Features

PNWF – New Works from Around the World: Part 3

By: George Hoover
This third post covers the Pittsburgh New Works Festival (PNWF) Programs C & D! Six new one-act plays will be produced during this portion of the festival, all performed at the Carnegie Stage in Carnegie. If you missed the first post on PNWF check it out hereand the second one here

“One of my favorite parts about the festival is that since they are all new plays, the stories are all a surprise.”

Andy Coleman, PNWF Communications Director

Detailed ticket information follows at the end of this post. For more information about the festival visit http://www.pittsburghnewworks.org/about-pnwf/ Program C is presented on September 14th, 22nd and 23rd at 8pm, the 16th at 4pm and the 17th at 2pm. destinyDestiny is a Careless Waiter by Julie Zaffarano Broomall, PA Produced by R-ACT Theatre Productions   Sean invites Emily to dinner to propose marriage. He brings his grandmother’s engagement ring to the restaurant and instructs the server to place the ring in Emily’s dessert. Justin invites Bria to the same restaurant at the same time, planning to break up with her. When the engagement ring intended for Emily ends up in Bria’s dessert, the chaos begins. Julie Zaffarano is an emerging playwright in the Philadelphia area. Her play, The Play Makers, was named the Winner in the 2016 What If? Productions Annual Playwrights Festival. Julie holds two Masters Degrees: MA in Classical Studies and an MS in Organization Science from Villanova University.

Romeo and Juliet:  Epiloguer and j

by William Sikorski

Birchwood Village, MN

Produced by Actors Civic Theater

  The subsequent criminal investigation of the multiple homicide at Juliet’s tomb. Detectives Davis and Stanley interrogate Friar Lawrence at the Verona 41st Precinct Police Station. William H. Sikorski lives in Minnesota’s Twin Cities, where he works as a laboratory manager for 3M. In his (limited) spare time he writes (very) short plays. He has had several 10-minute, 1-minute and even a 1-second play produced. branniganThe Wrong Brannigan by Lezlie Revelle Olathe, KS Produced by McKeesport Little Theater   Mistaken identity and bad timing wreak havoc on a family full of secrets! Lezlie Revelle is a playwright, author and singer-songwriter from the Midwest. Lezlie’s plays have been produced and won awards across the United States, including New York, Kansas City, and San Diego.
Program D’s performances are September 15th, 1th and 21st at 8pm, the 23rd at 4pm and the 25th at 2pm

When You Are a Little Bit Olderolder

by Matthew Weaver

Spokane, WA

Produced by Thoreau, NM – A Production Company

  Cooper and Ava have a hot date at the movies, but Cooper’s younger brother Owen tags along. Everything’s going as well as can be expected until Owen runs out of popcorn … Matthew Weaver is a Spokane, Wash., playwright and screenwriter. His plays have been performed in Washington State, Canada, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Ohio, Texas and West Virginia. bernieBernie by Fred Perry Roswell, GA Produced by The South Hills Players   Bernie Heller has always been a bit of a schmo. And his life hit bottom today. Miserable, divorced, and a brilliant but failed artist, Bernie finally decided to end it all by getting smashed, then hanging himself – with a child’s skip rope. But when he jumped off the ladder, the thin rope snapped, the fall resulting in two broken ankles. Now three sheets to the wind and totally helpless, he calls the only person who can get him back on his feet: his renowned brother, Doctor Sid Heller. Fred Perry is a produced playwright and screenwriter authoring six feature films for Omega Entertainment. Fred’s plays have been performed in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Georgia, where his two-act comedy, The Ascension of Twyla Potts premiered last October at the Rome Little Theatre.

Story Roadstory

by Mark Cornell

Chapel Hill, NC

Produced by Stage Right Pittsburgh

  Directed by Joe Eberle, winner of the 2016 Donna Award for Outstanding Director Cleveland is a struggling singer-songwriter and, after losing their house, has taken his 15-year-old daughter Ellie on the road. One night, tired of the hard life they are leading, Ellie decides to run away. Mark Cornell has had more than 70 of his plays produced in theatres around the world, from England to Australia to Singapore and all across the U.S.. He has an MFA in playwriting from UCLA. The Pittsburgh New Works Festival is a great opportunity for you to checkout new plays as well as the work of our region’s many talented actors, directors and companies.
For tickets: Visit https://www.showclix.com/events/14074 or 1-888-71-TICKETS (1-888-718-4253) to reserve your seats by phone. Main Stage Festival passes are $40. Pick your own dates with the Flex Pass or select one of the pre-built packages for a specific day and time. Either way you can experience every new play in the Festival and save a few bucks over single ticket prices. Show times are Thursdays and Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 4pm and 8pm and Sunday at 2pm Single Tickets Prices $15 Regular Admission ($17 at the Door) $12 Students and Under 25 ($14 at the Door) Carnegie Stage is located at 25 W. Main Street, Carnegie, PA  15106.  There is plenty of free parking and a great variety of restaurants and shops within easy walking distance of the theater A final note: The final dress rehearsals of Pittsburgh New Works mainstage shows are open to the public and feature American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and live audio description for our guests.  Learn more and reserve your seat for an accessible final dress rehearsal at http://www.pittsburghnewworks.org/visit-2/accessibility-2/accessible-final-dress/

