Pinter plays on parade

By Kelsey Shea

From London to Pittsburgh, the name Harold Pinter has a whole lot of meaning in literary… From London to Pittsburgh, the name Harold Pinter has a whole lot of meaning in literary circles — and this summer, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre will promote it with a festival to commemorate the famous writer.

Before the PICT puts on the festival to celebrate the life and achievements of Pinter, called “Hearing Noise (and Laughter) in the Silence,” it previewed works that the famous writer influenced, with a series called the “Pinteresque Storytellers Series.”

The final performance in the four-part series will take place this Monday, July 12, with Joe Orkin’s play, “Ruffian on the Stair” — an adaptation of Pinter’s first play, “The Room.”

Pinter was a London-born playwright whose plays, “The Birthday Party,” “The Homecoming” and “The Betrayal,” were major staples on the international theater scene in the late ’50s and early ’60s.

He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2005 and the French Légion d’honneur in 2007.

“It’s been very well received,” said Melissa Grande, the associate artistic director at PICT, of the reading series. “I think people are excited about Pinter’s works.”

While the reading series will end on Monday, the Pinter festival will feature six plays from July 22, when “The Hothouse” will be performed, to August 22.

As to why PICT chose Pinter to honor in its festival, Grande said the reasons are obvious.

“He’s a Nobel Prize winner, and he’s certainly one of the most, if not the most, influential writers of the late 20th Century,” she said. “He’s influenced so many writers.”

Leave a comment.