Press Release: March 18, 2013

March 18th, 2013 / Posted in Press Releases

For Immediate Release:


Three generations of Irish women tell the story of one extraordinary year

“Amber, Lorraine and Kay seduce us with their humor and pluck.” —The New York Times

Directed by Kimberly Senior

March 30 – May 5, 2013

PITTSBURGH, PA (March 18, 2013)—City Theatre presents Little Gem, a lively, new comedy by Irish playwright Elaine Murphy. Directed by Kimberly Senior, Little Gem runs from March 30 to May 5, 2013 in City Theatre’s Hamburg Studio Theatre, with an Opening Night performance on Friday, April 5 at 8pm.

Party girl Amber feels a rumble in her stomach. Her compulsive mother Lorraine tries her hand at salsa dancing. And her grandmother Kay “toys” with the meaning of pleasure as she looks after her ill husband. Three generations of middle-class, Irish women tell the story of one extraordinary year.

Little Gem follows a family of Irish women over the course of the craziest year of their lives,” says Tracy Brigden, City Theatre’s Artistic Director. “I fell in love with this script because these women truly have grit. They dominate the stage with hilarious and moving monologues, and while the men in the family are not physically on stage, their impact on these female characters is poignantly portrayed. Amber, Lorraine, and Kay navigate the ups and downs of life and love, and, by the end of the play, you’ll feel like joining them all for a pint.”

This debut play by Elaine Murphy premiered at the Dublin Fringe Festival in 2008 and played to packed audiences during its sellout run. Little Gem won the Fishamble New Writing Award and a nomination for Best New Play at the Irish Times Theatre Awards before transferring to Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre, where it won the 2009 Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award. Elaine’s second play, Ribbons, was commissioned by the Abbey Theatre for The Fairer Sex, a series of short plays from leading female playwrights. Elaine is the winner of the Stewart Parker BBC Northern Ireland Drama Award for 2009 and was chosen as a participant of ‘Six in the Attic’, an initiative funded by the Irish Arts Council which provides six theatre artists with space, time, support, and the practical resources needed to explore, develop, and make work in a conducive environment. Shush, an Abbey Theatre commission, will premiere in June 2013.

Little Gem marks Chicago-based director Kimberly Senior’s City Theatre debut. Her regional directing credits include Disgraced (LCT3); Murder on the Nile, A Few Good Men (Peninsula Players); and Mauritius (Theatre Squared). In Chicago, she directed The Whipping Man (Northlight Theatre); The Letters (Writers’ Theatre); Want, The North Plan (Steppenwolf); After the Revolution, Mauritius, The Overwhelming (Next); Cripple of Inishmaan, Bug, The Pillowman (Redtwist); Disgraced (American Theater Company); Waiting for Lefty (American Blues); Old Times, Uncle Vanya, Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters (Strawdog); Thieves Like Us (House Theatre); All My Sons and Dolly West’s Kitchen (TimeLine Theatre).

Little Gem features Hayley Nielsen, Cary Anne Spear, and Robin Walsh. The design team includes Jack Magaw (Scenic), Angela M. Vesco (Costume), Andrew David Ostrowski (Lighting), Ryan McMasters (Sound), and Don Wadsworth (Dialect).


Little Gem
By Elaine Murphy
Directed by Kimberly Senior

When: March 30 – May 5, 2013

Preview Schedule
Saturday, March 30 at 5:30pm
Sunday, March 31 at 7pm
Tuesday, April 2 and Wednesday, April 3 at 7pm
Thursday, April 4 at 8pm

Friday, April 5 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, April 10 and Wednesday, April 17 at 1pm. There will be no performances on Wednesday, May 1 and Thursday, May 2.

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

Tickets: $35 to $55

Box Office: 412.431.CITY (2489) or

Audiences under 30 may 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 Theatre is now in its 38th season.  Located on Pittsburgh’s historic South Side, City Theatre specializes in new plays, commissioning and producing work by playwrights including Adam Rapp, Jeffrey Hatcher, Theresa Rebeck, and Christopher Durang. 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.