Posts Tagged Momentum

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.


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.

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

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


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2011 MOMENTUM Festival Schedule of Events

 City Theatre continues to live out its mission to be a home for new plays with the 2011 MOMENTUM Festival!  This year’s festival promises to be packed with big names, parties, great theatre, and informative workshops and panel discussions.  Read on to see what’s in store!

Thursday, June 2 at 7 pm | Reading of Rancho Mirage
a dark comedy by Steven Dietz
All hell breaks loose at Rancho Mirage, a seemingly picture-perfect upscale housing development, when three couples gather for a hilariously ill-fated dinner party. The author of Shooting Star and Honus & Me returns to City Theatre with a blistering send-up of marriage and suburbia.

Friday, June 3 at 8 pm | Reading of POP!
with Anthony Rapp as Andy Warhol!
a rock musical murder mystery by Maggie-Kate Coleman and Anna K. Jacobs
To be produced next May as part of City Theatre’s 2011/12 Season! Who shot Andy Warhol? Welcome to the pop icon’s legendary Factory, where every artist has talent, ego, and a motive to pull the trigger. Variety calls this wild musical collage “vibrant, hip, fresh, and a hell of a lot of fun.” Join us after the reading for a party in City Theatre’s Gordon Lounge!

Saturday, June 4 at 1 pm | Writing Workshop: “Story-Making for the Stage”
Master playwright Steven Dietz, who co-heads the prestigious M.F.A. playwriting program at the University of Texas at Austin, leads writers at any level—experienced and novice alike—in a look at the fundamentals of theatrical narrative and some strategies to create/explore/interrogate them. No previous writing experience necessary– just bring a pencil, a notebook, and a creative frame of mind! 

Saturday, June 4 at 3 pm | Reading of South Side Stories
written and performed by Pittsburgh’s own Tami Dixon
“What’s your South Side story?” That’s what local actress Tami Dixon asked as she traveled the South Side with her “story wagon,” collecting the true tales of the people she met in the shops, bars, and streets of her Pittsburgh neighborhood. The theatre piece inspired by her journey is a fascinating, moving, and funny tribute to the memories and community built on the flats and slopes of Pittsburgh’s South Side.

Saturday, June 4 at 6 pm | Playwrights Panel
The Compleat Playwright
The MOMENTUM ‘11 writers live and work in cities across the nation, and collectively they are also experienced actors, directors, teachers, and producers of acclaimed theatre companies. Get the inside scoop on how they’ve navigated such rewarding careers and what the Compleat Playwright’s “tool box” must include for success in the contemporary theatre.

Saturday, June 4 at 8 pm | Reading of Rich Girl
A new play by Victoria Stewart
Claudine falls head over heels for Henry, a starving artist. Unfortunately, Claudine’s financial guru mother has her doubts. Is Henry everything her daughter has been looking for? Or is he after something else? A modern adaptation of Henry James’ Washington Square, Victoria Stewart’s Rich Girl examines how women relate to men, mothers, and money … in that order. Join us after the reading for a party in City Theatre’s Gordon Lounge.

Sunday, June 5 at 3 pm | Encore reading of POP!
featuring Anthony Rapp

For more information, call 412-431-CITY.  We hope to see you there!

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