Posts Tagged City Theatre

MOMENTUM: new plays at different stages

City Theatre announces four exciting, original plays set for MOMENTUM, the theatre’s annual festival of new plays at different stages, beginning May 31.  Whether the theme is growing old or simply growing up, this selection of works in development engages with universal topics—familial obligation and love; the pursuit of fame; race and relationships; coming of age; and the ever-raging debate between science and religion.

MOMENTUM is a celebration of new theatrical works featuring readings, workshops, panels, and conversation. The festival is a chance for audiences to not only see four new works in their earliest incarnations, but also to get to know the process of creating new plays and to glimpse inside the minds of the playwrights.

FESTIVAL PLAYS:

My Mother Has Four Noses
A musical play written and performed by Jonatha Brooke
Directed by Tracy Brigden

Nancy Lee Stone is a cancer survivor. She has four prosthetic noses and six names.  She is a published poet and a Christian Scientist. She is Boolie’s mother, and she has Alzheimer ’s disease. In this moving, one-woman show, filled with music, wit, and emotion, acclaimed singer-songwriter Jonatha Brooke tells the story of her journey as she guides her mother through the last months of life.

The Shadow Sparrow
By Anton Dudley (book), Charlie Sohne (lyrics), and Keith Gordon (music)
Directed by Matt M. Morrow
Musical Direction by Douglas Levine
Featuring Candy Buckley and Vince Gatton

Edith abandons her only son to chase a pipe-dream singing career in post-war Europe.  With one earring still hanging loosely in her ear, she follows a man who promises fame and fortune into low-down brothels and basements. This lively, new musical envisions the viewpoint of Michel, the son who grew up in a classless Cleveland hotel only to discover a clue that will take the audience on a whirlwind pursuit.

A Swell in the Ground
By Janine Nabers
Directed by Carolyn Cantor
Featuring Daina Griffith, Scotland Newton, Skyler Sullivan, and Bria Walker

Four friends struggle to keep it together in this coming-of-age play about the Millennial Generation. Olivia is coping with her dad’s death in the 9/11 attacks. Nate has to choose between an acting career and a law degree. Charles lives the shallow life of a corporate jetsetter. Abby is a teacher underwhelmed by her students. All is just okay until a marriage dissolves, words are exchanged, paths cross, and life…happens.

Ten Questions to Ask Your Biology Teacher about Evolution
By Stephen Massicotte
Directed by Dina Epshteyn
Featuring Robin Abramson, Dan Krell, Sheila McKenna, and Noah Plomgren

How do you teach evolution in a divided America? Raymond has religious tattoos, listens to Christian bands, and has ten questions about evolutionary theory that his Biology teacher Kelly won’t answer. Kelly is an atheist urbanite who is up for review after her first year on the job at a small town high school.  As the student and teacher navigate their roles and religious beliefs, both learn an unexpected lesson.

FESTIVAL SCHEDULE:
All readings and workshops take place at City Theatre, 1300 Bingham Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203.

Thursday, May 31
8:00 pm          My Mother Has Four Noses

Friday, June 1
6:30 pm          Playwrights Panel
8:00 pm          The Shadow Sparrow

Saturday, June 2
12:00 pm        Songwriting Workshop with Jonatha Brooke
3:00 pm          My Mother Has Four Noses
5:30 pm          Ten Questions to Ask your Biology Teacher about Evolution
8:00 pm          A Swell in the Ground

Sunday, June 3
12:00 pm        How a City Theatre Season Gets Made:
A Conversation with Tracy Brigden, Artistic Director, and Carlyn Aquiline, Literary Manager & Dramaturg
2:00 pm          The Shadow Sparrow

TICKETS:
$20 four-day pass; $5 per show
Available by phone at 412.431.CITY (2489) or online at CityTheatreCompany.org

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Anthony Rapp Discusses POP! A New Musical by Maggie-Kate Coleman and Anna K. Jacobs

Anthony Rapp returns to Pittsburgh this May to play the iconic pop artist, Andy Warhol, in City Theatre’s season finale POP! Anthony took an hour out of his busy rehearsal schedule to paint a picture, no pun intended, of what audiences can expect from POP!. Check out the videos below and stay tuned for more from City Theatre.

POP! MUSIC AND STORY

BEING ANDY WARHOL

THE STYLE

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Help us welcome Jen Childs to City Theatre!

Jen Childs stars in her hilarious and heartwarming one-woman comedy, Why I’m Scared of Dance.

Help us welcome Jen!

We thought it appropriate to extend her a heartfelt welcome by sharing our own horror stories of dance.  Maybe you have an embarrassing photo or anecdote that you would be willing to share on our Facebook wall?  Just click below to post your photos and stories.

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Seth Rudetsky at City Theatre!

Seth Rudetsky is coming to City Theatre for 4 DAYS ONLY!!!
October 27th-30th

Tickets are limited and going fast to order your tickets go here.

SETH’S BIG FAT BROADWAY SHOW
Based on his hit Sirius/XM Radio show, the larger than life and renowned Seth Rudetsky shares (and sings!) his sassy and irreverent
Broadway knowledge with City Theatre audiences for only 5 amazing performances!

Get a sneak peak of what to expect below.

