O’Reilly Theater

April 17 – May 18

7 p.m., 8 p.m., 2 p.m.

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George Bernard Shaw’s renowned comedy Candida is coming to the Pittsburgh Public Theater stage for the first time. Continuing its Masterpiece Season, The Public’s premiere production of Candida also marks the first time that Ted Pappas has ever directed a play by Shaw. Pappas, who is celebrating his 14th season as producing artistic director of Pittsburgh Public Theater, has staged more than 40 productions for company.

Penned by the famed Irish playwright in 1894, Candida was first published in 1898, as part of Shaw’s Plays Pleasant. Set in the London suburbs, the comedy showcases Shaw’s prolific wit, which he applies to universal themes of love, marriage and political issues of the day. Examining and confronting Victorian notions about love, marriage and desire, the play’s story centers around Reverend James Morell, a Christian Socialist, Morell’s wife Candida and the young poet Eugene Marchbanks, who tries to win her affections.

Candida’s cast features three accomplished actors returning to Pittsburgh Public Theater. Starring in the title role of Candida is Gretchen Egolf, who played Rosalind in The Public’s hit As You Like It, and Jackie Kennedy in The Secret Letters of Jackie and Marilyn. Playing the practical parson is David Whalen, who returns to The Public for his seventh time and was recently seen in Good People. The role of the passionate poet Eugene is played by Jared McGuire, who appeared in last season’s Clybourne Park.

Born in Dublin in 1856, Shaw moved to London at age 20, where he established himself as a prolific playwright, drama critic and active member of the socialist Fabian Society. Achieving critical and financial success in England and America by the turn of the century, Shaw won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925 and an Oscar for his screen adaptation of Pygmalion in 1938.