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By David Sedaris

Adapted by Joe Mantello
Directed by Monteze Freeland
Starring Shua Potter

Adapted from a segment on This American Life, award-winning comedic author David Sedaris recounts his days as an unemployed writer working as one of Santa’s Elves at Macy’s Department Store in a sardonic and outrageously funny take on the best and worst of the holiday season. Join Shua Potter and the merry team at City Theatre for a Pittsburgh twist on this holiday classic.

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Published by City Theatre Company, 2019-11-26 15:36:38

The Santaland Diaries

By David Sedaris

Adapted by Joe Mantello
Directed by Monteze Freeland
Starring Shua Potter

Adapted from a segment on This American Life, award-winning comedic author David Sedaris recounts his days as an unemployed writer working as one of Santa’s Elves at Macy’s Department Store in a sardonic and outrageously funny take on the best and worst of the holiday season. Join Shua Potter and the merry team at City Theatre for a Pittsburgh twist on this holiday classic.


Marc Masterson James McNeel

Artistic Director Managing Director


By David Sedaris
Adapted by Joe Mantello
Directed by Monteze Freeland

Shua Potter*

By Monteze Freeland and Shua Potter

Mrs. Rachel Claus

Tony Ferrieri Madison Hack Andrew David Ostroski**
Scenic Design Costume Design Lighting Design
Peter Brucker
Sound Design Aubrey I. Sirtautas*
Stage Manager

* Members of Actors’ Equity Association ** Members of United Scenic Artists

Originally produced in New York by David Stone and
Amy Nederlander-Case on November 7, 1996.

THE SANTALAND DIARIES is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists
Play Service, Inc., New York.


DAVID SEDARIS (Playwright) made his comic debut recounting his
strange-but-true experiences of being a Macy's elf clad in green tights,
reading his SANTALAND DIARIES on National Public Radio's Morning
Edition. Sedaris' sardonic humor and incisive social critique have since made
him one of NPR's most popular and humorous commentators and a best-
selling author in the United States and abroad. The great skill with which
Sedaris slices through euphemisms and political correctness proves that he
is a master of satire. Everywhere he goes David Sedaris delights his
audience with his irreverent style and great humor. In addition to his
commentaries on NPR, David Sedaris is the author of the best-sellers
BARREL FEVER and NAKED. His collection of Christmas related stories is
entitled HOLIDAY ON ICE. His book of essays ME TALK PRETTY ONE
DAY was published in June 2000, became an immediate best-seller. David
and his sister, Amy Sedaris, have collaborated under the name The Talent
Family and written several plays which have been produced at La Mama and
at Lincoln Center in New York City. These plays include STUMP THE
HOST, STITCHES, ONE WOMAN SHOE, which received an Obie award,
regular contributor to "Esquire" magazine and his essays have also appeared
in "The New Yorker," "Allure," and "Travel and Leisure." Sedaris' original
radio pieces can often be heard on public radio's "This American Life,"
distributed nationally by WBEZ in Chicago, as well as BBC radio in London.
David Sedaris currently resides in Paris.

JOE MANTELLO (Adaptation) Directing credits include Assassins
(Tony Award); Wicked; Take Me Out (Tony Award); Frankie and Johnny in the
Clare De Lune; A Man of No Importance; Design for Living; Terrence McNally
and Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking for the San Francisco Opera; The
Vagina Monologues; Bash; Another America; Asking and Telling; Love! Valour!
Compassion!; Proposals; The Mineola Twins; Corpos Christi; Mizlansky/Zilinsky or
Schmucks; Blue Window; God’s Heart; Lillian; Snakebit; Three Hotels; Imagining
Brad; and Fat Men in Skirts. Mr. Mantello also directed the film "Love!
Valour! Compassion!" As an actor he appeared in Angels in America (Tony
nomination) and The Baltimore Waltz. He is the recipient of the Outer
Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Helen Hayes, Clarence Derwent,
Obie, and Joe A. Callaway awards. He is a member of Naked Angels and an
associate artist at the Roundabout.