Fall Preview 2017

By: Mara E. Nadolski
Fall Logo A Letter from the Editor, Our dear readers, we've made it through another summer season! After 40 reviews and 14 features this summer, we're ready to dig out our sweaters, put on the kettle and continue to keep you up to date with everything local theater. We've got some pretty big things coming up for us in the next three months and we can't wait to share it with you! In addition to everything in this Preview, we'll also be giving you the scoop on Bricolage Production Company's latest Immersive Encounter Dodo , The Pittsburgh Playwrights upcoming season, checking in with off the WALL, and  giving you Part 3 of our coverage of the Pittsburgh New Works Festival. There is plenty to keep us busy this fall and we don’t want you to miss a thing! We would love to hear from our readers and follow along with your autumn theater adventures so keep in touch with us on our FacebookTwitter, Instagram, or Email List and by using the hashtag #FallwithPITR. If your theater or business would like to feature any advertising on the website for any of the upcoming content this busy season, don't forget to reserve your spot well in advance! Please don’t hesitate to contact us at about rates and packages at info@pghintheround.com. Here’s to looking forward to another busy Fall season, Mara E. Nadolski Editor in Chief, Pittsburgh in the Round
  Let's start off with our Top 5 productions we're looking forward to this Fall! quiet#5: All Quiet on the Western Front - Prime Stage: Prime Stage Theatre is known for their productions of shows adapted from literature and this season opener holds true to their nature. Prime Stage honors veterans and those serving our country by partnering with Soldiers and Sailors Hall for this US premiere of the classic World War I novel by Erich Maria Remarque. All Quiet on the Western Front opens at the New Hazlett Theatre November 4. Tickets and more information can be found here.  rj-431x500#4: Romeo and Juliet - PICT Classic Theatre: After bringing us productions of Macbeth and The Merchant of Venice in previous seasons, PICT is taking on one of Shakespeare's best-known tragedies this season with their 100th show! The classic tale of two star-crossed lovers and their clashing families comes to life in a new location at the famous Fred Rogers Studio at WQED in Oakland. PICT has chosen the 1930's in New York's Little Italy as the setting for this rendition of Romeo and Juliet which officially opens Saturday, October 21st. For tickets and more information click here.  Attack Theatre's presentation of "Assemble This" at the August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh. © Martha Rial 2/17/2010 #3: Some Assembly Required - Attack Theatre: In their 23rd season opener, Attack Theatre will be performing another round of original performances in their second production of Some Assembly Required. In this unique series, dancers tow the line between dancing, visual art, music, and even a bit of improv. This show requires input from the audience as to where the performance will go next, thus creating unique  performances with each show. Some Assembly Required opens at Contemporary Craft in the Strip District September 21. Tickets and more information can be found here. DODO-1-880x420#2: Dodo - Bricolage Production Company: Bricolage's latest immersive theatre adventure partners with the Carnegie Nexus initiative to bring us a sensory-based experience that brings together art and science while exploring public spaces. Held in the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History in Oakland, adventurers will embark on an experience that navigates through behind-the-scenes areas normally off limits to traditional museum visitors! Adventures being October 13 - find more information here.  21055136_10155550641940797_7827704986490740316_o#1: Unhinged - Cup-a-Jo Productions: On the heels of their production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf inside an actual home, Fringe Festival veterans Cup-a-Jo brings us a new undertaking with Unhinged. Part haunted house, part immersive experience, the highly experimental project promises to have something for everyone. Unhinged starts performances October 6 in an empty bowling alley in Etna. Cup-a-Jo advises we keep a close eye on their Facebook page for ticket links and performance updates. Next stop on your Fall Preview tour is 5 Musicals You Don't Want to Miss This Fall, click here to learn more! Mark Clayton Southers brings a little history into the mix with his one-act play The Homestead Strike of 1892 in commemoration of the 125th anniversary of the clash between steelworkers and mill owners, opening September 15. Find out more in Yvonne's article here.  The New Hazlett Theatre will be starting up their 4th Community Supported Art Performance Series on October 26! See what they're up to this season here.  The Pittsburgh Public Theater's Artistic Director Ted Pappas will be starting his final season there this year. Yvonne sat down with him to get the scoop on what he's envisioning this season! Click here to read more! Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks is at it again this year with Henry V, find out more about their 13th season here.  Quantum Theatre may be in the middle of their run of Red Hills but how much do you know about Rachel Stevens, the director of their next production The Hard Problem? Check out our latest installment of our Artist Spotlight series here.  See what else the Steel City has to offer this year with a few season previews of City Theatre from Brian, the Pittsburgh Opera from George, and the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center from our High School Correspondent Emily! The Pittsburgh New Works Festival is already in full swing, check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this year's preview with Part 3 coming soon! In case you missed it, check out our 2017 Collegiate Preview too! We were pretty busy this summer, you might have missed a show or two. Don’t worry, here are some highlights from Summer 2017: Annie at the Paliside Playhouse Big Fish by Front Porch Theatricals Cloud 9  by Throughline Theatre Company Little Shop of Horrors at Comtra Theatre Mr. Burns by 12 Peers Theater Spamalot at Stage  62 Avenue Q by the Alumni Theatre Company The Liar  by Kinetic Theatre Seussical the Musical at the Apple Hill Playhouse Pippin at The Theatre Factory One Man, Two Guvnors at Little Lake Theatre Sweeney Todd by the Pittsburgh Festival Opera

