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City Theatre presents a time-bending journey: THE GUARD

February 17th, 2017

City Theatre presents a time-bending journey:

THE GUARD

By Jessica Dickey

March 11 – April 2, 2017

Pittsburgh, PA (February 17, 2017) – Art, history, and humanity align in City Theatre’s upcoming production of The Guard by Jessica Dickey. Directed by Artistic Director Tracy Brigden, the play will run March 11-April 2 on the Main Stage, continuing the 2016-17 season of new plays. This is the third time Ms. Dickey’s work has been produced at City Theatre, following Charles Ives Take Me Home (2013) and The Amish Project (2011). The play features a cast of five tackling ten roles—including appearances by the legendary painter Rembrandt and the epic poet Homer—over three time periods. Tickets are on sale now.

About The Guard: When dedicated museum guard Henry dares to connect with the paintings he proudly protects, he sets into motion a time-bending journey where art intersects with life. Inspired by Rembrandt’s “Aristotle with a Bust of Homer,” The Guard embraces the idea of carpe diem in (and at) any age, for a spellbinding theatrical exploration of the power of human connection.

The Guard was inspired by a trip I took to the National Gallery in London,” revealed playwright Jessica Dickey. “I had an epiphany while looking at a painting—and I think I was quite emotional—when I looked beside me and discovered a museum guard. He was a small man with receding strawberry blond hair; he had an attentive face that belied a particular kindness… I was immediately struck that this was his JOB—all day, every day, he watched the art, which meant he also watched the people like me who had come to see the art and I wondered what that was like. So I asked him! Thus began The Guard.”

“I am so pleased to welcome Jessica Dickey back to City Theatre and to be at the helm of the second production of this spectacular play,” said director Tracy Brigden. “The Guard wraps its arms around many vital subjects—life, love, and legacy to name a few. In exploring the lives of these artists and poets, the play hones in on the dreams and fears of every one of us. Jessica’s characters are utterly loveable, her language is gorgeous—often hilarious—and the theatrical storytelling will leave you smiling with surprise.”

The Guard is directed by Tracy Brigden. The cast includes Andrew May as Henry/Rembrandt, Stephen James Anthony as Dodger/Titus, Melinda Helfrich as Madeline/Henny, Billy Hepfinger as Jonny/Martin, and Raphael Nash Thompson as Simon/Homer. Narelle Sissons is scenic designer, Elizabeth Hope Clancy is costume designer, Andrew David Ostrowski is lighting designer, Zachary Beattie-Brown is sound designer, and Eric Shimelonis will compose an original score for the play.

City Connects UNITY: A conversation with The Thomas Merton Center will take place on Saturday, April 1, following the 1:00 p.m. matinee. City Connects is a program designed to connect City Theatre plays with relevant community organizations to stimulate conversation and activism through art. The discussion with Antonio Lodico of the Thomas Merton Center will touch on the essential themes of the play through the lens of civil disobedience. The TMC works to build a consciousness of values and to raise the moral questions involved in the issues of war, poverty, racism, classism, economic justice, human rights, and environmental justice. TMC engages people of diverse philosophies and faiths who find common ground in the nonviolent struggle to bring about a more peaceful and just world.

Other community engagement and special programming throughout the run of The Guard includes a partnership with the Carnegie Museum of Art and an off-site event with the Andy Warhol Museum. A photography exhibit featuring local museum guards at work will be on display in the lobby throughout the run, featuring photos by Point Park student Madison Turiczek. Artists, including Breanna Martray and Rebecca Harmon from the local art-studio start-up Radiant Hall, will have “touchable” works on display as well. Following the Wednesday, March 15 performance, a conversation with the visual artists will take place in City Theatre’s Gordon Lounge.

THE GUARD
PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE:

March 11-April 2, 2017

Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m.

Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. and/or 7:00 p.m.

Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 p.m.

Saturdays at 1:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and/or 9:00 p.m.

Sundays at 2:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m.

