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Posted: Tuesday Jul 17, 2012




July 17, 2012

Saint Vincent Summer Theatre veteran Philip Winters will play Art Rooney, Sr., in a special presentation of The Chief by Rob Zellers and Gene Collier about the legendary founder and owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, that will conclude the 2012 season of Saint Vincent Summer Theatre from Thursday, July 26 to Sunday, August 19 – concurrent with the 47th annual Pittsburgh Steelers summer training camp at Saint Vincent.

Mr. Winters, assistant professor at Point Park University, is well-known to Saint Vincent audiences for his performances in The Ladies Man, Is He Dead?, and Moonlight & Magnolias, works regularly on the Pittsburgh and regional stages as an actor and occasional director. He has been featured at the Playhouse REP, Pittsburgh Public Theatre and Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre among many others. Recently, Mr. Winters was seen as Mickey in the regional premiere of Mojo at the Playhouse REP, as George in the REP’s production of That Championship Season and as Marshall in the Pittsburgh Public Theatre’s production of The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman. In addition to his work in the classroom and on the stage, Mr. Winters has been featured in many film and television roles, as well as on radio for numerous voice-over performances.

Mr. Winters earned a bachelor of arts degree in English at the University of Pittsburgh. He also studied acting at the University of Connecticut and earned an MFA in theatre arts from Point Park where he teaches acting, voice and speech, theatre history, improvisation and experimental theatre. He is a member of the Actors’ Equity Association, SAG, AFTRA, Michael Chekhov Association and VASTA.

What does it mean to him to be selected to play this role? “It’s an honor,” Mr. Winters commented. “It combines the things I love the most – Steelers football and acting. I’ve been a fan of the Steelers for so long and a fan of Saint Vincent from coming out here to do shows. So, to be able to do this during training camp is really, really exciting.”

“The opportunity to do this great play means a lot to me,” he continued. “It is so much more than a story about Art Rooney. The play is really fascinating and funny. All the things I like are coming together in this show.”

“I want to tell an entertaining story and tell people that Art Rooney was a man like anybody else,” he concluded. “He was a hard working man, not a rich guy who got anything handed to him. My goal is to have people come and enjoy themselves and learn something more about the Steelers, about Art Rooney and to be true to the story. I don’t expect anything personal out of it other than the satisfaction of achieving this one-man show which I have never done before. I have never had the opportunity to be the only one on stage for an extended amount of time. It’s exciting.”

Mr. Winters was born in Indiana, Pennsylvania, but grew up in Connellsville (Fayette County). He attended Catholic grade schools and Immaculate Conception R.C. Church there and graduated from Geibel Catholic. He has a brother, Jerry, who lives in Greensburg and works at Highlands Hospital in Connellsville.

A preview performance is scheduled at 8:10 p.m. Thursday, July 26. Performances are at 8:10 p.m. July 27-28, 31, August 1-4, 7-11, and 14-18. Three matinees are scheduled at 2:10 p.m. Sunday, August 5, Wednesday, August 15 and Sunday, August 19.

Saint Vincent Summer Theatre patrons are asked to make ticket reservations in advance because seats are reserved at all performances except Thursday evening preview shows, which are general admission. Reservations may be made by calling the theater box office, 724 537-8900, or online at www.svst.org.

Individual tickets are $10 for preview performances, $19 on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evenings, $22 on Friday and Saturday evenings and $16 for matinees. Special theatre party group rates apply to groups of 20 guests or more. Senior citizens, 62 or older, are eligible for a $2 discount upon request on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings only. In addition, student tickets are available for $10 for any seat, any performance.

Saint Vincent Summer Theatre performances are all scheduled in the comfortable, air-conditioned Performing Arts Center of the Robert S. Carey Student Center on the Saint Vincent College campus. Free van shuttle service is provided to and from the spacious and convenient parking areas adjacent to the Saint Vincent Basilica.

Saint Vincent Summer Theatre will continue to feature its well-known cabaret, the special after-the-show party to which all theatre patrons are invited. Saint Vincent students serve snacks, hot dogs and beverages after the production and also provide entertainment. The cabaret is open after all performances except Thursday preview shows and all matinees. Theatre officials encourage donations if patrons enjoy themselves at the after-the-show party.


Photo: Philip Winters will play The Chief. 


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