Press Release: February 13, 2013

February 13th, 2013 / Posted in Press Releases

For Immediate Release:


A play inspired by the life of Roland Hayes, featuring traditional spirituals, classical music, and original songs

From the creator of Through the Night

Co-produced with Hartford Stage

Starring renowned classical vocalist Jubilant Sykes as Roland Hayes

Directed by Darko Tresnjak

March 9 – 31, 2013

PITTSBURGH, PA (February 13, 2013)— City Theatre presents the world premiere of Daniel Beaty’s Breath & Imagination, a music-filled play inspired by the life of classical vocalist Roland Hayes. Co-produced with Hartford Stage and directed by Darko Tresnjak, Breath & Imagination runs on City Theatre’s Mainstage from March 9 through 31, 2013, with an Opening Night performance on Friday, March 15 at 8pm.

Roland Hayes journeyed from the dirt paths of Georgia to European stages, becoming the first African-American classical vocalist to be heard around the world. With bright yellow shoes given to him by his mother, his Angel Mo’, Roland walked the hard road to stardom. This musical features the soul of spirituals and the grace of classical music to portray one man’s ambition to be an artist.

Breath & Imagination is the second of Daniel Beaty’s plays to be produced by City Theatre, following last year’s production of the critically acclaimed solo play Through the Night. Written, directed, and performed by Mr. Beaty, Through the Night was described as a “tour de force” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 24, 2012). Mr. Beaty is an award-winning actor, singer, writer, and composer. He holds a BA with Honors in English and Music from Yale University and an MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theatre.

Jubilant Sykes will portray Roland Hayes. Much like Mr. Hayes’ track to international success, Mr. Sykes has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, London’s Barbican Centre, Apollo Theater, Hollywood Bowl, and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, among others. His vocal talents span across classical, pop, and gospel genres.

Kecia Lewis (Leap of Faith; Chicago) will perform the role of Angel Mo’, Roland Hayes’ mother.  Actor and pianist Tom Frey (2 Pianos/4 Hands) will portray The Accompanist and seven other roles.

The creative team includes David P. Gordon (Scenic), Fabio Toblini (Costume), York Kennedy (Lighting), Jane Shaw (Sound), Mike Ruckles (Musical Direction and Arrangements), Carlyn Aquiline (Dramaturgy), Claudia Hill-Sparks (Vocal and Text Coaching), and Craig Handel (Fight Choreography).


Breath & Imagination
Play and original songs by Daniel Beaty
Directed by Darko Tresnjak

Co-produced with Hartford Stage

When:March 9 – 31, 2013

Preview Schedule
Saturday, March 9 at 5:30pm
Sunday, March 10 at 7pm
Tuesday, March 12 and Wednesday, March 13 at 7pm
Thursday, March 14 at 8pm

Friday, March 15 at 8pm

Regular Run Schedule
Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7pm
Thursdays and Fridays at 8pm
Saturdays at 5:30 and 9pm
Sundays at 2pm

Weekday matinees will be performed on Wednesday, March 20 and Wednesday, March 27 at 1pm.

There will be no evening performance on Wednesday, March 27.

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

Tickets: $35 to $55

Box Office: 412.431.CITY (2489) or

Audiences under 30may reserve $15 tickets in advance for all performances except Fridays 8pm and Saturdays 5:30pm. On Fridays and Saturdays, 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.

Groups of 10 or more are eligible for discounts.  Call Kari Shaffer at 412.431.4400 x286.

City Theatreis now in its 38th season.  Located on Pittsburgh’s historic South Side, City Theatre specializes in new plays and has brought to Pittsburgh playwrights such as Adam Rapp, Christopher Durang, Eric Simonson, and Jeffrey Hatcher. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Tracy Brigden, Managing Director Mark R. Power, 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 of substance and ideas that engage and challenge a diverse audience.