For a complete listing of show times, please visit CityTheatreCompany.org or call 412-431-2489.

PRESS / OPENING NIGHT:

Friday, March 17 at 8:00 p.m.

SPECIAL EVENTS:

Sipping Sunday – March 12 at 7:00 p.m.

Sample wines specially chosen to complement the production.

Touch the Art Happy Hour at City Theatre – March 15 at 5:30 p.m.

Join the staff of City Theatre for drinks and mingling before the show and be the first to see the “touchable” artworks curated with Radiant Hall. Following the performance, the artists will be available in the lobby to discuss their process and inspiration behind their projects.

Sunday Talkbacks – March 19 & 26

A conversation with the artists immediately following the 2:00 p.m. performances, moderated by City Theatre artistic staff.

Greenroom Young Professionals Night – Friday, March 24 at 8:00 p.m.

$25 Greenroom ticket includes complimentary snacks, beer, and wine after the performance, and mingling with the cast. Use code GREENROOM when ordering. Special guest and activity to be announced. Food provided by Café du Jour.

Pay-What-You-Want – Saturday, March 25 at 1:00 p.m.

A limited number of tickets are reserved for PWYW and go on sale two hours before curtain, walk up sales only. Call the box office in advance to check on availability.

City Connects UNITY: A Conversation with the Thomas Merton Center – Saturday, April 1

Immediately following the performance, a free dialogue with Antonio Lodico, executive director of the Thomas Merton Center for Peace will take place on the stage. Lodico will discuss the themes of the play through the lens of civil disobedience.

ACCESSIBLE PERFORMANCE DATES:

ASL Interpretation Tuesday, March 28 at 7:00 p.m.

Open Captioning and Audio Description Sunday, April 2 at 2:00 p.m.

WHERE:

City Theatre, 1300 Bingham Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 (South Side)

Patron parking is available in the lot across from the City Theatre entrance for $8.

BOX OFFICE:

412.431.CITY (2489) or citytheatrecompany.org

TICKETS:

Single tickets start at $37.50.

Season subscriptions are still available and three-show packages start at $99.

DISCOUNTS:

Audiences under 30 may reserve $15 tickets in advance for all performances except Fridays at 8:00 p.m. and Saturdays at 5:30 p.m.; on Fridays and Saturdays, rush tickets are available two hours prior to show time and based on availability. Seniors age 62 and older may purchase $22 rush tickets at the Box Office beginning two hours before show time, based on availability. Groups of 10 or more are eligible for discounts – contact Joel Ambrose at 412.431.4400 x286.


City Theatre
is now in its 42nd season. Located in the historic South Side, City Theatre is Pittsburgh’s home for bold new plays, commissioning and producing work by playwrights including Daniel Beaty, Jessica Dickey, Christopher Durang, Michael Hollinger, Willy Holtzman, Tarell Alvin McCraney, and Madeleine George. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Tracy Brigden, Managing Director James McNeel, and the Board of Directors, City Theatre’s mission is to provide an artistic home for the development and production of contemporary plays of substance and ideas that engage and challenge a diverse audience. CityTheatreCompany.org

 

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“The Royale” at City Theatre

February 8th, 2017

The Pittsburgh Tatler | By Wendy Arons
Feb 6, 2017

The Royale is one of those plays that lingers: its combination of confident theatricality and brutally honest emotion is fresh and bracing…

<Read the full article at The Pittsburgh Tatler>

Press Release: Announcing City Connects

February 4th, 2017

New Initiative Aims to Unite and Enrich the Community through Art & Partnership

Pittsburgh, PA (February 3, 2017). City Theatre is proud to announce a new community partnership initiative called City Connects. The program builds on the organization’s long-standing commitment to encouraging discussion and engagement beyond the work seen on stage and celebrates City Theatre’s core standing as an institution dedicated to inclusion and building a positive and enlightened world through theater. To advance this goal, City Theatre identifies local and national nonprofit partners who have specialized expertise in addressing the topics and issues inherent in City productions.

