Beloved "Pollyanna" and Tony Award-Winning Linda Loman Will Find Sanctuary at Pittsburgh Public

News   Beloved "Pollyanna" and Tony Award-Winning Linda Loman Will Find Sanctuary at Pittsburgh Public Pittsburgh Public Theater has plucked up two acclaimed actresses to nest in its spring staging of Frank McGuinness' The Bird Sanctuary.
Elizabeth Franz
Elizabeth Franz

Hayley Mills and Tony Award-winner Elizabeth Franz will star in the U.S. premiere of the play, directed by Kent Paul, April 14-May 15 at PPT's O'Reilly Theatre.

In the five-character play by the author of Someone Who'll Watch Over Me, Eleanor Henryson is an eccentric artist whose paintings depict members of her dysfunctional Irish family as well as creatures in a beloved bird sanctuary.

Her work is "a colorful outlet for a life of frustration and disappointment," according to PPT notes. "The arrival of her siblings to sell their run-down family home sets the stage for bickering, bantering, laughter and healing. Stirred with lots of alcohol and shaken with a little bit of witchcraft, the family reunion makes for quite a heady mix."

"We were already fortunate to have Frank McGuinness grant us the rights to his wondrous play The Bird Sanctuary," said PPT artistic and executive director Ted Pappas. "Now having Ms. Franz and Ms. Mills in the same cast is a dream come true."

Elizabeth Franz, who will be making her Public Theater debut, playing Eleanor, received acclaim for her performance in Broadway's recent Death of a Salesman, for which she received a 1999 Tony Award for her portrayal of Linda Loman. Hayley Mills is the former child actress who made her first film, "Tiger Bay," at the age of 12. She'll l play Marianne Henryson (Eleanor's sister) in The Bird Sanctuary. She is known and beloved for her roles in such films as "The Parent Trap," "That Darn Cat," "Pollyanna" and "Moonspinners," as well as in the Australian and U.S. productions of The King and I.

Acclaimed international artists are nothing new to the respected Pennsylvania not-for-profit theatre. F. Murray Abraham, Marlo Thomas, John Henry Redwood, Andrew Lloyd Webber, August Wilson, Alan Ayckbourn, Roger Robinson, Leonard Nimoy have all been in residence there, as have resident and regional artists.

Brian Murray will play Prospero in PPT's The Tempest March 3-April 3, directed by Pappas. Daniel Stewart will play Caliban. James Noone will design the sets.

For tickets or more information, contact the box office at (412) 316-1600 or online at www.ppt.org.

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