New Plays at Different Stages
May 31 – June 3, 2018

City Theatre closes the 2017-2018 season with the Momentum Festival: New Plays at Different Stages, which brings some of the most exciting playwrights in the country to Pittsburgh for a weekend of workshops, readings, and artist panels. Be an active part of the page-to-stage process, and get a sneak peek of a 2018-2019 show at this year’s festival Momentum 18 is free and open to the public, though reservations are suggested.


P.Y.G or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle

By Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm
Directed by Reginald L. Douglas

In this whip-smart send up of reality TV culture, an up-and-coming black rap duo called P.Y.G. are tasked with lending some street cred to white pop idol, Dorian Belle. The rappers quickly begin to question the politics of their roles as the play delves head first into a hilarious and disturbing look at the ins and outs of cultural appropriation.


By Matt Schatz
Directed by Reginald L. Douglas

Siblings Mordy and Jane communicate like proper millennials: primarily through text message and loaded with sarcasm. Their lives flailing on opposite coasts, they hatch an outrageous plan to relieve their mother of the burden of Zad-Zad, their centenarian – and particularly prickly – grandfather. A dark comedy for the digital age, The Burdens explores pop culture, connection, and the value of actual face time.

#F*ck 7th Grade

By Jill Sobule
With additional text by Liza Birkenmeier

Hear the songs and stories that warrant the hashtag. Singer/songwriter Jill Sobule—whose 1990s hit tracks include “Supermodel” and “I Kissed a Girl”—takes a tongue-in-cheek view of middle school trauma in #F*ck7thGrade. In a City Theatre-led collaboration with playwright Liza Birkenmeier (Radio Island, Momentum 2016), Sobule is exploring turning her life into a solo show.


By Claire Kiechel
Directed by Caitlin Sullivan

Sleek and sexy, this eerie play explores the tricky truths of marriage through the eyes of a video performance artist and her older, grounded husband. Something’s amiss in the newlywed’s apartment, but is it the ghosts of past tenants or a more ominous presence? The Haunted asks what we sacrifice of our individual selves in service of love.

EQT Young Playwrights Festival Alumni Reading: Threads

by Mehrnaz Tiv

This will be a private reading.


Saturday, June 2 at 4:00pm

Newly added to the Momentum Festival, this continued partnership with the Dramatists Guild Foundation celebrates the vibrant Pittsburgh playwriting community. Local writers and national Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow Eric Micha Holmes (Momentum ’18 Playwright in Residence) will read excerpts of their own work out loud. Co-hosted by City Theatre Directing/Producing Fellow Spencer Whale and regional Dramatists Guild representative, Gab Cody.



Eric Micha Holmes is a playwright whose work has been seen and developed at The New Black Fest and MCC Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop (Nimpsey Pink), and The Lark Play Development Center (Jackets In May, Butter, and Wolf/Paper/Sky) among others.


The Fellows program is a selective, year-long intensive for playwrights, composers, lyricists, and bookwriters. The program pairs talented writers with accomplished professional mentors who help them hone their process and find their unique voice. Alumni of the program include Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Rajiv Joseph, Lauren Yee, and many more. 


The Dramatists Guild Foundation
(DGF) is a national charity that fuels the future of American theater by supporting the writers who create it. DGF supports playwrights, composers, lyricists, and bookwriters at all stages of their careers by sponsoring educational programs, offering space to create new works, and providing emergency aid to writers in need. Their work ensures that the art form of theater can thrive, because in nurturing and protecting the creators of today, they guarantee that we’ll have the stories of tomorrow.


Launched in 2003, Momentum is at the heart of City’s mission to lead the new play development conversation on both a national and local level. Since its inception, the program has provided developmental support to more than fifty writers including Adam Rapp, Steven Dietz, Daniel Beatty, Anna Ziegler, Keith Bunin, Michelle Lowe, Keith Reddin, Michael Hollinger, Sharon Washington, and many more. View full history >


Momentum 18 events are free and open to the public. To guarantee seating at readings, please RSVP here. All seating is first come-first served.


Robin Abramson

Lamar K. Cheston

LaTrea Rembert

Quinn Patrick Shannon

Alec Silberblatt

Jill Sobule

Sam Turich

Moira Quigley


P.Y.G or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle

Friday, June 1 at 

The Burdens

Saturday, June 2 at 7:00 PM

#F*ck 7th Grade

Saturday, June 2 at 9:30 PM

The Haunted

Sunday, June 3 at 1:00 PM