“For over 40 years, City Theatre has been presenting theater that affirms the power of live performance to bring people together for a shared experience and cultivate a deeper understanding of our similarities and differences. As artists, we strive to reflect the world we live in and imagine a better future,” stated Artistic Director Tracy Brigden. “I am proud of the goals of City Connects—to use theater as a force for positive change, deeper understanding, and active engagement—and to work closely with these dynamic and critical nonprofits.”

City Connects will highlight four distinct values—Equality, Unity, Love, and Opportunity—which strongly resonate in the remaining shows of the 2016/17 season. With each production, City Theatre has partnered with a different local group to encourage an in-depth exploration of how these values intersect on stage and in the world today. These partnerships will take form through historic and contemporary context and scholarship, panels, curated presentations, and other ways for audiences to delve deeper into the issues at hand, as well as learn more about these vital partners. In the coming months, City Theatre will work closely with the local chapter of the NAACP, the Thomas Merton Center, Proud Haven, YWCA Greater Pittsburgh Center for Race and Gender Equity, and the Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Pittsburgh, amongst others, to advance these goals.

Partnering organizations will coordinate with City staff to provide a real-world perspective on the plays, while encouraging their own constituents to experience the powerful impact of theatrical storytelling. City Theatre will provide custom-made support for each organization which includes complimentary tickets, lobby and program visibility, and post-show discussion events to generate dialogue amongst a large cross-section of local residents, and provide actionable engagement opportunities for patrons.

Further, much of the programming will be affiliated with City’s “Pay-What-You-Want” ticket outreach effort, which allows audiences to pay any amount to see a show. With this logical tie-in, City Connects seeks to ensure no barrier prevents the community from being enriched and entertained by City Theatre programming, and experience the positive impact of its partners.

Current City Connects partnerships include:

The Royale: EQUALITY.

Inspired by the trailblazing boxer Jack Johnson, The Royale tackles themes of racial equity and justice in the face of discrimination and fear. In partnership with the Pittsburgh Branch of the NAACP, City Connects: EQUALITY will take place on Saturday, February 4, following the 1 p.m. matinee.

About the Pittsburgh Branch of the NAACP: Located on Wiley Avenue in the historic Hill District of Pittsburgh, PA, The NAACP has been in the community for years fighting for equality and civil rights issues.

The Guard: UNITY.

Examining the effects of love and grief, The Guard honors the power of art to heal, unify, and evoke compassion throughout history. In partnership with The Thomas Merton Center, City Connects: UNITY will take place on Saturday, April 1, following the 1 p.m. matinee.

About The Thomas Merton Center: The organization works to build a consciousness of values and to raise the moral questions involved in the issues of war, poverty, racism, classism, economic justice, human rights, and environmental justice. TMC engages people of diverse philosophies and faiths who find common ground in the nonviolent struggle to bring about a more peaceful and just world.

Wild With Happy: LOVE.

Investigating the complex identity of being gay in the Black church community, Wild with Happy celebrates the need for love and diversity in our world. In partnership with Proud Haven, City Connects: LOVE will take place on Saturday, April 22, following the 1 p.m. performance.

About Proud Haven: Up to 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer). Proud Haven’s mission is to provide a safe shelter for homeless LGBTQ+ youth in Pittsburgh and to provide emotional support and resources to help these youth develop the skills necessary to live independently. More information can be found at http://www.proudhaven.org.

Ironbound: OPPORTUNITY. 

Depicting the life of a Polish immigrant woman, Ironbound is a contemporary exploration of the American Dream and existence on the economic margins of society. In partnership with Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Pittsburgh, City Connects: OPPORTUNITY will take place on Sunday, May 21 before and after the 2 p.m. show.

About the Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Pittsburgh: An independent 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to help people through life’s changes and challenges by providing psychological, employment and social services. JF&CS is an acknowledged leader in helping immigrants and refugees resettle and successfully build new lives in our community.