5 Musicals You Don’t Want to Miss This Fall: 2017 Edition

By: George Hoover
The dog days of summer are behind us and it’s time to look forward to a fall full of refreshing musicals. Our 2017 Top Five Fall Musical Theatre Preview shows feature two Tony Award winning “big” musicals Kiss Me Kate and Annie, The Good Bye Girl, Side Show and Clue round out our preview. These shows won’t bust your budget with ticket prices that hover around $20. Here they are in order of opening dates. goodbyeNeil Simon’s The Goodbye Girl at the Theatre Factory kicks off our 2017 Fall Musicals Preview. Egotistical actor Elliot Garfield sublets a friend's Manhattan apartment only to discover it is still occupied by his friend's ex-girlfriend Paula, a former dancer, and her precocious pre-teen daughter Lucy. Initially suspicious and antagonistic, Elliot and Paula arrive at an uneasy truce. Paula, fed up with being hurt by boyfriend-actors, rashly vows never to become involved again while Elliot sets down the rules for the living arrangements. While they attempt to cohabit as peacefully as possible, despite their differences of opinion and temperament. Elliot and Paula find themselves attracted to each other. When Elliot finds a job out-of-town, Paula realizes that this is the true love she has been seeking, and they reach a happy ending The Good Bye Girl September 14th to 24th at the Theatre Factory in Trafford PA.  For tickets please call the Box office 412 374 9200 (leave a message on voice mail) or email: theatrefactoryboxoffice@gmail.com  sideSide Show asks the question that haunts us all: "Who will love me as I am?" This Tony nominated Best Musical tells the true story of conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, who became famous stage performers. Their extraordinary bond brings them fame but denies them, love. The story is told almost entirely in song, and follows their transition from England to America, the vaudeville circuit, and then to Hollywood on the eve of their appearance in the 1932 movie Freaks. Rob Jessup one of Split Stages co-founders tells me this will be “the first production of the 2014 revival in this area.” The revival delves deeper into the backstory of the Hilton twins including their relationship with Harry Houdini and the concept of proposed separation surgery.  It will be interesting to see Split Stages interpretation of the characters which inhabit the side show community that support the ladies. Side Show is Directed by Jim Scriven with Music Direction by Joy Hessand and Choreography by Laura Wurzell. Rori Mull and Victoria Buchtan play Daisy and Violet. Split Stage’s production of Side Show is at the intimate Apple Hill Playhouse in Delmont with performances October 6th to 14th. For tickets visit. https://www.showclix.com/event/side-show-ssp  ClueClue at the Little Lake Theatre gives the audience a change to help solve this “who-done-it.” The musical is based on the popular board game. It brings the familiar suspects of the game to life. The audience chooses the potential outcome from cards which represent the murderers, weapons, and rooms - there are 216 possible solutions! Comic antics, witty lyrics, and a seductive score carry the investigation from room to room. This show has made the rounds of university and community theatres in our area this past year. However, Little Lake Theatre has a reputation for producing quirky off beat shows that work well in their cozy “theatre in the round” environment and the intermission desserts are top notch also. If you haven’t seen Clue yet, this is the place to see it. Clue at the Little Lake Theatre, October 12th to 14th, 19th to 21st and  26th to 28th for Tickets https://www.showclix.com/event/clue-the-musical4970999 WebPosterKATEThe Tony Award winning best musical Kiss Me, Kate at the Pittsburgh Playhouse features music and lyrics by Cole Porter. Point Park University with its nationally recognized musical theatre and dance programs do a great job with big musicals and over the top dance numbers, so expect a lively and fun filled production of this 1949 classic. The story involves the production of a musical version of William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew and the conflict on and off-stage between Fred Graham, the show's director, producer, and star, and his leading lady, his ex-wife Lilli Vanessi. A secondary romance concerns Lois Lane, the actress playing Bianca, and her gambler boyfriend, Bill, who runs afoul of some gangsters. Point Park University’s Head of Musical Theatre, Zeva Barzell directs and choreographs this show bringing favorite numbers like Too Darn Hot to life on the Rockwell stage with the talented students of the Conservatory. (Point Park is #8 in the number of graduates on Broadway this season, CMU is #4.) Kiss Me, Kate runs October 20th to 29th with a preview on October 19. For Tickets visit http://www.pittsburghplayhouse.com/tickets annie300x300Stage 62 presents Annie our second Tony Award winning Best Musical choice for the fall. With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone's hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. She is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City Orphanage that is run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. In adventure after adventure, Annie foils Hannigan's evil machinations... and even befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt! She finds a new home and family in billionaire, Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy. This depression era show was first produced on Broadway in 1977 and is Directed by Rob James, Choreography by Devyn Brown with Musical Direction by Cynthia Dougherty. The Stage 62 troupe always seems to be having contagious fun performing, Annie should be no exception. Annie presented by Stage 62 at the Carnegie Music Hall in Carnegie. Performances Thursday to Saturday, Nov. 9th to 11th and 16th to 18th at 8 pm, Sunday matinees on November 12th and 19th at 2 pm. Tickets at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2884426 Our top five is just a small slice of a dozen or more musicals playing this fall in our area, So check back with PITR throughout the season. There is a show for almost every taste from two with high stepping dance number to ones with almost no dancing at all and four of our five are “all about love.”

There’s No Place Like City Theatre’s 2017-2018 Season

By: Brian Pope

FB_IMG_1504555887586“We are one City for this city.”

