Monday, July 31, 2006

PGHTC Weekly Pick

When a Pittsburgh theatre company known for edgy and experimental works chooses to do an American Theater Classic, something happens to my insides... the feeling is similar to the stomach churning often associated with a fast roller coaster ride... not good, not bad... just intriguing.
And intrigued is exactly what I am about Quantum Theatre's production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible, so I've chosen it as the first official PGHTC Weekly Pick!

When, Where
July 27-Aug. 20
Rose Garden
Mellon Park, Shadyside

Skip the reality TV, and get to Bricolage tonight!

Last night I had the great pleasure of seeing a staged reading of Key To The Field as part of the Bricolage Theater Company's 2006 Staged Reading Series. The evening started off with writer/director David Turkel stepping up onto the stage, peering out into the audience and premising the play as "a work in progress" - and then the play began, and Mr. Turkel, if this is your idea of "a work in progress" I can't wait to see what happens to your stories as they grow into a full production. The play was both written and acted in such a concise and imaginative way. The characters full and engaging. It is play with many lives to live and I urge you to get to its final reading tonight.

Monday, July 31st
Bricolage Space
937 Liberty Avenue
(admission is free to the public)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

An introduction to PGHTC...

We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s a small world”… and growing up in Pittsburgh I always thought that statement rang very true when it came to the Pittsburgh Theatre Scene. There were the “Big Players”, the community theaters, the academic stage and the few bold and daring experimental theatre companies lurking somewhere in the fringe… all accessible… Well, it at least seemed like you could follow it all, almost predict it. The community was connected, neat, and felt like you could hold it in the palm of your hand. And then something happened… the city cracked open and theatre collaborations began to ooze out onto the sidewalk and into once abundant buildings, parks & festivals… it just plain exploded! I’m not sure when exactly this metamorphosis occurred, but during the six years that I lived out-of-town, this blue-collar city turned theatre crazy.

Upon my return, I felt myself almost overwhelmed by our theatre community’s growth and set out to find my place in it… what I found instead were hundreds of creative groups, raging in size and focus, specializing in everything from puppets to prose. I also discovered that with this exciting BOOM, came a sort of disconnect… an isolated detachment for both artist and audience. And so, I’ve decided to start this theatre communication network in attempt to sew together the edges of this city’s theatre fabric for the purpose of creating a concise, informational and entertaining dialogue for community-minded, theatre-loving souls.

PGH Theatre - The List

The following list is comprised of Pittsburgh Theatre Companies we are excited to about. We'd love your advice, comments, and suggestions turning us on to any companies we may have missed. We're perma-linking this post on the "links" section of the blog for future reference and will updated as necessary.
  • Bricolage - A cutting edge company devoted to creating theatre using a "what's on hand" approach. Their current season consists of a series of 6 staged readings (free to the public) cumulating in an "audience vote" to pick one play to receive a full production.
  • Barebones Productions - Home of new & daring works produced using only the "bare essentials."
  • Bridgespotters - An urban space giving shelter to homeless productions and companies.
  • Carnegie Mellon University, School of Drama - World-class theatre education & productions featuring tomorrow's theatre practicioners.
  • City Theatre - Pittsburgh's off-Broadway gem. City Theatre focuses on new works in their beginning stages and often brings the playwright into the rehearsal process.
  • Gemini Theatre - Focuses on imaginative works geared towards children. Gemini is also known as "the gracious host" opening its space to outside companies and the home of Pittsburgh's annual new play festival.
  • Jewish Theatre of Pittsburgh - Thought provoking and enlightening theatre with a Jewish perspective.
  • Kuntu Repertory Theatre - University of Pittsburgh's student-community theatre company focusing on Africana life in hopes to insight social action.
  • New Horizons - Pittsburgh's second oldest African-American theatre company focusing on works that cultivate diversity and social change. (No website available at this time)
  • Pandora's Box - Pittsburgh's newest theatre company bringing two "city-first" premiers in its freshman season.
  • Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre - Concentration on "presenting classics and the "modern" classics of Irish and world theatre." Also host to a play reading series.
  • Pittsburgh Playwright's Theatre - New to the Pittsburgh Theatre Scene, PPT mixes African-American and main-stream productions with an emphasis on the works of Pittsburgh based playwrights.
  • Prime Stage Theatre - Literature based theatre company bringing the gap between children's' and adult theatre.
  • Pittsburgh New Works Festival - Each September, Pittsburgh New Works Festival presents a dozen one-act plays that emerged from their a national contest.
  • Pittsburgh Public Theatre - Pittsburgh's "grandaddy" theater presenting a healthy mix of old and new works.
  • Playhouse Rep at Point Park University - Breaking through academic barriers and continually presenting classics for the modern audience.
  • Proudly Presents Productions - Pittsburgh's GLBT theater company focusing on works that foster social change and tolerance.
  • Pittsburgh Playback Theatre - Improvisational theatre company dedicated to the interaction between audience and performer.
  • Open Stage Theatre - The perfect fusion of professional and non-professional theatre artists coming together to create vivid and dynamic works with "a fresh insight."
  • Quantum Theatre - Theatre in the raw... combining American theatre trends with world influence and always utilizing non-traditional venues.
  • Saints and Poets Theatre - Pittsburgh's true experimental theatre company specializing in the under produced and the over-looked... S&P brings together artists of all backgrounds while taking the road less traveled.
  • Squonk Opera - An opera company that breaks all the rules... Is anything cooler?
  • Thank You, Felix - Thank You, Felix productions exists to spotlight Pittsburgh's local young talent, to demonstrate the benefits of highly collaborative and cooperative productions, to discover innovative ways of keeping live theatre captivating and evocative, and to use non-traditional performance spaces to evoke a more visceral experience.
  • University of Pittsburgh Repertory Theatre - A top notch theatre education program producing timely and thought-provoking works.
  • Unseam'd Shakespeare - Specializing in classical and classically inspired works that are honed towards a modern audience.
Please let us know of any link updates or edits as needed.