Pittsburgh Playhouse Presents 2020-21 Season, Including Center for Media Innovation's Speaker Series Tuesday, May 19, 2020
July 15, 2020 update: Pittsburgh Playhouse season adjustment announcement (dates forthcoming).
Point Park University’s Pittsburgh Playhouse announced a compelling 2020-21 season today, celebrating love, human resiliency and community spirit.
In a video announcement, Drew Martorella, managing director of the Pittsburgh Playhouse and Steven Breese, artistic director, previewed an exceptional season of programming featuring the Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning Angels in America Part One: Millennium Approaches, eclectic dance productions highlighted by the legendary Paul Taylor Dance Company and a thought-provoking Media Innovators Speaker Series kicking off with former Minnesota Senator Al Franken.
“When we began selecting plays for the upcoming season, we started thinking about the significance of the upcoming election, the fact that we are nearly 20 years into the new millennium, and that many students coming to our campus are too young to even remember the 9/11 attacks,” said Breese. “And then suddenly the global pandemic struck and as we huddled around our computers and televisions, we saw America come together in new ways. It’s that uniquely American spirit that we chose to honor and celebrate this season.”
Pippin, Oct. 7 – 11
With an infectiously unforgettable score from four-time Grammy winner, three-time Oscar winner and musical theatre giant Stephen Schwartz, Pippin is the story of one young man's journey to be extraordinary. Winner of four 2013 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival, this updated version is Pippin as you have never seen it before.
Little Children Dream of God, Oct. 28 – Nov. 8
On a balmy night in Miami, soon-to-be mother, Sula, floats ashore from her native Haiti determined to forge a better life in America for her unborn son. But even as her life’s hopes appear within reach, Sula knows she can’t outrun her past forever. Little Children Dream of God is a dark yet hopeful drama about learning to start a new life by facing the one you left behind.
Angels in America Part One: Millennium Approaches, Nov. 18 - 22
One of America’s most ambitious plays, Angels in America is a monumental artistic achievement. Recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play, Tony Kushner’s work is at once playful and profound, extravagantly theatrical and extraordinarily entertaining.
It’s a Wonderful Life, A Live Radio Play, Dec. 9 - 20
Holiday entertainment at its joyful best! Frank Capra’s beloved holiday classic comes to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast — complete with holiday music and with the help of an ensemble who bring a few dozen characters to the stage. It’s A Wonderful Life is the perfect treat for the entire family.
The Wild Party, Feb. 17 - 21
Decadence and excess are the life of the party in this jazzy, 1920s whodunit musical. Based on Joseph Moncure March's 1928 narrative poem of the same name, this steamy prohibition tale roars its way across the stage and features one of the most exciting, pulse-racing musical scores ever written.
The Children’s Hour, March 10 - 21
One of the most compelling plays from this great American writer, The Children’s Hour, is a powerful and timely story of how one malicious lie can undermine the lives of good people. A serious adult play that reminds us that truth is often illusive and dire consequences can grow from selfish deception and lies.
Ken Ludwig’s Shakespeare in Hollywood, March 31 – April 4
It's 1934, and Shakespeare's most famous fairies, Oberon and Puck, have magically materialized on the Warner Bros. Hollywood set of Max Reinhardt's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Instantly smitten by the glitz and glamour of show biz, the two are ushered onto the silver screen to play (who else?) themselves! A fast, furious and funny evening at the theater!
Passing Strange, April 14 - 25
Fresh, exuberant, funny and full heart, this daring musical event takes us on a journey across boundaries of place, identity and theatrical convention. Part musical theatre, part rock concert, part performance art, Passing Strange traces the creative life of a young bohemian who charts a course for “the real.” Loaded with soulful lyrics and overflowing with passion, the show takes us from black middle-class America to Amsterdam, Berlin and beyond on a journey towards artistic and personal authenticity.
Holiday treats for some of our youngest audience members!
A Christmas Carol, Dec. 19 – 24
This exciting one-man version of Charles Dickens’ classic brings new life to the greatest ghost story ever told. As Dickens himself performed it, Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and Christmas ghosts come to life for a wildly theatrical gift. Patrons of all ages will enjoy this performance.
Potted Potter – The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody by Dan and Jeff, Jan. 22 – 24
Playing to sold-out houses all over the world, this Olivier Award-nominated show takes on the ultimate challenge of condensing all seven Harry Potter books (and a real life game of Quidditch) into 70 hilarious minutes.