SEASON-LONG PARTNER:
YWCA Greater Pittsburgh’s Center for Race & Gender Equity promotes awareness of equality issues, educates individuals, and advocates for change in communities throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania. The Center supports and promotes the YW’s national advocacy agenda and identifies legislative action (federal, state and local) that advances YWCA’s focus areas of Eliminating Racism and Empowering Women.

The YWCA partnership will be season long and feature a post-performance discussion on Saturday, February 11th following the 1 p.m. performance with YWCA CEO Magdeline (Maggie) Jensen.

City Theatre is now in its 42nd season. Located in the historic South Side, City Theatre is Pittsburgh’s home for bold new plays, commissioning and producing work by playwrights including Daniel Beaty, Jessica Dickey, Christopher Durang, Michael Hollinger, Willy Holtzman, Tarell Alvin McCraney, and Madeleine George. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Tracy Brigden, Managing Director James McNeel, and the Board of Directors, City Theatre’s mission is to provide an artistic home for the development and production of contemporary plays of substance and ideas that engage and challenge a diverse audience. CityTheatreCompany.org

 

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Review: City Theatre

February 3rd, 2017

Visit Pittsburgh | By Molly Allweins
Feb. 2, 2017

Similar to a Shakespearean play, there is a notable rhythm to “The Royale”. Instead of iambic pentameter, however, the action and dialogue flows through the claps and stomps of the actors on stage. Words and sounds are the stars.

<Read the full article at Visit Pittsburgh>

Review: THE ROYALE, City Theatre

February 2nd, 2017

‘Burgh Vivant | Lonnie the Theatre Lady
Feb. 2, 2017

It’s almost like poetry. You could feel every blow & every punch.

<Listen to the full review at ‘Burgh Vivant>

REVIEW: The Royale

February 2nd, 2017

Pittsburgh in the Round | By Jason Clearfield
Feb 2, 2017

This was the tightest play I’ve ever seen… The jabbing dialogue overlays every continuous line.  The chorus that pieces the fight, from build to final punch, works within the direction so smoothly; it fixes the adrenaline of a boxing match into the beat of a song.

<Read the full article at Pittsburgh in the Round>

Review: The Royale at City Theatre

February 1st, 2017

Pittsburgh City Paper | By Ted Hoover
Feb. 1, 2017

Desean Kevin Terry attacks the role of Jay with an intensity as controlled as it is ferocious; intelligence, fury, pain and a surprisingly detached bemusement surface and dive continually throughout. Tim Edward Rhoze and Andrew William Smith sharpen the play’s edges with danger and complexity as two of Jackson’s cohorts. Bernard Gilbert and Bria Walker provide a powerful reminder of the risk and pain at stake.

<Read the full article at Pittsburgh City Paper>

The Royale Promises a Knock Out Punch at City Theatre

February 1st, 2017

Pittsburgh Owl Scribe | By Dave Zuchowski
Jan 31, 2017

The Royale is a heart-pounding drama inspired by the true story of the trail-blazing African American boxer, Jack Johnson. Johnson’s insistence on fighting—and ultimately defeating—the white champion of the time ignited racial tensions and thrust him into an international spotlight.

<Read the full article at Pittsburgh Owl Scribe>

Theatre Review: ‘The Royale’ at City Theatre

February 1st, 2017

PA Theatre Guide | By Shawn Clerkin
Jan. 31, 2017

Director Stuart Carden stages the production with exciting and innovative movement and physical dexterity… While the directorial and design elements are excellent, the true strength of City Theatre’s production lies with the cast.

<Read the full article at PA Theatre Guide>

Stage Review: ‘The Royale’ by City Theatre

January 31st, 2017

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | By Sharon Eberson
Jan. 31, 2017

Under the direction of Stuart Carden, you feel the impact of every psychological gut punch as the “The Royale” delivers a battle cry for a more just world order.

<Read the full article at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette>