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Public Theater will open the New Year with Metamorphoses


January 13, 2009

South Side Slopes resident Tami Dixox (first row on the left) joins in the cast of Metamorphoses opening this week at the Pittsburgh Public Theater.

Pittsburgh Public Theater begins the new year with the splashiest event of the season: Metamorphoses, directed by Ted Pappas, runs Jan. 15 – Feb. 15 in the O'Reilly Theater.

Based on the timeless myths of the Roman poet Ovid, Metamorphoses was written and originally staged by Mary Zimmerman. It caused a sensation in both its Off-Broadway and Broadway productions, receiving three Best Play awards in 2002.

The play's theme is transformation, and as created by Ms. Zimmerman, it allows each new director, design team, and to transform the production according to their unique vision.

Built into the stage is a pool of water, the perfect representation of the fluidity of change. Enhanced by a stunning variety of lighting, sound and costume designs, 10 actors will use the pool to evoke contemporary interpretations of Heaven, Earth, and the Underworld.

Zeus will start things off, making order out of chaos. We'll meet the greedy Midas and the vain Narcissus. Many couples come together or part, transformed by their relationships, including Orpheus & Eurydice and Eros & Psyche.

The gods also turn things around: a naughty Aphrodite; a drunken Bacchus; Vertumnus, the god of springtime; and Poseidon, who stirs up quite a storm, among many others. Flowing through the production are many lessons, including the consequences of excess and lust, the virtues of honesty, and the power of love.

Under the direction of Ted Pappas, the design team for Pittsburgh Public Theater's production of Metamorphoses is: James Noone (scenic), Susan Tsu (costumes), Kirk Bookman (lighting), and Zach Moore (sound). Appearing in a variety of roles are both Pittsburgh-based and international actors: J.T. Arbogast, Craig Baldwin, Ka-Ling Cheung, Tami Dixon, Darren Eliker, Daina Michelle Griffith, Lara Hillier, Daniel Krell, Sipiwe Moyo, and Bhavesh Patel. Ruth E. Kramer is the production stage manager and Ashley J Martin is the assistant stage manager.

For tickets call 412-316-1600 or visit

 The Mondays With the Public free lecture series will continue on Monday, Jan., 26 at 7 p.m. in the Helen Wayne Rauh Rehearsal Room, third floor of the O'Reilly Theater.

The lecture topic will be: “Ovid: Changing the Universe, One Heart at a Time.” Mark Possanza, an associate professor in the Classics Department at the University of Pittsburgh, will talk about why Ovid's Metamorphoses has been an inspiration for the past 2,000 years.

Talk is free but reservations are recommended. Call 412-316-1600.


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