premiere musical portrait of Ella Fitzgerald entitled Ella (starring Tina Fabrique). A popular and critical success, Ella has been seen on over 24 regional theater stages from 2005-2005 before beginning a National Tour in the fall of 2010. Ella has won three Kevin Kline Awards, including "Outstanding Director of a Musical" for the St. Louis production and the Chicago production won three 2008 Joseph Jefferson Awards. Mr. Ruggiero has directed numerous musicals at Goodspeed Musicals where he recently returned to direct a critically acclaimed revival of Carousel (Broadway World Award). This was his sixth collaboration with Goodspeed, where he also directed highly successful productions of Annie Get Your Gun, Camelot, Big River, 1776, and a new revival of Show Boat (which garnered him his fifth Connecticut Critic's Circle Award for Best Direction). This new adaptation of Show Boat is now available to be licensed through the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. He will be returning to Goodspeed this fall to direct a revival of The Most Happy Fella. Mr. Ruggiero's work has been seen at major regional theaters around the country, including: Actors Theatre of Louisville, Arizona Theatre Company, Barrington Stage Company, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cleveland Play House, the Guthrie Theater, Hartford Stage, and the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis among others. He has been affiliated with Theaterworks in Hartford, CT since 1993, where he was recently appointed the Producing Artistic Director. www.robruggiero.com

JON ROBIN BAITZ
(Playwright) His play Other Desert Cities won the Outer Critics Circle Award in 2011. Other plays include The Film Society, The Substance of Fire, The End of the Day, Three Hotels, A Fair Country (Pulitzer Prize finalist 1996), Mizlansky/Zilinsky, Ten Unknowns, and The Paris Letter, as well as a version of Hedda Gabler (Broadway 2001). He created "Brothers & Sisters," the TV series which ran for five seasons, until 2011. Other TV work includes PBS's version of "Three Hotels," for which he won the Humanitas Award, and episodes of "The West Wing" and "Alias." He is the author of two screenplays: the film script for The Substance of Fire (1996) and People I Know (2002). He is a founding member of Naked Angels Theatre Company, and on the faculties of the MFA programs at The New School for Drama and SUNY Stony Brook/Southampton.

MICHAEL SCHWEIKARDT
(Scenic DesignerRecent and favorite Pittsburgh Public Theater credits include Clybourne ParkTalley's FollyAround the World in 80 DaysREDSuperior Donuts, TeaH.M.S. Pinafore,The Bird SanctuaryThe Subject Was Roses, and Anna in the Tropics. Selected Off-Broadway productions include: The Bus and the American premiere of Frank McGuinness' Gates of Gold (59 E 59), Bloodsong of Love (Ars Nova), The Black Suits (The Public Theater), Things to Ruin(Second Stage, the Zipper Factory). Regional credits include productions at the Old Globe, Cleveland Play House, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Saint Louis Rep, Sarasota Opera, The MUNY, Papermill Playhouse, and multiple productions for Goodspeed Musicals including CarouselShowboatAnnie Get Your Gun1776,Big River, and Camelot. Tours: James Taylor's One Man BandEllaMotherhood the Musical. Other productions: Oklahoma! starring Kelli O'Hara and Will Chase celebrating the Oklahoma State centennial. www.msportfolio.com


AMY CLARK
(Costume Designer) Credits include: On Your Toes (City Center Encores), The Little Mermaid (Paper Mill Playhouse), The Mountaintop (Hartford Theaterworks), Chaplin (Broadway, The Barrymore), Lord of the Flies and The North Pool (Barrington Stage Co.), The 39 Steps (Hudson Valley Shakes.), God of Carnage (Hudson Stage Co.), The Understudy (Hartford Theaterworks), Show Boat (Goodspeed Opera), The Comedy of Errors (Hudson Valley Shakes.), Monster at the Door (Alley Theatre), Superior Donuts (Pittsburgh Public Theater), Apple Cove (The Women's Project), Dramatis Personae and Dreams of the Washer (Cherry Lane Co.), Animals Out of Paper and All This Intimacy (Second Stage). Amy is a member of United Scenic Artists local 829 and  has an MFA from NYU Tisch School for the Arts. She was awarded the 2012 Theatre Hall of Fame Emerging Artists Fellowship and is currently designing Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus.

