The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's 21st season will feature daytime television star Tom Degnan in the role of Brick Pollitt in Tennessee William's Pulitzer Prize winning classic, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Best known for playing Joey Buchanan in One Life to Live, Degnan also portrayed young Harry in the 2009 film Handsome Harry with Jamey Sheridan and Steve Buscemi. Born in nearby Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Degnan appeared in As the World Turns as Adam Munson, Law and Order, The Good Wife, and White Collar.
In addition to Brick, Degnan will play Don John in Much Ado About Nothing, which plays in repertory with Cat.
Set on a plantation home, a family tries to celebrate the birthday of Big Daddy. Brick (played by Degnan) is Big Daddy's oldest son and the favored family member. But since the death of his friend Skipper, Brick has distanced himself from his family and his wife Maggie, "the cat," and turns to drinking in order to find the "click" that will make him peaceful.
Directed by Thomas Ouellette, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof will play in repertory with William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, featuring the same cast. On the nights when Degnan is not playing the withdrawn Brick, he will play thevillainous Don John in Much Ado.
Directed by James J. Christy, Shakespeare's spirited comedy offers the tale of two courtships: Beatrice and Benedick continuous quarreling evolves into something deeper, while Claudio and Hero are instantly smitten with one another. However, when Don John, the illegitimate brother of Benedick and Claudio's superior, grows envious of his brother's stature, he vows to ruin Claudio and Hero's happiness once and for all.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof will run from July 19 - August 5 (with previews July 19 and 20), while Much Ado About Nothing will run from July 11 - August 5 (with previews July 11 and 12). Both productions will take place on the PSF Main Stage at the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of DeSalesUniversity.
Single tickets, subscriptions, and packages that include tickets to Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Much Ado About Nothing are available at www.pashakespeare.org and by contacting the Box Office at 610.282.WILL .
The 2012 season includes two other plays by Shakespeare, The Tempest (June 20 - July 15), and King John (July 25 - August 5). Also in the line-up is Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (June 13 - July 1), featuring Broadway headliners William Michals and Dee Roscioli. For children, the Festival features Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (June 1 - August 4) and Shakespeare for Kids (July 25 - August 4).
Tom Degnan, Brick/Don John. Born in Yardley, Bucks County, Pa., Tom is excited to take the stage in his home state. Past credits include Pride and Prejudice (Cleveland Play House), Anna Christie, A Midsummer Night's Dream, You Can't Take it With You (Monomoy Theatre). Film/TV credits: Handsome Harry, Magic City, The Good Wife, White Collar, Law and Order, As the World Turns,and One Life to Live.
JAMES J. CHRISTY, Director, Much Ado About Nothing. Directed The Playboy of the Western World at PSF in 2010. Recent productions include The Outgoing Tide, a new play by Bruce Graham for The Philadelphia Theater Company, the premiere of Michael Hollinger's Ghost Writer at the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia, and Antony and Cleopatra and King Lear for the Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre. He received the Philadelphia Theatre Alliance's Lifetime Achievement Award, a highlight of his longtime career as a director and educator in Philadelphia. Christy is a Professor Emeritus fromVillanova University where he taught theatre for thirty-nine years. His productions for Villanova, the Arden, and the Philadelphia Theatre Company and others have won numerous Barrymore awards, including two wins for best directing.