Charity Randall Theatre, Stephen Foster Memorial

December 3 – 20
8 p.m.

Kick off your holidays with a timeless tale by one of history’s greatest storytellers that begins on Christmas morning.

PICT Classic Theatre wraps up its 2014 season with a production of Charles Dickens’ Victorian masterpiece, Great Expectations. Fresh on the heels of producing Macbeth—its most well-attended production in 18 years—and just before launching its new Downtown Series, PICT brings the iconic story to the Charity Randall Theatre in Oakland. A wonderful family outing for the season, Great Expectations is appropriate for ages 10 and up.

Dickens’ classic coming-of-age adventure begins when a young orphan boy unexpectedly receives a sizable fortune from a wealthy benefactor. While training to become a blacksmith, Pip must suddenly leave behind the marshes of Kent for bustling London, to begin his new path in life. Follow along with Pip—from a humble blacksmith’s forge to the mansion of wicked Miss Havisham, to the streets and houses of Victorian London, and even onto a boat along the River Thames—as he strives to find his place in the world.  Setting out to become a gentleman, kindhearted Pip encounters a cast of quintessential Dickensian characters, such as Abel Magwitch, Miss Havisham, Estella, Mr. Jaggers and Herbert Pocket.

Adapted for the stage by the acclaimed Irish dramatist, television writer and essayist Hugh Leonard, the local production is directed by Alan Stanford, PICT’s artistic and executive director. The large and versatile cast features young, emerging and seasoned actors alike. Playing the play’s endearing protagonist Pip is Dylan Marquis Meyers, while Elliot Pullen and Simon Colker share the role of Young Pip. Also featured are Mary Rawson (Miss Havisham), Lily Davis (Estella), Martin Giles (Joe Gargery), Karen Baum (Mrs. Joe and Biddy) and James FitzGerald (Wemmick). The artistic team features Michael Essad (scenic), Joan Markert (costumes), Steve Shapiro (sound) and Andrew Ostrowski (lighting).

Via Dickens’ vivid characters, scenery and narrative, theater-goers will be transported to mid-19th-century London for a captivating journey of relationships, personal growth and societal commentary. Dickens’ 11th novel and first published in serial format, Great Expectations examines universal themes ranging from self exploration, love and friendship, to revenge, greed and social issues.

But how will it end? The conclusion of Pip’s journey has been debated over 100 years, and Pittsburgh audiences will just have to wait and see which closing scenario PICT chooses, as Dickens famously re-wrote the end of Great Expectations to make it more satisfying to average readers.

Go beyond the stage at one of PICT’s special public programs, including an opening night reception, pre-show dinners and conversations, post-show Talkbacks, happy hours and more.

Purchase tickets.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.