Ted Pappas Is Now Artistic and Executive Director of Pittsburgh Public; 2003-04 Season Is "Ambitious"

News   Ted Pappas Is Now Artistic and Executive Director of Pittsburgh Public; 2003-04 Season Is "Ambitious" Pittsburgh Public Theater artistic director Ted Pappas assumed the newly-created role of the company's artistic and executive director June 17, and Pappas said he's excited about the job.

The executive director role includes board relations, internal administration and planning, and additional community presence.

"I'm the person whose responsibility is the financial well being for the company," Pappas told Playbill On-Line. "It seems to me the person who creates the art must also have some of the ability and responsibility in maintaining the financial health of the institution as well, which includes fundraising."

PPT has offered classics, popular musicals and world premieres in Pappas' tenure since 1999 (continuing the company's tradition). The change in titles was announced following the resignation of managing director Stephen Klein.

Pappas is a respected director and choreographer who is still active in the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, of which he was once president. The director-choreographer admitted he's a social animal, and his work with the SSDC and other organizations was good training for going out into the Pittsburgh community to talk to groups — raising both money and awareness — to help build a theatregoing audience for the city.

In 2003-04, he'll direct and choreograph The Mikado (with Ken Kantor as the Mikado, Matt Morgan as Nanki Poo, Larry Daggett as Pish Tush and Frederick Reeder as Coco) and stage Schiller's Mary Stuart (with Lisa Harrow and Deirdre Madigan). The season also includes the world premiere of The Chief, by Rob Zellers and Gene Collier, a solo play starring Tom Atkins about NFL icon and Pittsburgh Steelers owner Arthur J. Rooney. Pappas will also direct it.

PPT also has the rights to stage the world premiere of One Flea Spare writer Naomi Wallace's Things of Dry Hours. Israel Hicks will directs in spring 2004. A workshop will be staged in August in Pittsburgh. The three-actor play is about black communists in Alabama in the 1930s.

Frank Gilroy's The Subject Was Roses and Nobel Prize-winner Dario Fo's Accidental Death of an Anarchist (the latter directed by Richard Hamburger in a new translation by Ron Jenkins) round out the season.

Pappas bills his new season as "ambitious." He said in a time when some regional theatres are focusing on small cast works that are well-known he's proud to offer large company shows such as The Mikado and Mary Stuart, and remains committed to new works, like the Wallace play.

Three other management changes have also been announced: Cindy Tutera is general manager; Lou Castelli is director of external affairs, and Monica Bowin is director of production and operations.

For more information, visit www.ppt.org.