SHUA POTTER (Crumpet the Elf) Oh hi, I didn't see
you there! It's me, Shua Potter. You know, the star of the
show you're about to see? What's up! Welcome to my
"bio." I'll try to be brief so we can get to the show. I've
been in a lot of plays and musicals all over the country. I
was on tour and on Broadway in Mary Poppins. I build
websites and run social media channels. I won an episode of CHOPPED on
the Food Network - in drag. I have a mini dachshund named Brody. I built
and sold two successful cleaning businesses. I've officiated 20 weddings
with 13 lined up in 2020 so far. I like ice cream but it doesn't like me. I
have a drag cabaret show called AFTER WERK that I perform monthly at
Arcade Comedy Theater and also tour across the country. I love acting, I
thrive on creating, and I love being a part of the Pittsburgh artistic
community. I'm stoked to do this play tonight! I hope it doesn't suck.

MRS. RACHEL CLAUS (Herself) Hello Bubeleh! It’s
me, Mrs. Claus, but you can call me Rachel. Oh my
goodness, isn't this exciting?? My husband Nick and I have
been planning for our trip to Pittsburgh all year long, and
so far it hasn't disappointed. We've been on the Incline,
saw a Steelers game, and have been covering everything in
Ranch dressing and french fries... Oh, and everyone here is so NICE - even
nicer than I could have imagined. It's a little hard to understand what some
of you are saying with your unique accent, but who cares? A few shots of
Wigle whiskey and we all speak the same language - trust me!
Xoxoxo Mrs. Rachel Claus


MONTEZE FREELAND (Director) is overjoyed to
return to City Theatre where he last directed the 2018 EQT
Young Playwrights Festival. Past directing credits include:
Savior Samuel, In The Heat of the Night, Fences, Miss Julie,
Clarissa and John, Poe's Last Night, Sold, and Christmas Star
(Pittsburgh Playwrights); Addams Family, Shrek, Hairspray and
Freaky Friday (CLO Academy); I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Prime Stage),
Dr. Iguanatron's Medicine Show (Arcade Comedy Theatre); The Wiz and Caps
For Sale (ACH Clear Pathways); and Kalopsia The Musical (New Hazlett
Theatre) As an actor Mr. Freeland was named the 2017 Post Gazette
Performer of the Year. A multitude of thanks to the superhero designers
and staff of City Theater. And of course to my second favorite Mrs. Claus
outside of Angela Lansbury, Shua Potter.

TONY FERRIERI (Scenic Designer) Awards and
milestones include: nearly 40 years with City Theatre, The
Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Award for
Established Artist, New Works Festival Lifetime
Achievement Award, “Designer of the Year” by Pittsburgh
City Paper and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Frankel Award,”
“Fred Kelly Award for Outstanding Achievement,” “Harry Schwalb
Excellence in the Arts Award,” features in Live Design and Stage Directions,
and over 600 designs. Recent CTC designs include: One Night in Miami, The
Roommate, Pipeline, Citizens Market, A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the
Gynecologic Oncology Unit...New York City, Feeding the Dragon, Hand to God, Sex
With Strangers, Sister’s Easter Catechism, Sunset Baby, The Night Alive, Elemeno
Pea, and the world premieres of Mr. Joy and Smart Blonde. Other recent
designs include: Smart Blonde for 59E59 Theatre NYC; Feeding the Dragon for
Hartford Stage in CT and Primary Stages at The Cherry Lane in NYC; Clue,
Sweeney Todd, Big Fish, Mary Poppins, Shrek, The Phantom of the Opera, and The
Little Mermaid for Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center; Perfect Wedding,
Pump Boys and Dinettes, The Toxic Avenger, The 39 Steps and First Date for
CLO Cabaret; Uncle Tom’s Cabin for The Pittsburgh Playhouse Conservatory;
Miss Julie, Clarissa & John, The Piano Lesson, Dulcy and Fences for Pittsburgh
Playwrights Theatre Company; The Master Builder, The Winter’s Tale for
Quantum Theatre; True West, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, A Streetcar
Named Desire for barebones; Scared of Sarah and A Feminine Ending for Off
the Wall; Tell it to the Marines for The International Poetry Forum; and You
Say Tomato I Say Shut Up! for Dana Phil Playhouse Productions.