There are tons of leaders and movements that launch their campaigns on platforms of unity. Some are genuinely attempting to heal insidious schisms in society while others say and do whatever it takes to curry favor even if it means lying about what they believe in. The slogan above belongs to City Theatre, which has proven over the last four decades that, as a company, it is a prime example of the former. Their upcoming 43rd season boasts six shows, all of which are Pittsburgh premieres and two of which are world premieres. Artistic Producer Reg Douglas bills this “standout year” as a “celebration of bold storytellers who are creating timely and thrilling plays that entertain and enlighten”. It’s a feast for anyone with an endless artistic appetite. CT1710_FunnyThing_573x437If I had to describe City Theatre’s first show of its 2017-2018 season in one word...I couldn’t. I would need at least 21 words to tell you about Halley Feiffer’s black comedy because that’s how many words are in its title. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center of New York City may be an extremely lengthy title that “barely fits in a Tweet” according to City’s marketing director Laura Greenawalt, but no one can fault it for lack of specificity. Greenawalt jokingly warns that there a “no refunds” for patrons who walk into the theater expecting to see Stephen Sondheim’s musical romp A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Feiffer’s play sets the stage for the most unlikely meet-cute for Karla and Don. She’s an up and coming comic. He’s in the throes of a messy divorce. They’re both visiting their ailing mothers in the titular gynecologic oncology unit. Somehow flirtation, provocative conversations, and, most of all, laughs ensue. In its Off-Broadway run, A Funny Thing Happened… received enthusiastic acclaim and I’m sure the same will happen when it takes Pittsburgh by storm from September 23 through October 15. CT1711_Tomatom_573x437The opening of PigPen Theatre Co.’s The Old Man and The Old Moon marks a triumphant homecoming for this band (in every sense of the word) of storytellers. Alex Falberg, Arya Shahi, Ben Ferguson, Curtis Gillen, Dan Weschler, Matt Nuernberg, and Ryan Melia began their journey together as students at Carnegie Mellon University in 2007 and made stops along the way including various stages/critics’ top pick lists across the country and beside Meryl Streep in her film Rick and the Flash. The Old Man and the Old Moon, playing from November 11 through December 3, is an all-ages show that combines an indie-folk score, thrilling movement, and puppetry in a way that defies genre to tell the story of the Old Man. His simple life of keeping the moon bright is interrupted when his beloved wife goes missing. The Old Man embarks on an epic and enchanting journey of his own to find her sailing across the seas and into the audience’s hearts. CT1712_AbsoluteBrightness_573x437Disappearance is also the spark for The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey. Audiences can search for the missing teen with the help of a host of colorful characters all played by one actor from January 20-February 18. Academy Award winner  James Lecesne (and co-founder of the LGBTQ+ youth suicide prevention organization The Trevor Project) gives life to the struggles Leonard faces being out in a less-than-accepting New Jersey town. The detective assigned to search for Leonard uncovers much more about the impact Leonard’s spirit has on the people in and around his life before Leonard’s own fate is revealed. For anyone who attended City Theatre’s Momentum Festival this past June, the next two shows will definitely ring a few bells. The 2017 Momentum Festival included workshops and readings of new works including Citizens Market by Cori Thomas and The White Chip by Sean Daniels. City’s Director of New Play Development Clare Drobot takes pride in the company’s proclivity for “foster[ing] new work at a variety of stages” and these two productions embody that initiative. CT1713_CitizensMarket_573x437The first, Citizens Market, playing from March 3-25, is one of the aforementioned world premieres. In this story of New York City at its finest, immigrants from around the globe staff a local supermarket. As Hamilton taught us, they do indeed “get the job done” but the work doesn’t stop when the store closes. They must navigate a world that discriminates against them with all the hope they can muster. Luckily for them, that’s quite a lot. Drobot worked closely with playwright Thomas and director Douglas all summer and will continue to revise the script throughout the rehearsal process to make it the best it can be. “It’s exciting to share those changes with audiences and there will be noticeable differences between the spring readings and the March premiere,” Drobot teased. CT1714_WhiteChip_573x437-1Fresh from his thrilling direction of Benjamin Scheuer’s deeply affecting autobiographical musical The Lion, Sean Daniels returns to City Theatre as a playwright with a raw look inside his own life. As this is The White Chip’s second production, its script will only undergo some minor refinement during this production process. The white chip signifies a milestone in Sean’s (the character and the writer) ongoing struggle with alcoholism. Even with a strong support system and goals to live for, Sean sometimes finds himself just barely hanging on. The play is a comedy, but it provides no chaser for the harsh and bitter realities that addicts brave to maintain sobriety. The White Chip plays from April 7 through May 6. CT1715_NomadMotel_573x437The world premiere of Fear the Walking Dead writer Carla Ching’s Nomad Motel, opening on May 12 and closing on June 3, definitely ensures that this season will end on a high note. Alix, her twin brothers, and her friend Mason find themselves away from home not because they’re rebelling or avoiding chores. Their parents’ neglect (motivated by wildly different circumstances) forces the children to fend for themselves and make a life out in the wild. And, by wild, I mean a series of motel rooms in California. If you can’t wait for late September for the opening of A Funny Thing Happened…, City is presenting a return limited engagement of Late Night Catechism by Maripat Donovan, featuring Kimberly Richards from September 7-17. A devout nun is your host, teacher, and conscience for an evening that will tickle your funny bone as much as it enriches your soul. Who doesn’t need that nowadays? City Theatre has thrived for so long on Bingham Street in Southside (and in Oakland before that) because it consistently presents well-rounded, well-produced, and responsible entertainment. They keep audiences and artists coming back for more every year because, according to Douglas, those “who call Pittsburgh home can call City home”. For tickets and more information about City Theatre's upcoming season, click here. 

