Pittsburgh Playhouse Announces Bold, Innovative 2019 – 2020 Season

 

Playhouse welcomes world premieres, gripping works, captivating dance productions and the thoughtprovoking Media Innovators Speaker Series 

 

Pittsburgh, Pa. (April 30, 2019) – Point Park University’s award-winning Pittsburgh Playhouse is pleased to announce its 2019 – 2020 season which features a compelling lineup of new and classic works, including the Tony Award®-winning musical Parade directed by Tony Award®-winning alumnus Rob Ashford, the world premiere musical Pump Up the Volume, and the Off-Broadway hit, Good Grief. The season runs from Oct. 10, 2019 – May 7, 2020. 
 
On the heels of an in-demand inaugural season in its Downtown location, Point Park University’s Pittsburgh Playhouse expands the depth and breadth of productions for its 2019-2020 season with national theatrical collaborative efforts, the integration of legendary works from master choreographers, and the continuation of its successful speaker’s series aimed at sparking informed discussion in the community on a broad range of topics.   
 
“Our first season laid the groundwork for creating innovative theatrical opportunities that offered students the opportunity to experience what it’s like to mount a new work alongside a professional artistic team, while at the same time, bringing exceptional and entertaining productions to Pittsburgh audiences,” said Point Park University president Paul Hennigan.   
 According to Hennigan, after last season’s well-received collaboration with RWS Entertainment Group on The Old Man and the Sea, “The Pittsburgh Playhouse will once again collaborate with RWS on the world premiere musical Pump Up the Volume, which will feature Point Park students performing alongside professional actors.”         

“This coming season, we’re also anticipating an exceptional Conservatory Dance Company season and another stellar lineup for the Media Innovators Speaker Series, which will be announced soon,” Hennigan added.     
 
The productions for the upcoming season were carefully chosen to be thought-provoking, entertaining and innovative, according to Ronald Allan-Lindblom, Artistic Director, Point Park University’s Pittsburgh Playhouse. “This diverse and formidable collection of productions explores the complexity of relationships, race, freedom of speech and culture, addressing the very societal issues we’re experiencing today.”   

Of exceptional note this coming season, he added, “is the opportunity to welcome home several accomplished alumni, both in playwright and directing roles, who we hope will embrace the new facility and our talented Conservatory students as a national laboratory for artistic exploration.” Headlining returning alumnus are Tony Award®-winning director Rob Ashford who will direct Parade, Good Grief playwright Ngozi Anyanwu, and The Wolves director Rachel M. Stevens.
 
Point Park University’s 2019 - 2020 Conservatory Theatre Company season includes: 
 

Good Grief 

By Ngozi Anyanwu Directed by Reginald L. Douglas 
Oct. 18 – 27, 2019; preview Oct. 17 Rauh Theatre 
 

A story of love, loss and friendship, Good Grief focuses on a young woman, Nkechi, grieving the loss of her longtime friend and almost lover, MJ. While the story opens with Nkechi taking a sabbatical from her med-school program, she soon learns that her friend was in a terrible car crash. Good Grief takes place between 1992 and 2005 in a Pennsylvania suburb as Nkechi recalls memories and events from her life with MJ.  

Vulture.com applauded Good Grief after its Off-Broadway opening in October 2018, calling it an exploration of “not what grief actually looks like, but what it feels like from the inside.” Good Grief invites audiences to join Nkechi’s journey through an adolescent friendship and a painful, but eye-opening loss.  
 

Much Ado About Nothing 

By William Shakespeare Directed by Steven Wilson Nov. 8 – 17, 2019; preview Nov. 7 PNC Theatre 

Match-making, deception and betrayal are the makings of William Shakespeare’s highly acclaimed Much Ado About Nothing. The show follows several love triangles that struggle to overcome mishaps and dramatic deceptive rumors. After many ups and downs for the show’s witty and somewhat malicious characters, love wins out in the end.  
 Known as one of Shakespeare’s most endearing comedic works, audiences are sure to experience laughs and a few jaw-drops as they journey through Shakespeare’s timeless plot twists. 

 

Adding Machine: A Musical

Composed by Joshua Schmidt/Libretto by Jason Loewith & Joshua Schmidt Based on the play The Adding Machine by Elmer Rice Directed by Tlaloc Rivas 
Dec. 6 – 15, 2019; preview Dec. 5 Highmark Theatre 

Adding Machine: A Musical, an adaptation of Elmer Rice’s 1923 play, centers around its lead character, Mr. Zero – the sheer definition of the “anti-hero.” With a struggling marriage and a mundane life, little is going well for Mr. Zero. And after 25 years, he is replaced at his company by a mechanical adding machine. In an act of pure rage, he murders his boss and embarks on a journey that leads to the afterlife where Mr. Zero is given one last chance at redemption.   

 

The Wolves

By Sarah DeLappe Directed by Rachel M. Stevens 
Feb. 21 – March 8, 2020; preview Feb. 20 Highmark Theatre 

The Wolves is full of girl power and explosive energy as it follows a team of nine teenage soccer players through their season. Through conversations about female development, boyfriend drama, and friendly gossip, each girl expresses her own distinct personality and individual character. When real tragedy occurs, the girls have to decide if they’ll forfeit their upcoming game or learn to stand together as a team and overcome their anxieties, grief and challenges.  

