Pittsburgh Playhouse’s 2019-20 season includes world-premiere musical
The stage is set for the Pittsburgh Playhouse’s Conservatory Theatre Company’s next season.
The 2019-20 lineup at the Point Park University theater features a mix of new and classic works, including the Tony Award-winning musical “Parade” directed by Tony Award-winning alumnus Rob Ashford. Other shows include: the world premiere musical “Pump Up the Volume” and the off-Broadway hit “Good Grief.”
The season, which runs from Oct. 10 through May 7, 2020, includes:
• “Good Grief,” Oct. 18-27: A story of love, loss and friendship, the play focuses on a young woman, Nkechi, grieving the loss of her longtime friend and almost lover, MJ. While the story opens with Nkechi taking a sabbatical from her med-school program, she soon learns that her friend was in a terrible car crash.
• “Much Ado About Nothing,” Nov. 8-17: William Shakespeare’s classic comedy the follows several love triangles that struggle to overcome mishaps and dramatic deceptive rumors.
• “Adding Machine: A Musical,” Dec. 6-16: An adaptation of Elmer Rice’s 1923 play, this musical centers around Mr. Zero, a man with a struggling marriage and a mundane life. And after 25 years, his company replaces him with an adding machine. In an act of pure rage, he murders his boss and embarks on a journey that leads to the afterlife where Mr. Zero is given one last chance at redemption.
• “The Wolves,” Feb. 21-Mar. 8, 2020: A team of nine teenage soccer players — through conversations about female development, boyfriend drama, and friendly gossip — express their own distinct personality and individual character.
• “Parade,” March 13-22, 2020: Tony Award-winner Rob Ashford returns to Pittsburgh to direct this tragic and true musical — set in 1913 — of the trial of Jewish factory manager Leo Frank, who was accused and convicted of raping and murdering his 13-year-old employee.
• “Pump Up the Volume: A New Rock Musical,” April 3-12, 2020: Adapted from the 1990 movie of the same name, this musical follows a teenager whose only escape is as a raucous shock jock on a pirate radio station. A tragedy turns his rouge radio show into a political flashpoint in a small sleepy Arizona town.
“Our first season laid the groundwork for creating innovative theatrical opportunities that offered students the opportunity to experience what it’s like to mount a new work alongside a professional artistic team, while at the same time, bringing exceptional and entertaining productions to Pittsburgh audiences,” university President Paul Hennigan said in a news release.
He said that after last season’s collaboration with RWS Entertainment Group on “The Old Man and the Sea,” the playhouse will again collaborate with RWS on “Pump Up the Volume,” which will feature Point Park students performing alongside professional actors.
“This coming season, we’re also anticipating an exceptional Conservatory Dance Company season and another stellar lineup for the Media Innovators Speaker Series, which will be announced soon,” Hennigan said.
The productions were carefully chosen to be thought-provoking, entertaining and innovative, said artistic director Ronald Allan-Lindblom.
“This diverse and formidable collection of productions explores the complexity of relationships, race, freedom of speech and culture, addressing the very societal issues we’re experiencing today,” Allan-Lindblom said in the release.
The Pittsburgh Playhouse is a 90,411-square-foot theater complex in Downtown Pittsburgh that serves as an artistic laboratory for the Conservatory of Performing Arts, comprised of professional, artist educators dedicated to an approach to training that enables students to pursue careers as professionals.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 412-320-7889, [email protected] or via Twitter .