Saints & Poets Theater - Pittsburgh, PA
Mark Whitehead, Executive & Artistic Director
31Conestoga Street - Pittsburgh, PA  15204-2001 - USA - (412) 378-0331 -

Our Debut Production:
Secret Honor: The Last Testament of Richard M. Nixon
by Donald Freed and Arnold M. Stone

April 19-May6, 2001
'Secret Honor: The Last Testament of Richard M. Nixon' by Donald Freed and Arnold M. Stone
Poster Illustration: Rick Bach - Poster Layout and Typeset: Tricia Reinhold-Masley

Richard M. Nixon - Dennis Palko

Producer/Director/Sound Designer - Mark Whitehead
Stage Manager/Prop Master/Costume Designer - Sabrina Nelson
Set Designer - Amy Poettinger
Lighting Designer - Michael E. Moats
Make-Up/Assistant Stage Manager - Kirk D. Owen

Supported by a grant from
The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust Fund of the Pittsburgh Foundation

Dennis Palko as Richard M. Nixon in 'Secret Honor'

“ 'Secret Honor' is a theatrical event. Our pleasures, and they are considerable, come from watching director Mark Whitehead and actor Dennis Palko unfold their precise talents on Amy Poettinger's gorgeous set. These two men drive the play along to its perfectly realized conclusion, balancing the import of Nixon's times and actions against his petty, vindictive nature. We are entertainingly reminded of Gore Vidal's line: 'History is just gossip for men.'”
- Ted Hoover, Pittsburgh City Paper

Dennis Palko as Richard M. Nixon in 'Secret Honor'

“In the challenging debut of Saints & Poets Theater, Dennis Palko performs a one-man drama that candidly explores the remarkable strengths and pathetic weaknesses of the only man to resign the presidency... Under the patient direction of Mark Whitehead, Palko shows a broken and bitter Nixon, quick to rationalize actions of the past but determined to avoid being remembered as a quitter. Palko says as much with mannerism, inflection and expression as he does with the spoken word, revealing a complex man whose personal demons have twisted his stewardship of complicated, hidden agendas. Palko takes it further than the awkwardly crossed arms, hunched back and V-for-victory sign that became Nixon trademarks. The stop-and-start manner of speech evident on the famous tapes, the roller-coaster emotions and propensity to play the piano at the drop of a hat help to bring Palko's Nixon strangely to life... It's an unusually strong debut production for which Whitehead and Palko will require no pardon.”
- John Hayes, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Dennis Palko as Richard M. Nixon in 'Secret Honor'
Secret Honor Photos by Rhainna Douthett

“'Secret Honor' is, in itself, fascinating, and quite a promising risk for Whitehead's company to take on. The play works best when it feels most like the culture - and not Richard Nixon - is the one talking, seeking the secret behind this unusual man's rise to power and crushing defeat, trying to penetrate the mystery behind his success and his self-destructiveness.”
- Dan Arp, In Pittsburgh Weekly


Pittsburgh City Paper Theater in the Round-Up
December 26, 2001

Best Actor in a Leading Role - Dennis Palko for Secret Honor
Outstanding Work by a Local Director - Mark Whitehead for Secret Honor