Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Episode 53 Pittsburgh Playwrights and Theatres

I am a bit behind in my blogging for Positively Pittsburgh Live Episodes but I felt that this information needed to be disseminated because the Pittsburgh Arts Scene is of the utmost importance to the Greater Pittsburgh Area, so enjoy.


VERONICA CORPUZ, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

Veronica Corpuz oversees the public relations for the nonprofit arts and real estate development organization, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, including the following divisions: PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Dance Council, First Night Pittsburgh, Trust Presents, Education and Community Engagement, Wood Street Galleries, SPACE Gallery, 707-709 Penn Gallery, and the executive and real estate divisions of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Founded in 1984, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic transformation of Pittsburgh’s 14-block Cultural District from a formerly blighted downtown area into a thriving arts and entertainment, residential neighborhood.

Over a period of twenty years, the Trust has restored classic grand theaters, constructed
totally new facilities, commissioned public art projects and developed unique urban parks
and riverfront recreation spaces in downtown Pittsburgh. Representing almost one million
square feet, the main properties the Trust owns and operates include:
•Theater Square, designed by architect Michael Graves, encompassing a parking
garage, Cultural District box office, Carolyn M. Byham WQED fm89.3 studio,
the restaurant Café Zao, the Backstage Bar
•The 250-seat Theater Square Cabaret
•The Benedum Center for the Performing Arts (2890 seats)
•Byham Theater (century-old vaudeville house with 1300 seats)
•O’Reilly Theater (650-seat venue designed by Michael Graves)
•Harris Theater (a foreign and contemporary film house)
•Agnes R. Katz Plaza, designed by Daniel Urban Kiley, featuring delightful
“eyeball benches” and fountain by sculptor Louise Bourgeois
•Allegheny Riverfront Park, a collaboration of artist Ann Hamilton and
landscape designer Michael Van Valkenburgh
•Wood Street Galleries; SPACE, an art gallery; and 707-709 Penn Gallery
•937 Liberty, a multipurpose performance and exhibit space, among other
downtown real estate properties and arts facilities in the Cultural District

The Trust also encourages and presents diverse performing and visual arts programs; its
main programming divisions include:
•PNC Broadway Across America - Pittsburgh
•Pittsburgh Dance Council
•Trust Presents
•Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts
•CD Live—a collaboration with Three Rivers Arts Festival and WYEP FM
•Downbeat in the District—a free summer jazz series
•Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District—a free showcase of visual art and music
•First Night Pittsburgh—the biggest New Year’s Eve celebration in the city
RiverParc is the Trust’s next key initiative, unmatched in its scope and magnitude:
•One of the nation’s first “green” mixed-use, arts/residential neighborhoods,
developed by Concord Eastridge Inc., and designed by a world-class team
comprising Behnisch Architekten, architects Alliance, Gehl Architects, Transsolar
and WTW Architects

•The six-acre area facing PNC Park and overlooking the Allegheny River is
bounded by Fort Duquesne Boulevard and Penn Avenue, and by Seventh and
Ninth streets.
•The $460 million development is projected to provide approximately 700 new
residential units and 9,200 jobs for the region.
•The plan includes a mix of residential uses, such as unique retail and art spaces,
parking facilities, restaurants, pedestrian plazas, parks, public art projects and
enhanced connections to the riverfront
Veronica Corpuz
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
803 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA

City Theater

Stuart Carden is the new associate artistic director of City Theatre Company He is a recent transplant to Pittsburgh from Chicago where he was the associate artistic director of Silk Road Theatre Project. Some recent productions he has directed in Pittsburgh include A PICASSO, LIEUTENANT OF INISHMORE, THE PILLOWMAN and STONES IN HIS POCKETS.
1. New play development
2. excellent acting community here in Pittsburgh
3. For this size city, the thriving theatre (and arts in general) scene

