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2017 Productions

March 2017



By Arlene Weiner
Directed by Lisa Ann Goldsmith
World Premiere!

“Lissa Brennan grabs Gloria’s dysfunction with both hands and teeth for a glorious portrait of a woman out of control.”
– Michelle Pilecki, Pittsburgh City Paper

Jennifer prides herself on being able to see every crisis as an opportunity. Can she keep on “bright-siding” when her doted-on daughter runs away, her sister’s behavior threatens the family with ruin, and a secret from the past may burst into the open?

Review: City Paper

April 2017

Lights Out

Lights Out

By Steve Hallock
Directed by Cheryl El-Walker
World Premiere!

A power outage that stalls a Pittsburgh trolley in a tunnel beneath Mount Washington on a late Friday night leads to a set of encounters among a train of strangers that spark fear, accusations, confessions, guilt, and love as the riders share thoughts of wisdom, philosophy, music and religion, mixed in with a few drinks and some jazz and blues riffs.

Reviews: Pittsburgh In The RoundCity PaperBurgh Vivant

May 2017

Hercules Didn’t Wade in the Water

Hercules Didn’t Wade in the Water

By Michael A. Jones
Directed by Wali Jamal

“A comedic work that breaks our hearts just a little”
– Victor C. Leroi, Pittsburgh in the Round

“Jamal works exceptionally well getting strong performances from his cast, with Sam Lothard and Lamar K. Cheston creating a rock-solid sense of friendship as Tupelo and Youngblood. Shaun Nicole McCarthy portrays Char as the warm heart of the play, and when given a chance to be vicious, Shanita Bivins and Corey Lankford, as Maxine and Eugene, are delightfully nasty.”
– Ted Hoover, City Paper

It is 2005. Two men cling for life on a rooftop, surrounded by murky water, festered with disease and the unknown. Two women are hundred of miles away, striving to see their dreams of life, love and the pursuit of happiness come to fruition. All of this set against the threat of one of America’s greatest disasters.

“‘Hercules’ is ultimately about hope and forgiveness. A play powerfully written, directed and performed.”
– Claire DeMarco, ‘Burgh Vivant

Reviews: Pittsburgh in the RoundBurgh VivantCity PaperPost-Gazette

July 2017

Miss Julie, Clarissa and John

By Mark Clayton Southers
Directed by Monteze Freeland

A return engagement of our 2016 hit, which then toured to the National Black Theatre Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2017

September – November 2017

East Texas Hot Links

By Eugene Lee
Directed by Montae Russell

“Enchanting because of its sense of place and mesmerizing because it was astoundingly well performed, well-written and the direction by Montae Russell is sharp as a lilting rhythm.” – Jason Clearfield, Pittsburgh in the Round

“Unless the Royal Shakespeare Company brings its whole repertory to town, East Texas Hot Links is going to rank among the 10 best plays of the year. It’s an intense experience in an intimate theater, acted with compelling authenticity.”
– Christopher Rawson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It’s summer, 1955, in the piney woods of East Texas where local men wander into Charlesetta’s Top o’ the Hill Cafe almost every night for comfort, solace and companionship. Times are changing, the Klan is active and young black men have been disappearing or turning up dead. This night, Delmus wants to celebrate getting a new job but the other regulars are skeptical. They try to warn him as they joke, feed the jukebox and play cards until betrayal catches all of them and life at Top o’ the Hill is changed forever.

Reviews: Post-GazettePittsburgh in the RoundCity PaperBurgh VivantOwl ScribePittsburgh TatlerTalkin’ Broadway

More: Post-Gazette PreviewCity Paper on PPTCO’s longer runsVideo interview with Montae Russell and Cheryl El-Walker

January 2017

Guest Production

Cerebral Sorcery

Photo by Gail Manker