CATEGORY: MAIN EVENT
The Scarlet Letter
Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter
Written for the Stage by Liam Macik
November 1, 2019 - November 10, 2019
The courage and strength of Hester Prynne will lift your spirits and captivate you in this timeless classic that is relevant today.
- Audio Described Performance - Friday, November 8th
- Sensory-Friendly Performance - Saturday, November 9th (1 PM)
- Interpreted Performance - Saturday, November 9th
Article: Hester Prynne is a Heroine
SCOTT P. CALHOON (Ensemble Roles) is honored to be back on the stage with Prime Stage. Regional theatre performances include Front Porch Theatricals, WV Public Theatre, Candlewood Playhouse (CT), Gateway Playhouse (NY), Northern Lights Playhouse (WI), Pittsburgh Playhouse and Gargaro Productions. Tours include Don Brockett’s Big Bad Burlesque, Encore Attractions’ Seven Brides\Seven Brothers and several Eastern PA touring companies. Favorite roles have included; Daddy Cane (Bright Star), Pilate (JCS), Smudge (Forever Plaid), half the cast of Mystery of Irma Vep, Billy Flynn (Chicago), Emcee (Cabaret), Seymour (Little Shop of Horrors), Hysterium (…Forum), Lloyd (Noises Off), Chaplain (Lady’s Not For Burning) and Padrig Michael O’Neill (Not Lightly Chosen) for which he won a PGH New Works Festival Best Supporting Actor Award. Scott can usually be ‘not’ scene directing shows in and around town and can be heard as the narrator of the Grammy nominated children’s audio book, Find Your Own Voice (http://www.qmproductionsinc.com/perfectfifth.html). Scott wishes to thank God, family and friends for their belief and support.
KYLE DePASQUALE (Dimmesdale) is a Pittsburgh native and a recent graduate from Westminster College. Some of his notable performances include Cabaret (Emcee), Romeo and Juliet (Romeo), Our Town (George), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Lysander), Drowsy Chaperone (Robert Martin), and Hamlet (Hamlet). Kyle was an apprentice at Commonwealth Shakespeare Company in Boston performing Henry IV Part 1 (Hotspur), and he attended The Stella Adler Studio of Acting's Shakespeare intensive in New York.
JULIET FORREST (Pearl) is thrilled to make her debut at Prime Stage in the role of Pearl! Favorite roles are Matilda in Matilda (Comtra Theatre), Bruce in Matilda (Batavia Studios), and the voice of Piggie (“The Pigeon Comes to Pittsburgh” Children’s Museum exhibit). She is also a student at Molly Stater Music Studio and CLO Academy, where she has performed in several roles, including Peter Pan in Peter Pan, Jr. and Zazu in The Lion King, Jr. Juliet was recently awarded first prize in the Youth Singing category in “Fifteen Minutes of Fame” here at the New Hazlett. Juliet is in 5th grade at Peebles Elementary, where she participates in GOAL, small ensemble, orchestra, and ukulele club. She would like to thank the cast and crew of The Scarlet Letter for their support and kindness!
HEATHER IRWIN (Goodwife 1) is delighted to again be part of Prime Stage’s season. Recent Pittsburgh credits include Myra in Hiawatha Project’s My Traveling Song, and Meip Gies in Prime Stage’s The Diary of Anne Frank. Heather also has performed with City Theatre’s Young Playwrights Festival and 12 Peer’s Mythburgh. Chicago credits include Heddatron and Strangerland (Sideshow Theatre Co), The Lady’s Not For Burning and Private Eyes (NEIU Center Stage) and Night Caps (Lincoln Square Theater). She has performed in two national tours with The Hampstead Stage Company (Barnstead NH). Heather is the Associate Artistic Producer for Hiawatha Project, and was part of the production team for My Traveling Song at Carnegie Stage in 2019 and JH: Mechanics of a Legend at the August Wilson Center 2017. You can also catch her recent commercial work with MedExpress, GetGo and Goodman Heating. Heather is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh where she received a BA in Theater and English Literature.
EVERETT LOWE (Hawthorne) is thrilled to be working with Prime Stage once again—and on such a uniquely original adaptation of this classic. Everett appeared last season as Malvolio in Twelfth Night, and previously in their productions of The Great Gatsby, The Importance of Being Earnest, and A Lesson Before Dying. A performance theater graduate of Geneva College and Pittsburgh native, Everett has been privileged to work with many other theater companies and festivals around the city, including 12 Peers Theatre, No Name Players, Throughline Theatre, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, Pittsburgh Fringe Festival, Little Lake, Cup-A-Jo Productions (where he also serves as Managing Director), and many more. Many thanks to Liam, and to the cast and crew for this wonderful experience. Love always to Tiffany and Desmond, and to my family and friends for their continual support. Bless the Lord, O my soul!
KEN LUTZ (Reverend Wilson) Active in both theatre and music, Ken plays clarinet in the East Winds Symphonic Band and the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra. Acting roles include George Spelvin in The Actor’s Nightmare with Proudly Presents Productions, Weller in Grand Dream Productions’ The Gin Game, Charles Thomson in 1776 with Artscape, Dr. Dorn in Wooden Rocket's The Seagull, Pastor James in The Gospel Singer with Pittsburgh Lab Project, and Lee in Better Late with South Park Theatre. This is Ken’s fifteenth production with Prime Stage Theatre.
ERIC MATHEWS (Bellingham) is proud to be performing with Prime Stage for the first time. A Pittsburgh native and a graduate of Duquesne University and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Eric has performed with a number of local companies over the years, including Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, Little Lake Theater, Stage 62, The Pittsburgh New Works Festival, Poor Yorick’s Players, and Food for Groundlings. Recent credits include Othello (Montano), The Comedy of Errors (Duke Solinus), Macbeth (Macduff), and Jane Eyre (Lord Ingram/ Rev. Wood)
CHRISTINE McGRATH (Goodwife 3) is a Pittsburgh native and graduate of Allegheny College. She is ecstatic to be making her Prime Stage Theater debut! Recently, she appeared as Tessa in The Pittsburgh Savoyards' production of Gilbert and Sullivan's light operetta The Gondoliers. Other regional credits include: The Summer Company (Veronica Sawyer in Heathers: The Musical), Pittsburgh Classic Players (Viola/Cesario in Twelfth Night), Pittsburgh Savoyards (Phoebe in Yeomen of the Guard) and Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks (Sylvia in Two Gentlemen of Verona). When she is not on stage, Christine works as a high school lacrosse coach, sports performance specialist, personal trainer, and graphic designer.
JOYCE MILLER (Goodwife 5) returns to Prime Stage in her fourth appearance here, having played Mrs. Boyle in The Mousetrap, Rebecca Nurse in The Crucible, and Mrs. Dubose/Court Stenographer in To Kill a Mockingbird in prior years. She enjoys performing with a number of local theater companies including Little Lake Theatre, South Park Theatre, Throughline Theatre, Open Stage, and Pittsburgh New Works Festival. She was most recently see as Maria in A Comedy of Tenors for Little Lake Theatre and will be in their Christmas show, The Christmas Lake Effect. Favorite roles include The Nurse in Romeo & Juliet, Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie, and Ida Swanson in Morning's at Seven. Joyce is grateful for the opportunity to work with such a talented cast and crew in bringing literature to life for our audiences.
* GEORGE SAULNIER (Chillingworth) is delighted to be making his fourth appearance in a Prime Stage show. He played five characters in The Turn of the Screw, Reverend Hale in The Crucible, and Mr. Dussel in The Diary of Anne Frank. He recently played the title role in The Cutting Ball Theatre’s production of Uncle Vanya in San Francisco. He studied at Emerson College, Harvard University, The Trinity Rep Conservatory, and Shakespeare & Co. He was a long time member of the much-missed Boston experimental theatre group The Rough and Tumble Theatre. He has performed locally with Throughline Theater, South Park Theater, and Cup O Jo Productions. He won the 2017 Best Performance award for his work in Stage Right’s production of Once Upon a Mattress Store at Pittsburgh’s New Works Festival. Favorite role include Hamm in Endgame, Krapp in Krapp’s Last Tape, George in Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Mason Marzac in Take Me Out, and Hamlet in Hamlet. He is a recent and proud member of Actor’s Equity.
LAUREN SCHELLER-WOLF (Goodwife 4) is delighted to be a part of The Scarlet Letter and get the opportunity to help tell such a powerful, timely story. Lauren is a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh studying theatre arts and fiction writing. She has previously performed with Prime Stage in their touring show You Belong to Me, Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks productions of Henry V and The Tempest, as well as many productions with Gemini Children’s Theater, Saltworks Theater Company, and Hope Academy of Music and the Arts. When not performing or writing Lauren can often be found dressed as a fairytale character trying to bring a little bit of magic to kids in pediatric units around Pittsburgh. Love and gratitude to her friends, family, and the wonderful cast and crew who made this show possible.
ALLISON SVAGDIS (Hester Prynne) is ecstatic to be making her Prime Stage debut in The Scarlet Letter. She is currently a senior in Point Park University’s BFA Acting program. Originally hailing from Florida, Allison began her training at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. Past Pittsburgh credits include: Vinegar Tom (Susan), Horse Girls (Ashleigh), and The Adventures of Nate the Great (Annie). She’d like to give a special shoutout to the amazing cast and crew of The Scarlet Letter, and the man behind it all- Liam Macik. She is extremely grateful and blessed for all the opportunities that have come her way this year. She’d like to thank her friends and family for supporting her on this wonderful journey. Instagram: @alli_laine
MAURA UNDERWOOD (Goodwife 2) is excited to be making her debut with Prime Stage Theater in The Scarlet Letter! Maura serves as the Choral Director and Director of the Music Academy, as well as the producer for the Theater Department at Blackhawk High School in Beaver Falls, PA. She’s had the honor of sharing the stage with some of Pittsburgh’s finest artistic organizations such as Bricolage, 12 Peers Theater, Cup-a-Jo Productions, Throughline Theater, Stage 62, Seraphic Singers and Voces Solis. Some of her favorite shows include Midnight Radio: The Christmas Story (Mother), James and the Giant Peach (Aunt Sponge), and Brainpeople (Mayannah). Thanks to Liam and all involved in this production!
*Member of Actors’ Equity
What will you discover by coming to see this new adaptation?
It’s a powerfully unique twist on a familiar tale!
Liam Macik, the playwright and director, shares how this production takes the story told in the Hawthorne’s 1850 novel a few steps further.
“In this new production, Hawthorne himself is a character,” said Macik. “An actor playing Hawthorne will explain to the audience the steps he went through while writing the novel, as the story unfolds onstage.”
He continued, “Prime Stage is known for bringing literature to life, so my objective is for audiences to experience exactly that by providing the author’s point of view throughout, based on what we know about Hawthorne’s writing process. This approach is something that’s rarely if ever been executed, and I believe audiences will be fascinated to learn how an author works, both the high and low points of creating a story. In this case, it’s how he created a story that people have been reading for nearly 170 years.” The courage and strength displayed by Prynne is uplifting and captivating as audiences see Hester and the town for “who they really are" in this timeless classic that still rings true today.
Interesting facts about The Scarlet Letter
Though Hawthorne achieved fame, he was shy and avoided making eye contact with people. At home, he was likely to head out the back door if he knew a guest had arrived at the front door. At times he was playful, almost childlike, and unconcerned about appearances. Yet he was a good friend to other authors, including Herman Melville, who dedicated Moby Dick to him.
The Scarlet Letter was considered very risqué in the mid-1800s
Hawthorne claims The Scarlet Letter is a true story: ... While Hester Prynne and her illegitimate daughter Pearl never existed, Hawthorne, who read extensively about Puritan history, may have based his novel on the story of Mary Bailey Beadle.
Hester Prynne has been called "among the first and most important female protagonists in American literature".
The Puritans really did make people wear letters for adultery.
In the town of York (now in Maine) in 1651, near where Hawthorne’s family owned property, a woman named Mary Batchellor was whipped 40 lashes for adultery and forced to wear an ‘A’ on her clothes. She was married to Stephen Batchellor, a minister over 80 years old. Sound familiar?
The Scarlet Letter was one of the first novels to be mass produced.
Mass production of books was just taking off in the United States when The Scarlet Letter was published. Before the rise of mechanized printing in the mid-19th century, many books were handmade and sold in small quantities. The first printing of The Scarlet Letter included 2,500 copies, which sold out in 10 days.
Hawthorne's wife wept when he read the final chapter of The Scarlet Letter to her.
When Hawthorne finished the final chapter of The Scarlet Letter in February 1850, he read it out loud to his wife Sophia, who began to weep. "It broke her heart," said Hawthorne.
"See Me for Who I Am"
Box Office: 412.608.2262
Main Stage performances are at the New Hazlett Theater Center for Performing Arts
Performances are typically 2 hours long plus one intermission.
Showtimes: Friday &; Saturday @ 8:00 PM
Sunday @ 2:30 PM
On-street parking is available at no cost after 6:00 pm, Monday-Saturday and all day Sunday. Paid parking is available in the Allegheny Health Network garage for evening events and weekend matinees. Parking in the garage is $7 (cash only)
To find the garage:
- Drive past the theater and follow Allegheny Square East as if you were going back out onto East Commons. The Allegheny Health Network garage will be on your left.
- Pull in and a uniformed parking attendant will collect your fee.
- Parking in the garage is $7 (cash only)
NOTE: The lot will close one hour after the show.
For various events, security is on site to direct you to available parking options. Parking for sporting events impact space available near the Theater. Please check your local listings to see if the Theater’s event conflicts with our local sports teams.