 

Parade

Music & Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown Book by Alfred Uhry Directed by Tony Award-winner and Point Park alumnus Rob Ashford 
March 13 – 22, 2020; preview March 12 PNC Theatre 

A Tony Award®-winning musical, Parade tells the tragic and true story of the trial and death of a man wrongfully accused of murder. With a book by acclaimed playwright Alfred Uhry and a wonderfully composed score by Jason Robert Brown, Parade examines one of the darkest times of uncertainty, injustice and tension in America’s history. Taking place in 1913, this rousing show follows the trial of Jewish factory manager, Leo Frank, who was accused and convicted of raping and murdering his 13year-old employee.  
Parade offers a powerful, bold and moving theatrical experience that offers a moral lesson about the terrifying effects of prejudice that should not be forgotten. 

 

Pump Up the Volume 

Book & Lyrics by Jeremy Desmon Music by Jeff Thomson Directed by Dave Solomon Produced in collaboration with RWS Entertainment Group 
April 3 – 12, 2020; preview April 2 Highmark Theatre 

Based on the 1990 film starring Christian Slater, Pump Up the Volume is a raucous and moving new musical about Mark Hunter, a shy teen who shakes up his small Arizona suburb broadcasting nightly as no-holds-barred pirate radio shock jock "Hard Harry.” When a local teenager calls into the show in an act of desperation, what transpires on-air sets the community ablaze, igniting an underground revolution.  

Point Park University’s Conservatory Dance Season, sponsored by UPMC, celebrates the profound contributions women have made to the world of dance by featuring a lineup that includes all female guest choreographers. “We’re centering the dance season around the theme of women’s voices,” said Garfield Lemonius, chair and associate artistic director of Point Park’s dance department. “The works will showcase the brilliant versatility of our dancers, and audience will enjoy works that are new to Pittsburgh, the world, along with cornerstone works of dance legends such as Martha Graham.” 
 

Point Park University’s 2019 - 2020 Conservatory Dance Company season includes: 
 
Contemporary Choreographers 

Oct. 10 – 13, 2019 George Rowland White Performance Studio, Point Park University 

A creatively energizing collection of works from some of the leading female innovators in dance, including Yin Yue, The Pillow Project, Bridget Moore and Amy Hall Garner. An unforgettable, edge of your seat evening of dance, featuring a compelling line up of pieces from sophisticated and unique contemporary, multimedia modern, eclectic jazz to a fresh approach to ballet, this is a concert not to be missed. 
 

Fall Student Choreography Project 

Nov. 15 – 17, 2019 George Rowland White Performance Studio, Point Park University 

An annual sell-out and one of the most beloved and anticipated shows of the season, now featuring two presentations of rising, young choreographers and their works in the fall and spring, Student Choreography Project features original works choreographed by the Conservatory’s talented students. This showcase of a wide range of styles gives dance lovers the unique chance to be among the first audiences to see world premiere works by up and coming talented artists. 

 

Winter Dance Concert 

Dec. 6 – 15, 2019 PNC Theatre 

A concert that is sure to be both breathtaking and inspiring, Winter Dance Concert will feature a world premiere, full-length work by Point Park University Dance Department Professor and renowned choreographer Kiesha Lalama. 

 

Faculty Dance Concert 

Feb. 20 – 23, 2020 George Rowland White Performance Studio, Point Park University 

Point Park University’s formidable dance instructors choreograph special works to showcase the versality and strength of the Conservatory’s gifted dancers. The show will include an electric selection of works including jazz, ballet, modern and African. 

 

Spring Student Choreography Project 

April 3 – 5, 2020 George Rowland White Performance Studio, Point Park University 

An annual sell-out and one of the most beloved and anticipated shows of the season, now featuring two presentations of rising, young choreographers and their works in the fall and spring, Student Choreography Project features original works choreographed by the Conservatory’s talented students. This showcase of a wide range of styles gives dance lovers the unique chance to be among the first audiences to see world premiere works by up and coming talented artists. 
 

Spring Dance Concert

April 15 – 19, 2020 PNC Theatre 

The dance season culminates in an unforgettable performance of works by masters of the new and old dance worlds, including Jessica Lang, Martha Graham, Penny Saunders, and Camille Brown. 

Stay tuned for information about the Media Innovators Speaker Series to be announced soon.   

Subscription deposits are now being accepted. The seven-show season subscription packages start at $98 for preview performances (starting at 7:30 p.m.); $112 for Thursday evenings, and Saturday and Sunday matinees; and $126 for Friday and Saturday evenings.  Subscription benefits include the opportunity to pick your seats, flexible exchange policy, exclusive presales to non-Conservatory shows, plus, if you purchase three subscriptions, you’ll receive a fourth subscription free. In addition, full price season subscribers will receive a complimentary season parking pass at the PNC Garage – just steps from the new Pittsburgh Playhouse (one pass per account).  
 

Individual tickets prices range from $20 - $30 (senior tickets $15 - $20, students $13) and go on sale on Monday, Aug. 5 at 10 a.m. in person at the Playhouse box office, online at www.pittsburghplayhouse.com or by calling 412-392-8000. 
 
 
About the award-winning Pittsburgh Playhouse - The Pittsburgh Playhouse at Point Park University is a 90,411 square-foot theater complex that serves as an artistic laboratory for the prestigious Conservatory of Performing Arts (COPA), comprised of professional, artist educators dedicated to an approach to training that enables students to pursue careers as professionals. COPA includes Departments of Theatre, Dance, and Cinema. The Playhouse received a 2018 Placemaker Award for Excellence from the Urban Land Institute Pittsburgh and 2018 MBA (Master Builders Association of Western Pennsylvania) Excellence Award for New Construction Over $25 Million.    
 
Full price season subscriber packages include a complimentary season parking pass at the PNC Garage, across the street from the Playhouse. More information is available at pittsburghplayhouse.com.