Point Park University’s Pittsburgh Playhouse is getting ready to launch “Here. Now. Next!,” a fall season of virtual offerings, including theater and dance productions, the new Dance Speaker Series and a re-imagined Media Innovators Speaker Series.
The season will include several new works.
“Some of our work this fall will recognize that we are sharing a unique and defining moment,” said Steven Breese, Pittsburgh Playhouse artistic director and dean of the Conservatory of Performing Arts. “We are posing the thematic question, ‘In light of the current environment and acknowledging recent national events, what are the things that bring us together and/or push us apart?’
“We intend to produce work that is new and innovative, leveraging the creative and artistic skills that are being taught in our classrooms for the digital environment,” he said. “Since this fall will look a little different than a typical production season, we’re dedicated to augmenting our work with key support artists, industry professionals and faculty who are well-positioned to help us create unforgettable experiences.”
Theater and dance
Upcoming theater and dance productions, with broadcast dates, include:
• ChoreoLab 1, Oct. 28-Nov. 1 — Conservatory dance students and faculty collaborate to create works that showcase the creativity and innovation of seasoned professionals and budding young artists.
• New Play Reading Series Production 1, Oct. 28-Nov. 1 — Readings of original plays and/or musicals not previously produced.
• Water by the Spoonful, Nov. 18-22 — Digital presentation of Quiara Alegria Hudes’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Set in a chat room, as birth families splinter and online families collide across continents and cyberspace.
• Student Choreography Project, Nov. 18-22 — A new take on live performance featuring the works and the dancers of tomorrow performed today.
• Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Dec. 2-6 — An off-Broadway favorite, Steve Martin’s absurdist comedy brings together Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso in a Parisian café, where the renowned geniuses muse on the century’s achievements and opportunities and other fanciful topics.
• ChoreoLab 2, Dec. 9-13 — Conservatory dance students and dance department faculty join forces to create imaginative and clever dance works.
• Ordinary Days, Dec. 9-13 — Set in New York City, the musical follows four characters exploring how their ordinary lives connect in amazing ways. Working in partnership with composer/lyricist Adam Gwon, this show will be digitally produced with two casts.
• Voting as an Act of Love (working title), Dec. 16-20 — Developed and directed by professional director/theater-maker Adil Mansoor and devised by an ensemble of performers, designers and artists in quarantine, the piece centers on its ensemble and their stories anchored with social justice frameworks, docudrama methodologies and media tools.
• It’s a Wonderful Life, A Live Radio Play, Dec. 16-20 — Adapted by Joe Landry, Frank Capra’s beloved holiday classic becomes a 1940s radio broadcast with holiday music, live sound effects and a versatile cast playing dozens of roles. The broadcast will be performed in various discreet locations with actors onstage in all three Playhouse theaters captured simultaneously.
From 4:30-6 p.m. Mondays, Sept. 7-Nov. 30, Point Park dance alumni and guest professionals will have virtual discussions organized into five categories: Broadway, Concert Dance, Choreographers, Entrepreneurs and the Commercial Dance Industry.
Registration for dance discussions is available here.
The Media Innovators Speaker Series will offer a variety of free, virtual discussions via Point Park’s Center for Media Innovation on CMI’s Facebook and YouTube pages. The CMI home page will be updated as events are confirmed.
Topics include the opportunities and challenges of covering the NHL virtually; the TikTok revolution; why it still pays off to report on lead poisoning; how Pittsburgh media outlets have coped during the pandemic; Black Lives Matter and the media; and several events centered around politics and the upcoming presidential election.
Conservative columnist, author and commentator Salena Zito will be featured at 7 p.m. Oct. 29.
For information on the speaker series, call 412-392-8000 or email [email protected]
Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or via Twitter .
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