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.
“Tom came to us recommended by our Emmy-nominated PSF alum Marnie Schulenburg and had the right stuff for Brick. Apparently, one can’t turn on a television without seeing him: the other day I did just that and there he was,” says Patrick Mulcahy, producing artistic director.
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 On the nights when Degnan is not playing the withdrawn Brick, he will play thevillainous Don John in Much Ado.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).
The productions sponsors for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Much Ado About Nothing are Breslin Ridyard Fadero Architects and Kathleen Kund and Timothy E. Nolan, respectively.
The Season Sponsor is The Rider-Pool Foundation. The Associate Season Sponsors are Linda Lapos and Paul Wirth, Lutron Electronics Company, Inc., and the Harry C. Trexler Trust. Season Media sponsors are The Morning Call and Service Electric Cable TV & Communications.