JOHN LASITER
(Lighting Designer) Broadway: HIGH starring Kathleen Turner. Regional: Actors Theatre of Louisville, Arena Stage, Arizona Repertory Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Centerstage, Cincinnati Playhouse, Cleveland Play House, Dallas Theatre Center, Florida Stage, George Street Playhouse, Geva Theatre, Goodspeed Musicals, The Guthrie Theater, Hartford Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory, New Mexico Repertory, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, South Coast Repertory, Syracuse Stage, and Viriginia Stage Company. Off-Broadway: Alarm Dog Repertory Company, Blue Light Theater Company, Music Theater Group, and Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn. Opera: Eos Orchestra, The Curtis Institute of Music, Gilmmerglass Opera, Manhattan School of Music, Opera Delaware, Opera Carolina, and Skylight Opera Theatre. Mr. Lasiter recently won "Best Lighting Design" in the 2012 Broadway World - Connecticut Awards for Carousel, the 2012 St. Louis Critics Award for Sunday in the Park With George, and the 2011 Connecticut Critics Circle Award for City of Angels. His portfolio may be viewed at www.johnlasiter.com

ZACH MOORE
 (Sound Designer) most recently designed the sound for Clybourne ParkThurgood and 1776 here at The Public. 
He has designed more than 65 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, bass for Invader, and operates a small music mastering studio.


McCORKLE CASTING, LTD.
 (Casting) has, for more than 30 years, cast memorable Broadway productions including End of the Rainbow, The Lieutenant of InishmoreThe Glass Menagerie,Cat on a Hot Tin RoofOne Flew Over the Cuckoo's NestThe Ride Down Mt. MorganAmadeus,She Loves MeBlood BrothersA Few Good Men, among many others. Notable Off-Broadway projects include the acclaimed original New York production of Hit the Wall and Tribes (Barrow Street), FallingOur Town (Barrow Street), Almost MaineFreud's Last SessionEars on a Beatle,Killer JoeMrs. KleinDriving Miss Daisy. A partial list of feature film projects include: Premium RushGhost TownSecret WindowTony and Tina's WeddingThe Thomas Crown AffairThe 13th WarriorMadelineDie Hard With a VengeanceSchool Ties. Television: humans for "Sesame Street," "Californication" (Emmy nomination), "Max Bickford," Strangers With Candy," "Barbershop," "Chapelle's Show," among several others. Pat McCorkle, Casting Director; Joe Lopick, Associate.


ALICIA DeMARA
(Production Stage Manager) has been working on productions in the great city of Pittsburgh for more than 10 years with companies such as Bricolage, barebones productions, City Theatre, The Rep, Pittsburgh Musical Theatre, Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, Unique Staging Solutions, and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Some favorite productions include Thurgood, 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).


FREDRIC H. ORNER
(Assistant Stage Manager) has worked this season with Pittsburgh Public Theater on Born Yesterday, 1776 and Other Desert Cities. Other Pittsburgh Public Theater: As You Like It, Superior Donuts, The Price, A Moon for the Misbegotten, Rabbit Hole, Radio Golf, The Glorious Ones, Amadeus. Broadway: Private Lives, If You Ever Leave Me,...I'm Going With You, The Capeman, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, City of Angels, Mule Bone, Sunday in the Park With George (Original Cast), Our Country's Good. National Tours: Cats, City of Angels, Laughter on the 23rd Floor. Elsewhere: MUNY (St. Louis), American Repertory Theater, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Long Wharf Theatre, Hartford Stage, McCarter Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Roundabout Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Pasadena Playhouse, ACT (Seattle), TheatreWorks (Mountainview, CA), Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He has also stage managed tours in the UK, Ireland and Canada.

TED PAPPAS
(Producing Artistic 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. 
 

 

 

 

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