MADISON HACK (Costume Designer) moved from
Texas to Pittsburgh in 2014 after graduating from
Oklahoma State University, before joining City Theatre as a
costume shop over-hire. Madison has since moved into the
role of Costume Shop Manager (2017). In January 2018, she
made her main season Hamburg Studio debut designing The
Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey. Madison has also worked closely with
Bricolage Production Company, designing for shows like DODO & Project
Amelia. She has been the resident costume designer for 12 Peers Theater
Company since 2015, most recently credited with Stupid F*cking
Bird (2018). Outside of the theatre, Madison likes to spend time with her
partner Matt, working on projects in their home, and taking care of their
pets, Piper and Nala.

ANDREW OSTROWSKI (Lighting Designer) Recent credits includes,
La Boheme for Pittsburgh Opera, The Roommate, The Burdens, and We Are
Among Us for City Theatre. National credits include The National High
School Musical Theater Awards in NYC, The Asolo, Virginia Stage Company,
Theater Works in Hartford CT., North Shore Music Theatre, George Street
Playhouse, TheatreWorks Palo Alto CA., Penn’s Landing Playhouse, New
York Theater Institute, Merrimack Repertory Company, The Arden Theatre
Company, The Blumenthal Center in Charlotte NC, Spoleto Festival USA,
Madison Opera, Dallas Summer Musicals, Theater of the Stars at the fabulous
Fox Theater as well as others. Internationally his designs have appeared in
France, Sweden, Scotland,and Ireland. From 1998- 2003 Andy was the
lighting director for an international tour of the Gershwin opera “Porgy and
Bess”. In 2002, he was given a national merit award from the Kennedy
Center for the Performing Arts. Local credits include Pittsburgh Public
Theatre, Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical, Pittsburgh Ballet,
City Theatre, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh,
The REP, The Conservatory Company at the Playhouse, Lincoln Park, and
others. His local designs total over 300 productions. Andy resides in
Pittsburgh and is an adjunct instructor for Point Park University as well as a
freelance Lighting Designer for hire.


P G BRUCKER (Sound Design) is a Pittsburgh native sound & projection
designer, audio engineer, and composer. Peter has most recently sound and
projection designed Endeavor Mind with the Red Masquers Theater
Company. He has recently been the audio engineer for Much Ado About
Nothing (Pittsburgh Playhouse), Cambodian Rock Band (City Theatre), and King
Lear (Quantum Theater). Peter’s composed and sound design the short
film The Seahorse that won the Audience’s choice award at the National Film
Festival For Talented Youth. Peter is ecstatic to return to City Theatre, and
would like to thank Monteze, Shua, Aubrey, and the crew for all their hard
work. Cheers!

MARC MASTERSON (Artistic Director) has been a
leader in the American Theatre for over 35 years with a
demonstrated track record of artistic accomplishment, civic
engagement, and organizational development. He previously
served as Artistic Director of City Theatre for 20 years and
helped to build the organization and its current facilities on
the South Side. In a distinguished career he has commissioned and developed
over 100 world premieres including Pulitzer finalists, Broadway and Off-
Broadway successes and notable works in the American theatre canon
including A Doll’s House, Part 2 by Lucas Hnath, The Parisian Woman by Beau
Willimon, Vietgone by Qui Nguyen, Mr. Wolf by Rajiv Joseph and Office Hour
by Julia Cho. More than 50% of the new plays he has produced were written
by women. Previously, he served as Artistic Director of South Coast
Repertory in California where he conceived and launched two major
initiatives for diverse voices in the American theatre, the CrossRoads
commissioning program and the Dialogos bi-lingual site-specific project. He
served for 11 years as artistic director of Actors Theatre of Louisville where
he produced more than 200 productions and the Humana Festival of New
American Plays. Plays directed at the Humana Festival include works by
Charles Mee, Wendell Berry, Craig Wright, Eric Coble, Adam Bock, Gina
Gionfriddo, Melanie Marnich, and Rick Dresser. Recent directing credits
include Shakespeare in Love, All the Way, Going to a Place where you Already Are,
Zealot, Death of a Salesman, Eurydice and Elemeno Pea at SCR; Cry It Out at
Dorset Theatre Festival; Hand to God at the Alliance Theatre; Byhalia,
Mississippi by Evan Linder at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival;
As You Like It for the Houston Shakespeare Festival; and The Kite Runner at
Actors Theatre of Louisville and the Cleveland Play House. He is thrilled to
back home in Pittsburgh with many friends and some of the best audiences in
the world.