The dance season, generously sponsored by UPMC, will offer an exceptional array of eclectic works from the dance world including ballet, modern, contemporary, commercial jazz dance, hip hop and tap. A compelling blend of masterworks from icons of dance such as Paul Taylor and Bob Fosse will anchor the season.
And to broaden and provoke audiences’ view of dance, the Playhouse is bringing in the sophistication and intricacies of contemporary trend-setters like Justin Peck, making this one of the most memorable dance seasons in Pittsburgh Playhouse history. Works by Teddy Forance and Chloe and Maud Arnold will ignite audiences and offer choreography that is compelling to watch and experience, and at the same time showcases the versatility of Point Park’s exceptional student dancers and stars of tomorrow.
Contemporary Choreographers: Poised for Renaissance
Oct. 14 – 18, George Rowland White Performance Center
Dance Magazine predicted tap to be one of the dance forms that is “poised for a renaissance.” This season’s Contemporary Choreographers offerings will celebrate tap’s resurgence by including tap duo Chloe and Maud Arnold, as their performances will help celebrate the rich roots tap explores in African and Irish American dance forms.
- Contemporary - Norbert De La Cruz III
- African American Contemporary – Camille A. Brown
- Ballet – Jessica Lang
- Tap – Chloe and Maud Arnold
Oct. 30, PNC Theatre
Don’t miss this professional company of dancers representing a diversity of age, ethnicity, gender and physical abilities as they creatively share messages of equality and accessibility.
Student Choreography Project I: Fall Festival of New Choreography
Nov. 18 – 22, George Rowland White Performance Center
Student choreographers’ performances showcase the depth and breadth of talent on display within the dance program at Point Park University, featuring the works and the dancers of tomorrow on stage today.
Winter Dance Concert: Mother of Invention
Dec 16 – 20, PNC Theatre
Accessibility is the mother of invention, and Justin Peck is making ballet that speaks to our everyday lives. The Conservatory Dance Company will perform In Creases, a work by Justin Peck, one of the premier new “it” choreographers for the ballet stage.
- Ballet - Justin Peck
- Hip Hop - Rennie Harris
- Contemporary – Penny Saunders
- Jazz/Commercial – Teddy Forance
Faculty Dance Concert: Visions of the Future - Echoing Diverse & Versatile Voices in Dance Feb 24 – 28, George Rowland White Performance Center
This annual concert shines the light on Point Park dance department faculty choreographers.
Paul Taylor Dance Company
March 12 – 13, PNC Theatre
Celebrate the extraordinary legacy of Paul Taylor as we welcome to the Pittsburgh Playhouse “one of the most exciting, innovative, and delightful dance companies in the entire world,” (The New York Times).
Student Choreography Project II: Spring Festival of New Choreography
Mar 31 – Apr 4, George Rowland White Performance Center
A continuation of the Student Choreography Project. New performances, new choreographers, and new dancers take the stage.
Spring Dance Concert: Iconic Choreographers of Ballet, Modern and Jazz
Apr 21 – 25, PNC Theatre
The spirit of one of the fathers of modern dance lives on in his exuberant choreographic body of works. The dance department welcomes to the University for the first time, Company B, a poignant work by dance legend, Paul Taylor, on a concert featuring works of other prominent artists.
- Ballet – George Balanchine
- Modern – Martha Graham
- Jazz – Bob Fosse
- Modern - Paul Taylor
Media Innovators Speaker Series
Former Senator Al Franken is the headlining speaker in the 2020-21 Media Innovators Speaker Series at the Pittsburgh Playhouse. Franken has won five Emmys, written four New York Times #1 best-sellers, and taken home two Grammys.
The Media Innovators Speakers Series features:
- Donna Brazile, a onetime Democratic strategist and now Fox News analyst: Sept. 18
- Al Franken, former senator: Oct. 16
- Salena Zito, author of The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics: Jan. 19
Tickets and Subscriptions
Subscriptions are on sale now. New this year, subscribers can build a custom subscription package. Subscribers are Playhouse VIPs, and receive the best possible seats, discounts to shows, a 100 percent money-back guarantee, free parking directly across the street at the PNC garage, one free drink voucher (redeemable at the Tomayko Bar at the Playhouse), advance notice of new events and priority seating and free exchanges.
Subscriptions may be purchased by calling 412-392-8000. Individual tickets will go on sale on Wednesday, July 1 at the Playhouse box office, online or by phone.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be posting updates to this season’s schedule as we continue to monitor and comply with federal, state and local health and safety guidelines. To view Point Park University’s latest updates on COVID-19, visit the COVID-19 updates page.
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