Reporters from Pittsburgh’s media outlets converged on the new Pittsburgh Playhouse yesterday morning for a tour by the University’s President and the Conservatory of Performing Arts (COPA) Artistic and Producing Directors. (Pittsburgh in the Round had a tour in early August of the facility in anticipation of our August 28th post on the new Pittsburgh Playhouse and the 2018-19 season, which you can see here.)
“We are thrilled to finally pull back the curtain on this amazing new entertainment center in Downtown Pittsburgh,” said Point Park University president Paul Hennigan. “For those of us who have been a part of seeing this building come to life, it’s a very special moment.”
Hennigan views the Playhouse complex as a both “A Theatre Laboratory and an Entertainment Management Center,” not exclusively the providence of just COPA majors, but all students from throughout the academic community. The University will offer learning opportunities in all aspects of the theatrical ecosystem including producing, marketing, management, ticketing and, programming as well as the engineering skills required to support today’s technically complex productions.
University President Paul Hennigan explains how the various theatres and stages in the new Pittsburgh Playhouse are laid out.
The Playhouse lobby, a boulevard of sorts running between Forbes and 4th street is envisioned by the architects to be the “Intellectual loitering place for downtown Pittsburgh.” Henninger sees the Playhouse with its theatres, stages, and shops as the “24/7 heartbeat of downtown Pittsburgh.”
Just announced, The Black Box Theatre has been named the Rauh Theatre. Many of you know Richard Rauh’s parents were the driving force behind the creation of the original Pittsburgh Playhouse in Oakland. Over the years Rauh has provided support to theatre programs and facilities in Pittsburgh, many of which bear the family name. COPA Artistic Director Ronald Allan-Lindbloom told me that starting next season, the Rauh Theatre will be home to a student-run and managed theatre company with majors outside of COPA providing administrative and management support for a genuinely interdisciplinary theatre lab.
Producing Director Kim Martin told me next season productions staged in the Highmark Studio Theatre will have longer runs so the available seats for the Playhouse’s subscription series will better align between the two-hundred seat Highmark Theatre and five-hundred-fifty seat PNC Theatre.
The Rauh Theatre will allow greater performance scheduling flexibility which will permit longer runs for major musical productions such as last season’s sold out 42nd Street in the PNC Theatre.
The Playhouse officially opens its doors on Thursday, October 11 with a dedication ceremony for University trustees, civic and community leaders. On Saturday, October 13, the Playhouse hosts a ticketed gala event. The performance season opens with Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret, October 26th to November 11th when the Rauh Theatre transforms to the Kit Kat Klub in 1930’s Berlin.
Still to be announced is The REP (The Playhouse’s professional company) season. Be sure to check back with PITR for details.
You can view our previous in-depth coverage of the new Pittsburgh Playhouse and the upcoming season here.
For performances schedules and ticket information visit http://www.pittsburghplayhouse.com/current-season