JAMES MCNEEL (Managing Director) joined City
Theatre as its Managing Director in January 2015. He came
to Pittsburgh after four seasons in the same role at the
Contemporary American Theater Festival in
Shepherdstown, West Virginia, where he was integral in the
development and production of 20 new plays (including 10
world premieres and four commissions). Previously, he served as Literature
Specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts focusing on grants to
nonprofit presses, magazines, and literary organizations, as well as awards to
individual poets, writers, and literary translators. While at the NEA he also
worked on the development of such national initiatives as Operation
Homecoming, Shakespeare in American Communities, Poetry Out Loud, and
the National Book Festival. In 2005, James moved to New York City where
he was General Manager and project consultant for the arts management
firm, The Center for Creative Resources. At the Center, he worked with
numerous individual artists and arts organization in all facets of institutional
development and was a team leader in the feasibility study, opening, and first
year management and operation of The Times Center, owned by The New
York Times Company and designed by Renzo Piano. In addition, he was
Director of Development and Marketing at the historic Cherry Lane
Theatre, located in Greenwich Village. James holds a degree from Shepherd
University and studied Arts Management at American University. He is
currently a board member of the South Side Chamber of Commerce and is
on the national board of the League of Resident Theaters (LORT), the
largest theatre association if its kind in the United States.

AUBREY I. SIRTAUTAS (Stage Manager) is thrilled to be joining the
City team this year in producing The Santaland Diaries! Credits include
Contemporary American Theater Festival: Wrecked, A Welcome Guest, and
the Tuesday Reading Series including King Sidney: an eelwax jesus musical, Proof
of Love, and Abel Finley. Geva Theatre Center: Revival: The Resurrection of Eddie
‘Son’ House, The Humans, Hard Cell, Thurgood, and Hair. Weston Playhouse
Theatre: Fun Home, All My Sons, and Round and Round the Garden. Broadway
Workshop: Giants in the Sky and We Will Rock You. Aubrey has also worked
with Cirque du Soleil’s Mystére and Dick Clark Productions’ Billboard Music
Awards and The Academy of Country Music Awards. She received her MFA
in Stage & Production Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

THE STAFF Artistic Director
Artistic Producer
ARTISTIC Director of New Play Development
Marc Masterson Director of Education & Accessibility
Reginald L. Douglas Education & Accessibility Manager
Clare Drobot Artistic Fellow
Dennis Robinson, Jr. Artistic Fellow
Katie Trupiano Literary Intern
Amber Holder
Alex Williams Managing Director
Lindsay Barr General Manager
Company Manager
ADMINISTRATIVE Development Officer—Community Giving
James McNeel Development Officer—Institutional Funding
Natalie Hatcher Interim Finance Manager
Ryan Looke Marketing Director
Dianne Duursma Director of Ticketing and Patron Services
Ryan Ferrebee Patron Services Manager
Kerry Shiller Box Office Associate
Nikki Battestilli Box Office Associate
Joel Ambrose Box Office Associate
Jenna Wilkin Ticketing Manager
Kate Abel House Manager
Alec Davis House Manager
Megan Hamm House Manager
Abigail Sarnacki
Jena Grgurich
Caitlin Leasure
Maggie Sulka

PRODUCTION Director of Production and Resident Scenic Designer
Production Manager
Tony Ferrieri Technical Director
Rachel D’Amboise Resident Production Stage Manager
Paul Ford Costume Shop Manager
Patti Kelly Sound Engineer and Media Engineer
Madison Hack Master Electrician and Light Board Programmer
Brad Peterson Properties Master
Greg Messmer Scenic Artist
Louise Phetteplace Sound Intern
Leah Blackwood Associate Technical Director
Joshua Brown Scene Shop Foreman
David Maslow Scene Shop Carpenter & Production Technician
John Michael Brucker Staff Production Assistant
Andrew Homyak
Harbour Edney


Bob Follette Production Volunteer
Lawrence Karl Scenic Technician
Max Pavel Scenic Technician
Nicole White Lighting Technician
Parker Thomas Kaeding Production Assistant


Heather Gray
Michael Bobanic
Ava Fierce
The Armstrong Family

Actors marked with * and the Stage Manager in this production are
members of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional
Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

Just when you thought things couldn't get merrier!
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The perfect present for that special arts lover in your life.

Flex Vouchers are good for any regular season
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Available at the box office,

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