University of Pittsburgh
August 27, 2003

New Director Named for Pitt's Shakespeare-in-the-Schools

Stars in Hamlet during tour of area schools
Contact: 

Sharon Blake

412-624-4364

Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH—Kathryn Spitz—producer, director, teacher, and actor in some of television's most popular programs—has been named the new director of the University of Pittsburgh Department of Theatre Arts' Shakespeare-in-the-Schools (SITS). The program introduces children to Shakespeare through productions specifically designed for them.

In addition to serving as director, Spitz, along with Pitt teaching artist Doug Mertz, will be one of two performers featured in this year's production of Hamlet, which will tour elementary, middle, and high schools throughout southwestern Pennsylvania. The one-hour adaptation will allow students to experience Shakespeare's classic from a fresh perspective. "Using only two actors is unusual," remarked Spitz, "and it will certainly be a challenge."

Spitz, a native of Mt. Lebanon, majored in theater at Northwestern University, where she earned the Bachelor of Science degree in communications.

Following graduation, Spitz headed to Los Angeles, where she secured acting jobs that included a recurring role in "The Young and the Restless." She also appeared in "Mad About You," "Beauty and the Beast," "Designing Women," "L. A. Law," and a number of television movies. Spitz worked alongside such actors as John Ritter, Charleton Heston, Linda Hamilton, Dixie Carter, and Raquel Welch. Since returning to Pittsburgh in 1994, she has taught acting at Pitt, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Actors Theatre of Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh Musical Theatre. She also has worked as a private drama coach.

In her role as SITS director, Spitz says she hopes to incorporate into the annual tour a more hands-on component for the student audience.

NOTE TO EDITORS: A partial school schedule for Shakespeare-in-the-Schools' production of Hamlet will be announced once the season gets under way. For more information, contact Yvonne Hudson at 412-624-0933 or at playpr@pitt.edu.

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