SETH DECONSTRUCTS BARBARA.

SETH AT THE TONY AWARDS.

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‘Time Stands Still’ Photo Contest Assignment 4 Winner!

Congratulations to Jocelyn Buckner for winning the fourth assignment of our Time Stands Still photo contest.

In honor of City Theatres’ first play of the season Time Stands Still, the story of Sarah a photojournalist, we asked our Facebook fans to go on assignment.  The fourth assignment was “Smile”, and  our fans responded with great photos and captions, but Jocelyn and her Yorkie took the win.  Thank you to everyone who participated… but that’s not all folks we have more assignments. Click here for the next assignment and a chance to win more great prizes from City Theatre.

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Jessica Dickey speaks to Trib about Amish Project

posted by Molly MacLagan, Literary Management and Dramaturgy Intern

The Amish Project, written and performed by Jessica Dickey and directed by Sarah Cameron Sunde, opens on Friday.  The one-woman show was written in response the 2006 Nickel Mines shooting, and explores the events surrounding the tragedy through the eyes of seven fictional characters.  Read an interview with Jessica Dickey in today’s Tribune-Review by clicking this link: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/ae/theater/s_730999.html

For more information, or for tickets, call 412-431-CITY (2489).

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Audience Accolades and setting the stage

Posted by Molly MacLagan, Literary and Dramaturgy Intern.

Audience members continue to rave about Willy Holtzman’s The Morini Strad.  If you haven’t had the chance to see it yet, act quickly!  The show closes on December 12, and there’s less than a week to catch it!  For some reasons to check it out, read the enthusiastic audience responses below:

“I want to tell you how much I enjoyed… The Morini Strad.  I [cried] at least four times throughout the production!  The writing, the setting, the actors, and the music were superb.  Thank you, all, for such a deeply satisfying experience… as all your plays are.”
Jeanie S.

“Thank you for the wonderful production of The Morini Strad…  It was a remarkable performance by two extremely talented actors, with the assistance of Tony Ferrieri’s innovative and very attractive set and the sound design of Brad Peterson.  The result was both gripping and entirely believable.  City Theatre productions never fail to entertain, move, and amuse us.  Thanks so much for seeing that our time (and money) are so well spent!”
Diane and Graeme E.

Tony Ferrieri’s set for The Morini Strad has been the subject of much praise, and with good reason!  With so much attention going to this beautiful and innovative set design, we thought that Tony’s two cents on creating it would be almost as interesting as the set itself.  The resident scenic designer at City Theatre, Tony has been affiliated with City Theatre for 31 years!  He has designed the scenery for The Blonde, the Brunette, and the Vengeful Redhead, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Speak American,  and The Brothers Size, among many others.  Next on the list for Tony, he’ll be designing the set for Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet.

Literary and Dramaturgy Intern Molly MacLagan caught up with Tony to pick his brains about The Morini Strad.  Here’s what he had to say:

Molly MacLagan:  When you receive the script for a show you’re designing, what is the first thing you do after reading it?

Tony Ferrieri: I begin doing research [in this case] on Erica Morini and on the various locations in the play.  For The Morini Strad that was researching locations like Upper West Side NY apartments,  Mount Sinai Hospital rooms, Violin maker and repair workshops including images of Brian’s actual workshop and visiting Phillip’s workshop here in Pittsburgh, Mannes School of Music, the violin; in particular the Morini Stradivarius… etc.

MM: What was your first thought about the scenic design when you read The Morini Strad?

TF: Because of the sound of violin music I thought that the lines of the set needed to be curved rather than hard lines.  The violin is also a curved and beautiful piece of sculpture as well,  if you will, so I wanted to in some way use those curves and shapes in the design of the set as well.

The floor level of the set for The Morini Strad

MM: Which aspect of designing for The Morini Strad excited you the most?

TF: Mostly I just loved the play!  I love plays that relate to the human condition.  Plays that are about people and real situations and realistic relationships and real life situations.

MM: Which aspect of it was the least appealing?

TF: Really only the need for multiple locations.  It is difficult, especially in the smaller Lester Hamburg space to achieve that in a set design, especially sets that require a bed to be onstage!

Note the dreaded bed - a creative solution to a difficult problem Tony faced when designing.

MM: My favorite parts of the design are the echoes of the violin itself in the set – the strings and the violin-shaped platform.  How did you make the decision to essentially create a violin as the world where the characters would be playing?

TF: It just really made the most sense for the play to in some way incorporate the shapes and curved lines of the violin in the set design. The Violin is like a third character in this play and is central to the plot and the story.  So we decided to, sort of, deconstruct the violin use those lines and I used those shapes and different elements and parts of the violin in designing the set.

Notice the echoes of a violin in the set design.

MM: What is your favorite part of the final set?

TF: I am so pleased with the design and really love the whole design so much but if I had to choose one thing I think my favorite part would be the “strings”.  They create a frame around the set and the playing area and in particular my favorite part is the four piece [of violins]; the full violin, the scroll with the fingerboard, the bridge and the tail piece hanging from the strings USL.  It is the extra salt in the ocean!

The platform level is Brian Skarstad's violin repair shop, complete with violin pieces hanging from the strings that frame the set.

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