Artist Spotlight: Rachel Stevens

By: Yvonne Hudson
6-2It’s only Tom Stoppard and the question of the root of human consciousness, but rising American director Rachel Stevens eagerly takes on The Hard Problem for Quantum Theater. The Wallingford, PA, native puts her life and theater chops to work at a point in her career trajectory that seems just right. Her journey is taking her between New York and Pittsburgh and Stevens is enjoying the ride. Growing up in Wallingford, Pennsylvania, Steven became fascinated with theater from first playing “make believe” with her brother and following his path through school plays (debuting as Gretel in The Sound of Music at age 5) to college and grad school. “I come from a very tight, small supportive family,” says Stevens. “My grandparents lived down the street from us--me, my brother Marcus and mother and myself. When my brother was seven he asked for a little sister” and she became his “biggest fan”. Her commitment for further study in theater was confirmed when she came to Pittsburgh to see his work at Point Park University and she wound up in the MFA program in musical theater. Stevens was initially on stage in school and college projects, but the concept of directing clicked for her.   “I always wanted to be in charge of how the time machine was built and our environments...I loved creating concepts that elevated the storytelling.” She went on to earn her MFA in New York at the Actors Theater Drama School at Pace University. The show her brother was working on at PPU was the musical Floyd Collins at PPU, which Stevens would herself stage in Pittsburgh along with The Spitfire Grills for Front Porch Theatricals’ 2016 season. “It was a great experience. I loved the company’s family,” she says, likening the close-knit company to the appeal of her early theater experiences. Front Porch fell between her earliest regional stints as an assistant director at City Theatre and for two world premieres--most recently, the Broadway hit musical Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 as well as The Bandstand, a new musical debuted at Papermill Playhouse in New Jersey. “Stoppard’s hard to resist,” Stevens confirms. “Arcadia was one of the most mesmerizing experiences I’ve had in the theater.” And Quantum is a truly comfortable match for Stevens. The Hard Problem is the stuff of which Artistic Director Karla Boos has built Quantum with its production history distinctively characterized by choices of plays and venues vary significantly from those of other regional companies. “My relationship with Karla is fairly new, “ says Stevens, but “we are very kindred spirits.” Stevens was still awaiting final word on the venue for this Stoppard play when we spoke to her in early August and the location is still to be announced as this story is posted. But the mystery for her creative team adds to the anticipation of yet another unforgettable audience experience for Quantum fans. Quantum describes the play as: “Bristling with intellectual energy and wit...exploring the complexities of consciousness, and the nature of belief.” The Hard Problem had its premiere at London’s National Theatre in 2015, and Quantum presents its regional premiere. Stoppard introduces Hilary, a young neuroscientist who questions the source of consciousness at the same time she’s working through some personal sadness and loss. She and her colleagues raise all the hard questions that will keep audiences members’ own brain cells working through Stoppard’s adroit dialogue gymnastics. Like Arcadia, this script promises to awaken those drowsy thought processes to consider the questions of science through characters whose lives represent the human experience while they consider technology’s role in understanding the mind.   Stevens considers it “the journey to find where our hearts live beyond our brain,” noting that she identifies with Hilary's “twinkling optimism about the way the world functions.” As rehearsals begin on September 26, Stevens has prepared through her intuitive process--reading and rereading the text while alternately her personal work with production conferences and her own wedding to PPU alumnus Joey Scarillo in Pittsburgh in late August. She’s made the shift from wedding to production planning with a design team of colleagues she knows that includes Stephanie Mayer-Staley, scenic designer via Point Park University, and Andrew Ostrowski, the lighting designer who also lit her wedding. Regarding her found space venue, “starting from scratch is scary,” Steven admits. But she’s up for the challenge. This director’s own journey on the location of this production is like that of Quantum audiences--surprise us and we won’t mind a bit as Stevens aims to “make this play soar off the page.” She describes it as “finding where the audience’s heartbeat is in the play...I don’t think there is another company that can do that.” Sure, Stoppard’s writing can seem dense, but she works to ‘distill it down the gorgeousness of the language.” Steven seriously admits, “I try not try to think about it too much.” To get there, she describes her process as reading the text “like a story” about six times to date, “writing questions, underlining things”. She then asks “What is the scene really about?” and “What does the character really want?” And “what is the journey EACH of these characters is on?” As she begins working with her cast, they’ll travel to “find where their hearts really are.” Quantum Theatre’s The Hard Problem continues its 2017-18 season, Oct. 27 to Nov. 19. Red Hills, runs through Sept. 10. Pittsburgher Gab Cody’s Inside Passage has its world premiere, March 2-25. For details on plays, venues, special events, and tickets, the Quantum Theatre, quantumtheatre.com.

A Space to Subvert: The New Hazlett Theater’s Community Supported Art Fall Season

