SHAKESPEARE IN PERFORMANCE
= A SERIES IN FIVE ACTS =
PEEK BEHIND THE CURTAIN OF PICT'S APPROACH TO SHAKESPEAREAN PERFORMANCE
In this in-depth, five-part series, we'll examine the craft of bringing the Bard's text to life on stage. Hosted by Artistic & Executive Director Alan Stanford and featuring exclusive performances by our company of PICT actors.
This series is free and appropriate for all ages.
SPEAKING SHAKESPEARE | July 3
We will examine Shakespeare’s use of language and his verse forms, as well as the rhythms of his prose. Why Iambic Pentameter? Why the use of the sonnet form? Why mix verse and prose in the same scenes? With the added voices of PICT actors, we will listen to the way that Shakespeare wrote and examine how his use of words actually dictated they way they should be spoken.
SHAKESPEARE'S WOMEN | July 10
From Juliet to Rosalind, from Cleopatra to Titania, his female characters are some of the richest in all of classic drama. With the help of some of PICT’s finest we will demonstrate the power of Shakespeare’s women and how they very often dominate the male characters in the play - just by being smarter.
SHAKESPEARE'S HEROES | July 17
All too often the hero of any story can tend to be a little bland. Not so with Shakespeare.
His heroes are often hidden and erupt into such acts of heroism that they end up as the dominant character of the play. Shakespeare’s heroes are both male and female: characters who come through adversity with lessons learnt and morals intact. With so many to choose from we will select four to demonstrate Shakespeare’s capacity to write heroes of distinction.
SHAKESPEARE'S VILLIANS | July 24
The Elizabethan stage and the Jacobean stage that followed has presented some of the most memorable villains ever created. In the entire cannon of Shakespeare, he only describes twice a character as simply “villain”, but there are so many more born of wicked circumstance. We will discuss some of the worst (and best) of the cannon and examine what makes them so intriguing.
ANATOMY OF A SHAKESPEARE PLAY | July 31
All too often newcomers to Shakespeare can be put off by the language and the form of the writing. They read the plays as if they were novels. Plays are built with a specific structure and form, and in this class, we will examine the foundation of one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, Macbeth.
We will show how the play is structured and how the plot develops, as well as its modern day relevance to the rule of any despot. Shakespeare wrote this play hundreds of years before Lord Acton famously wrote that “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” but Shakespeare understood that principle, as we will demonstrate.
TUNE IN LIVE EVERY FRIDAY AT 2PM...
In the live lecture, you'll be able to interact directly with our host via our chat and Q&A features. Bring your curiosity!
OR REGISTER TO WATCH THE REPLAY!
Can't tune in live? Watch the lecture at your leisure! Your registration for this series includes a replay link sent directly to your email within 24 hours after the live stream.
ABOUT PICT EDUCATES
PICT Classic Theatre is thrilled to bring you this lecture series free of charge, but your donations will help us to support this and future lecture series.
If you have the means, please consider a donation through our website at picttheatre.org.
ABOUT ALAN STANFORD
Alan Stanford has been Artistic and Executive Director of PICT Classic Theatre since 2013, having worked with the company for several years prior to that. He came to Pittsburgh from Dublin in Ireland, where he was an associate actor and director at the renowned Gate Theatre for over 30 years. As an actor at the Gate he portrayed a multitude of roles but was best known for his performances as Pozzo in Waiting for Godot, a production which toured the world, and for Herod in Oscar Wilde’s Salome, a performance that has been acclaimed internationally. He continued to play Pozzo for twenty years on various tours of the United States and around the world as well as repeating the role in a film of the play made for the Beckett on Film series.
Other noted roles at The Gate include Higgins in Pygmalion, Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Sir in The Dresser, and Judge Brack in Hedda Gabler, (a role he also played with the Abbey Theatre). He has a long association with the works of Oscar Wilde and has given many readings, recitals and lectures across Ireland, in Monaco at the Princess Grace Library and in Pittsburgh. He has performed many of the principle roles in Wilde’s plays including Illingworth in A Woman Of No Importance and Sir Robert Chiltern in An Ideal Husband. In addition, he has performed the role of Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest twice: at the Abbey Theatre and for PICT in Pittsburgh.
Alan is a prolific writer, critically acclaimed for his adaptations of classic text. His work as writer for The Gate include adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, Oliver Twist, and Jane Eyre. These adaptations have been staged in several theatres in the USA and were sell out successes at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. Another major success for The Gate was The Picture of Dorian Gray, which he co-adapted. He also wrote a stage version of How Many Miles to Babylon, from the book by Irish novelist Jennifer Johnston.
As a director he is regarded as a leading authority on the works of Wilde, as well as Shakespeare and Samuel Beckett. He worked with famed British playwrights Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard and Christopher Hampton. He also established his own company Second Age which concentrated on classic texts especially for younger audiences. He was also Director of Theatre at the Project Arts Centre for four years, directing and appearing in many productions, his most notable performance being de Sade in Marat/Sade. His productions there included works by Shaw, Arbuzov, Grahame Greene, Brecht and Shakespeare. His recent production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at PICT Classic Theatre was nationally recognized for its avant-garde approach to lighting and minimalist staging.
Alan created the long-running character George Manning on the popular Irish television series Glenroe. His other film credits include Waiting for Godot, Michael Collins, Animal Farm, and the Tudors, among many others. A man of many passions, he was also a restaurant critic and weekly columnist for the Irish Independent, Ireland's largest-selling daily newspaper.
ABOUT PICT CLASSIC THEATRE
PICT Classic Theatre is an internationally-recognized, non-profit theatre company founded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1996. For the past 23 years, PICT Classic Theatre has brought you the very best professional productions and performances of your favorite Classic and Irish drama. Plays that are powerful, poignant, and provocative. Plays that are purely PICT.
Our vision is to present the highest quality productions for the widest audience, featuring our innovative, minimalist design. With over 109 productions in our history, PICT continues to bring beloved works to the stage to approximately 10,000 patrons each season. We are commited to entertaining, engaging, and serving the Pittsburgh community by examining current social issues through the lens of classic text.
The greatest of plays. The best actors. The best creative theatre artists. And as much as possible, we keep it local.
PICT is honored to have a home in the historic Fred Rogers Studio at WQED - the birthplace of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.
Learn more at picttheatre.org.