The world premiere of The Chief, a one-man play by Rob Zellers and Gene Collier, plays Nov. 6-Dec. 7, and features Pittsburgh’s favorite leading man, Tom Atkins. It "tells the story of Pittsburgh's revered hero, Art Rooney, the man who changed the face of Pittsburgh and professional football with his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers," according to the announcement. "His journey from poverty to stardom is a bare-knuckles story of love, luck, faith and football..." Gene Collier writes for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
The second world premiere is Things of Dry Hours, by poet and playwright Naomi Wallace, playing April 15-May 16, 2004. The drama "is the tale of a man's spiritual awakening and the transforming power of hope, set in Depression-era Alabama," according to PPT. "Wallace, one of today’s most celebrated and compelling writers, has twice won the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, garnered the prestigious Obie award, and in 1999 was honored with a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship—the famous 'Genius Grant.'"
PPT has a tradition of producing new work. Some of the plays which received their world premieres on the PPT stage include Horton Foote's Habitation of Dragons, Jonathon Bolt and Thomas Tierney's Eleanor, Michael Cristofer's Amazing Grace, Mark Hampton and Barbara J. Zitwer's Paper Doll and August Wilson's King Hedley II.
The season also includes Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado, Frank D. Gilroy's The Subject Was Roses, Dario Fo's Accidental Death of an Anarchist in a new translation by Ron Jenkins (co produced with Dallas Theatre Center), Friedrich Schiller's Mary Stuart starring Lisa Harrow and Deirdre Madigan.
Pappas will stage The Mikado and Mary Stuart. For information, call the Public's box office at (412) 316 1600 or visit the O'Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Avenue, downtown Pittsburgh. Or visit www.ppt.org.