By: Mark Skalski
10402045_10153426093016115_825396057528686509_nTheater is essential for its immediate nature, and for its ability to exist suddenly and without warning by people left out of pop-cultural conversations. For a few of my friends, the theater is something different, a fun but limited part of their media diet; for the rest, the theater is that place where they do Hamlet over and over again, so why bother? The New Hazlett Theater’s CSA (Community Supported Art) program, in many ways, is a rebuttal to that interpretation of the form. Their upcoming season, which begins on October 26th, contains the 5 most disparate shows I’ve seen performed at a single theater. All of them play with expectation, and all of them feature stories you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else. It is, in other words, a very active space. “The thing I most enjoy about this program is that it isn’t static. We don’t believe that it can be,” says Bill Rodgers, CSA’s Director of Programming. “The CSA can give artists a launch pad of sorts. It can provide an opportunity for seasoned individuals to experiment.” In other words, this is a program in which fresh voices are given an opportunity and a budget to bring their work to life, and artists with known-work under their belts are able to take risks and push boundaries. It’s a breeding ground for new thoughts. BetweenUsandGrace-620x443The program’s first show, Between Us and Grace (October 27th), explores a space familiar to most all creative hopefuls: the open mic. Starring show writer Clare Drobot alongside local singer-songwriter Nathan Zoob, the play follows Stella, a 17 year-old songwriter who is increasingly in contrast with her religious hometown upbringing. It’s a coming of age story in which music intersects with narrative, though Drobot is quick to point out that the play not a musical: “I promise, no jazz hands,” she asserts in one promotional video. Drobot’s narrative of redefining faith, while personal, will depict a struggle most anyone can relate to. Between Us and Grace will be directed by Anya Martin and will be performed on October 26th. Presence-620x443CSA’s second show, the concert/visual-theater mashup, Presence, is more indicative of the program’s playful relationship with convention. Performed and created by saxophonist John Petrucelli, Presence will utilize a jazz quintet, a string quartet, electronic music and a lighting director to create a musically and thematically complex space to exist within. The music is being composed alongside the show’s visuals, and is a unique amalgam of both influence and musical philosophy. “[The show will] merge natural sounds, urban acoustic sounds and voices,” said Petrucelli. The roots of the show are on some fundamental levels at odds, and Petrucelli was quick to point out in conversation that bridging the strict nature of classical composition versus the more organic form favored by jazz musicians is in itself a difficult task. However, this fundamental conflict has opened up Petrucelli’s creative palate to some new spaces. When asked what a jazz newbie could get out of a performance like this versus a seasoned veteran, Petrucelli’s answer was clear: the chance to exist in a “totally immersive space.” Presence will be performed on December 7th. ApartFromMe-620x443Apart From Me, CSA’s third show, is another heavily experimental piece striving to immerse and provoke its audience to reflect. Created and performed by H. Gene Thompson, Arvid Tomayko and Ru Emmons, the show will use physical performance, wearable sculptures and a dynamic soundscape to explore the rift between the individual versus society versus the self. The group’s outfits will activate various parts of the environment as they perform, which in turn will create sounds and additional visuals. The show won’t be a straightforward dance piece that follows a clear narrative, but will instead use abstractions to explore the way in which our social spaces have themselves become fairly abstract. Cell phone use, for example, is probably our most popularly discussed social moray. We’ve all heard the phrase “you’re always on your damn phone” from an uncle or two, or a hundred, and even those of us who religiously spend the day staring at a screen generally have some scruples about social media obsession. But what’s to be done about it? Tomayko had an answer: “We’re using iPhone sensor technology to connect people in a creative space with each other, rather than with their phones.” Apart From Me will be performed February 8th. BuersKiss-620x443CSA’s fourth show, Büer’s Kiss, written and created by local cartoonist Carl Antonowicz, is a dynamic live production of medieval-set graphic novel storytelling. More than a live reading, the show is slated to feature multiple voice actors, live foley effects and projections of its panels. The show follows a woman named Felicia who contracts a fictional disease similar to leprosy and is forced to live with other sufferers in a secluded island away from a society that reviles her. It is the culmination of years of medieval research on Antonowicz’s part, who draws his fable in a strikingly dark pop-art style. Büer’s Kiss will be performed April 12th. Escape-Velocity-620x443Escape Velocity, the final show of the season by Double Blind Productions, features a dynamic, almost ‘choose your own adventure’-style narrative in which tarot cards drawn by audience participants will actively shape the outcome of the plot. The show will follow a circus, and will deal with themes of fate vs. choice. It will be performed on May 31st. Audiences craving the bold and unique in their storytelling are bound to find New Hazlett’s Community Supported Art season to challenge their perception of theater, and open their eyes to some new voices who will shape the stage for years to come. For tickets and more information, check out the New Hazlett's website here