Stuart Carden (Associate Artistic Director) is in his first season as City Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director, where he has staged A Picasso and The Moonlight Room.
A recent transplant from Chicago, his production of Merchant on Venice was named one of the Top Ten Plays of 2007 by The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and Time Out Magazine.
City Theatre has been described as Pittsburgh’s most adventurous theatre. City Theatre specializes in new plays and has brought to Pittsburgh playwrights such as Adam Rapp, Christopher Durang, and Jeffrey Hatcher. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Tracy Brigden, Managing Director Greg Quinlan, and a 45-member Board of Directors, City Theatre’s mission is to provide an artistic home for the development and production of contemporary plays that engage a diverse audience.
Since Tracy Brigden’s first season (2001–02), City Theatre has commissioned and produced plays by Adam Rapp (Gompers), Christopher Durang (Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge) and Squonk Opera (Burn), and produced world premieres by Jeffrey Hatcher (Mercy of a Storm), Michele Lowe (String of Pearls), and Leslie Ayvazian (Lovely Day). City Theatre also introduced the new play festival MOMENTUM: new plays at different stages, which has brought to Pittsburgh playwrights such as Lee Blessing and Steven Dietz.

City Theatre’s facilities include the 270-seat main stage, the 100-seat Lester Hamburg Studio, and the Charles Morris Building, which houses rehearsal halls, and costume, prop, and paint shops. In 2004, City Theatre purchased a former steel rolling plant across from the theatre that more than doubles available space. In the coming years the land will be developed, first for theatre parking
Stuart Carden
City Theatre
1300 Bingham Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203

Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company

Mark Clayton Southers is the proud father of Ashley and Marcus Southers. He is a heavy equipment operator for the US Steel Corporation. He is also the founder and producing artistic director for the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company. Southers started acting with the Kuntu Repertory Theatre Company in 1991. He made his debut with New Horizons as an actor in 1996.

He made the move from acting to playwrighting during a performance tour in Grahmstown South Africa in 19 98 with the Each One Tell One troupe when by chance he attended a master class in playwrighting being conducted by Mr. August Wilson at the local University.

Pittsburgh Playwright Rob Penny, Javon Johnson and Dr. Vernell Lillie have all been a major influence on Mark as a playwright and artist. Marks very first play When the Water Turns Clear was produced that next year at Chicago’s ETA Theatre. Mark will travel to Poland and Ireland later this month to do research for plays to be included in his Culture Class Series. A series of seven plays that introduce two different cultures onstage. The first play in the series, Hoodwinked, had a workshop production at The Pittsburgh Playwrights in 2006

Southers’s full-length play Ma Noah was the winner of the 2004 Theodore Ward prize at Columbia College in Chicago and was previously produced here at New Horizon. It has recently been published by Northwestern press in an anthology entitled “Best Black Plays”. This past fall he had a reading of his futuristic play Nine Days in the Sun at the Lark Theatre in New York City. His play Ashes to Africa was a finalist at the Dayton Playhouse Future Fest and was part of Kuntu Repertory theatres 2004 season and is also part of the 2008 season at the Houston Ensemble Theatre opening May 1st.

His recent directing credits include – Ma Noah, A Soldiers Play and Pill Hill for New Horizon. Annie Jr., A Slip of the Tongue and Gone With the Breeze for Frick International Studies Academy.
Dutchman and Sparkle and Glow for Bricolage Theater Co, and The Piano Lesson, Stain, Dorothy Six and F.O.R.D. and others for The Pgh Playwrights.
He received an Onyx award for best director for his work on The Piano Lesson.

Mr. Southers was the former chief photographer for the New Pittsburgh Courier. His photography has appeared in numerous publications and is in the permanent collections of the African American Museum of Cleveland as well as the Donsteke Museum in the former U.S.S.R. In 2006 he was the curator the Teenie Harris Collection II at the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh, an exhibition of more than two hundred photographs spanning four decades, all taken by former New Pittsburgh Courier photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris.

Mark Clayton Southers
3515 Iowa St Pgh, PA 15219
(412) 377-7803

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