Historic Labor Conflict Comes to Life in New Battle of Homestead Play At The Pump House
By: Yvonne Hudson
Ted Pappas’ Grand Finale at PPT
By: Yvonne Hudson
Pittsburgh Opera – 79th Season Preview
By: George B. Parous
Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center Dreams Bigger
By: Emily Koscinski
PSIP Continues Its Mission to Offer Fun, Accessible Theatre with Henry V
By: Robyne Parrish
PNWF – New Works from Around the World: Part 2
By: George Hoover
Collegiate Preview 2017
By: Mara E. Nadolski
CMU Drama Pulls Out All the Stops this 2017-2018 Season
By: Robyne Parrish
Carlow University Presents Alumni Show This Fall
By: Ringa Sunn
Duquesne Red Masquers’ Ambitious 105th Season
By: George Hoover
Finding New Solutions in Old Problems: Pitt Stages’ Upcoming Season
By: Mark Skalski
Point Park Gets to Work on Another Eight Shows at the Pittsburgh Playhouse
By: Brian Pope
PNWF – New Works from Around the World: Part 1
By: George Hoover
Show Tune Saturday Night
By: George Hoover
Hot Metal Musicals 2017
By: George Hoover
The Triumphant Return of Hot Metal Musicals
By: Eva Phillips
“If I Loved You…” – Pittsburgh Festival Opera’s New Revue
By: George B. Parous
PITR’s Top 5 Picks for Summer 2017
By: Jack Lake
Summer Preview 2017
By: Mara E. Nadolski
Love, Ethics, and Religion: Kinetic Theatre’s Season Lineup
By: Stephen Arch
off the WALL to Hold Benefit for Planned Parenthood
By: Cayleigh Boniger
Artist Spotlight: Tony Sirk
By: Nichole Faina
Pittsburgh’s Polished Musical Theatre Gem: The CLO
By: George Hoover
Everything Old is New Again – Pittsburgh Festival Opera Coming Soon!
By: George B. Parous
Split Stage Wraps a Successful Third Season, Announces an Ambitious Fourth
By: George Hoover
Throughline Theatre: Heading to New Places
By: Ringa Sunn
Reacquainting Ourselves with Musical Theatre Artists of Pittsburgh (MTAP)
By: Eva Phillips
5 Musicals You Don’t Want to Miss This Summer: 2017 Edition
By: George Hoover
Music that Matters – A Gathering of Sons, Pittsburgh Festival Opera’s World Premiere
By: Nicole Tafe
Artist Spotlight: Quinn Patrick Shannon
By: Brian Pope
Little Lake Prepares for a Paramount 69th Season!
By: Nicole Tafe
Paying Attention to Miller’s Masterwork at PPT
By: Yvonne Hudson
Sensations and Emotions: Fringe Day 3
By: Eva Phillips
Trump and Circumstance: A Politically Charged Day 2 at Fringe
By: Eva Phillips
That’s a Wrap: Fringe Day 3
By: Alex Walsh
Unpredictable Treasure: The Fringe Fest Day 3
By: Mark Skalski
Apocalypse, Adventure, Sex, and Bingo: A Fringe Odyssey
By: Mark Skalski
Into the Fray: First Night of Fringe
By: Eva Phillips
Fringe-Worthy Entertainment
By: Brian Pope
Sunday Fringe: Taking a Dive into the Absurd
By: Nichole Faina
Bring It Around Town: Fringe Sunday
By: Cayleigh Boniger
Jed Allen Harris is at Home with Quantum for Collaborators
By: Yvonne Hudson
Solos Going Steady at the Fringe
By: Alex Walsh
First Time Fringer Saturday!
By: Victor C. Leroi
Tips and Tricks at Saturday’s Fringe
By: Nichole Faina
No April Foolin’ at the Fringe
By: Cayleigh Boniger
An Apocalyptic Tour of Fringe 2017
By: Jason Clearfield
Fringe Culture
By: Brian Pope
Fringe 2017 Day 1: Teeth & Sinew and The Chronic Single’s Handbook
By: Nichole Faina
Friday Fringe at AIR!
By: Megan Grabowski
The Fringe Awakens
By: Alex Walsh
First Time Fringer Friday
By: Victor C. Leroi
Gemini Children’s Theater – Making Magic for Young Audiences
By: Yvonne Hudson
Bricolage Production Company’s 12th Annual BUS!
By: Jason Clearfield
Artist Spotlight: Billy Hepfinger
By: Ringa Sunn
Cup-A-Jo Productions’ Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf: Inviting Audiences Into Their Home
By: Stephen Arch
Spring Preview 2017
By: Mara E. Nadolski
5 Musicals You Don’t Want to Miss This Spring
By: George Hoover
The New In The Mythical: 12 Peers Theater’s Latest Season To Seek Unity In Discord
By: Mark Skalski
Stage 62 Goes to Camelot, Neverland, and More!
By: Meredith Rigsby
Fourth Annual Pittsburgh Fringe Festival!
By: Eva Phillips
Pittsburgh Festival Opera Raises Community Voices in Upcoming Production
By: Jacob Spears
Theater Galas and Fundraisers in Pittsburgh this Spring
By: Claire Juozitis
Artist Spotlight – Brian Vu on “As One”
By: George B. Parous
Artist Spotlight: Jeffrey Chips
By: Nichole Faina
Artist Spotlight: Leah de Gruyl as “Richard the Lionheart”
By: George B. Parous
Winter Preview 2016
By: Mara E. Nadolski
5 Holiday Shows You Don’t Want to Miss
By: Claire Juozitis
5 Musicals You Don’t Want to Miss This Winter
By: George Hoover
Jumping Jack Theater Provides Interactive Opportunity for Special Needs Audiences
By: Meredith Rigsby
Artist Spotlight: Sean Sears
By: Nichole Faina
Loosening the Screws of Performance with Unbolted
By: Eva Phillips
Building an Organism, Part 2: The Space Upstairs
By: Jason Clearfield
Building An Organism, Part 1: slowdanger
By: Jason Clearfield
Pittsburgh’s Must-See Halloween Shows
By: Jack Lake
A Peek into the Pittsburgh Actor’s Space
By: Eva Phillips
Season 42 at City Theatre Brings Even More New Plays!
By: Isaac Crow
New Hazlett’s Community Supported Art Series Begins Third Season
By: Victor C. Leroi
Pittsburgh Savoyards Serve up Three Favorites in 79th Season
By: Yvonne Hudson
5 Musicals You Don’t Want to Miss This Fall
By: George Hoover
Community, Celebration, and Risk Taking: McKeesport Little Theater’s Fall Season
By: Mark Skalski
Pittsburgh Opera’s 78th Season Opens October 8 with Verdi’s “La Traviata”
By: George B. Parous
Twenty Years of Prime Stage
By: Nichole Faina
Fall Preview 2016
By: Mara E. Nadolski
Dancing into Fall 2016
By: Chloe Kinnahan
A New Day for PICT Classic Theatre at the Union Project
By: Yvonne Hudson
Fun with Shakespeare in the Parks!
By: Mara E. Nadolski
PNWF Returns for 26th Annual Showcase
By: Megan Grabowski
Pittsburgh Playhouse Brings Dramaturgical Powerhouse Season
By: Eva Phillips
CMU Drama to Engage and Challenge in 2016-2017 Season
By: Drew Praskovich
Collegiate Preview 2016
By: Mara E. Nadolski
Student-Run Red Masquers to Push Boundaries in Upcoming Season
By: Mark Skalski
Pitt Stages Creates New and Familiar Realities in Resilient Spaces
By: Yvonne Hudson
Can We Interest You in a Musical About Lust, Love, War, Race and Class?
By: George Hoover
Ubu the King Hits Pittsburgh, One Night Only!
By: Jack Lake
Memories of OTP’s “SummerFest” 2016
By: George B. Parous
Artist Spotlight: Connor McCanlus
By: Jack Lake
Dimitrie Lazich and “The Silent Woman”
By: George B. Parous
Local Company to Hold Shakespeare Event in Support of Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub
By: Jason Clearfield
Momentum 2016: New Plays at Different Stages
By: Drew Praskovich
off the WALL’s Season of Pittsburgh Premieres
By: Chloe Kinnahan
Summer Preview 2016
By: Mara E. Nadolski
Much to Be Expected from Throughline This Season
By: Roxy Lillard
Another Round of 10 Minute Plays!
By: Yvonne Hudson
A Quarter Century of Quantum
By: Yvonne Hudson
Artist Spotlight: Tracy Brigden
By: Nichole Faina
Little Lake Theatre: Flourishing in 2016
By: Victor C. Leroi
The 12th Annual Theatre Festival in Black and White
By: Jason Clearfield
“SummerFest” Is In the Air!
By: George B. Parous
5 Musicals You Don’t Want to Miss This Summer
By: Drake Ma
PICT Conjures Poe’s Terror for Final Bows at Pitt before next Season at Union Project
By: Yvonne Hudson
One Stop Shopping: The Pittsburgh Fringe Festival Coverage 2016
By: Mara E. Nadolski
Fringe Day 3: A Day at St. Mary’s
By: Nichole Faina
Fringe Day 2: A Day Full of Female Playwrights
By: Nichole Faina
A Word or Two from Pittsburgh Opera’s General Director, Christopher Hahn, on “The Rake’s Progress.”
By: George B. Parous
Fringe Day 1: Storytelling and Eulogies
By: Nichole Faina
Fringe Day 3: Four Voices One Story, It’s Who You Know, and Always B Sharp
By: Drake Ma
Fringe Day 3: Funerals, Poetry, Dance and an Open Mic
By: Chloe Kinnahan
Fairytales, Fights, and Failure: Fringe Day 3
By: Jack Lake
Losing Our Heads Over Shakespeare, Part 2: Pittsburgh Shakespeareans Admit Lifelong Attraction
By: Yvonne Hudson
Friday Fringe Binge: Day 1 of the Festival
By: Jack Lake
Fringe Day 2: Beautiful Cadavers, LA Acting Coaches, and Cinderella Stories
By: Chloe Kinnahan
Fringe Day 3: Critters!
By: Megan Grabowski
Fringe Day 2: Ukrainian Dance to One Man Shows to #BlackLivesMatter
By: Megan Grabowski
Fringe Day 2: The Last Lifeboat and A Dream of Midsummer
By: Drake Ma
Fringe Day 1: Passing Through and 5 Hams Fairy Tales
By: Megan Grabowski
Local Theatre Group to Represent Pittsburgh in Edinburgh Fringe Festival
By: Mara E. Nadolski
Losing Our Heads Over Shakespeare, Part 1: Mrs. Shakespeare’s Four-Century Journey
By: Yvonne Hudson
Pittsburgh Fringe Festival Returns to the Northside
By: Nichole Faina
Book of Will: Celebrate the First Folio
By: Yvonne Hudson
“And Suddenly You Know…”
By: Nichole Faina
B.U.S. 11 Provides Laughs, Thoughtfulness and an Anthology!
By: Jack Lake
Strindberg Inspired Play to Premiere at Pittsburgh Playwrights
By: Yvonne Hudson
What’s to Come for SWAN Day 2016
By: Nichole Faina
What to Expect in Season 5 from 12 Peers Theater
By: Jack Lake
Joniece Abbott-Pratt on Strong Female Roles, Pittsburgh Debut
By: Natalie Spanner
Artist Spotlight: Karla Boos
By: Natalie Spanner
Artist Spotlight: Joanna Lowe
By: Natalie Spanner
Pittsburgh Public’s New Season Has It All!
By: Drake Ma
Artist Spotlight: Kim Brown
By: Natalie Spanner
Artist Spotlight: Sabrina Hykes-Davis
By: Natalie Spanner
Tales with Tunes
By: Isaac Crow
Artist Spotlight: Leon Zionts
By: Natalie Spanner
Pittsburgh New Works Festival’s Blast from the Past
By: Mara E. Nadolski
Artist Spotlight: Clare Drobot
By: Natalie Spanner
Pittsburgh New Works Festival Celebrates 25 years
By: Jack Lake
Artist Spotlight: Matt Henderson
By: Natalie Spanner
Artist Spotlight: Connor Bahr
By: Natalie Spanner
Artist Spotlight: Virginia Wall Gruenert
By: Natalie Spanner
Coming Soon: Artist Spotlight
By: Natalie Spanner
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh’s “SummerFest” Opens July 10
By: George B. Parous
Fringe Sunday AKA The Lost Reviews
By: Corey Hawk
Fringe Day 3: My Day at City of Asylum and the Mystery of the Tall Old Man Solved
By: Jack Lake
Fringe Day 2: Murder, Raw Woman and Bears, Oh My!
By: Jack Lake
Last but Not Least: Fringe Day 3
By: John Nau
Religion, Murder and 9/11: Fringe Day 2
By: Corey Hawk
Fringe Festival Rocks the Northside Friday Night
By: Corey Hawk
Fringe Day Two Coming to You!
By: John Nau
Eerie Hotels and Spooky Taverns: Fringe Recap Day 2
By: Chloe Detrick
Horror Movies and Puppets!
By: Mara E. Nadolski
Fringe Day 1: Don’t Get Robbed, Don’t Be Late!
By: Jack Lake
Fringe Festival Brings Laughs and Music
By: John Nau
Here We Go Again!
By: Mara E. Nadolski
A Week of Will
By: Tyler Plosia
UnCommon Shakespeare
By: Jack Lake
Theater (and Dance and Music and Film and Painting) at SWAN Day 2015
By: Tyler Plosia
SWAN Day Pittsburgh 2015: One Show, Sixty Women and Tons of Talent
By: Sarah Beth Martin
Quantum Theatre’s Q Ball Dazzles Once Again!
By: Mara E. Nadolski
Hot Metal Musicals Delivered on Talent and Variety
By: Isaac Crow
New Musicals to be Showcased at the Cabaret
By: Isaac Crow
The Fringe is No Joke
By: Mara E. Nadolski
Seven Shows in Shadyside: Adventures in Fringe
By: James Ormond
From the Internet to the Stage
By: Isaac Crow
And the Winner Is…
By: Mara E. Nadolski
In case you didn’t know…
By: Justin Sines
Until Next Year…
By: Justin Sines
TPS Report – April 28, 2014
By: Mara E. Nadolski
TPS Report – April 21, 2014
By: Mara E. Nadolski
TPS Report – April 14, 2014
By: Mara E. Nadolski
TPS Report – April 7, 2014
By: Mara E. Nadolski
TPS Report – March 31, 2014
By: Mara E. Nadolski
TPS Report – March 24, 2014
By: Mara E. Nadolski
SWAN DAY Pittsburgh 2014
By: Justin Sines
Quantum Gets Qed Up For Q Ball
By: James Ormond
Fringe Festival Kicks Off at 5801
By: Isaac Crow
Coming for 2014… TPS Reports!
By: James Ormond