Pittsburgh Public unveils classics and a Lauren Yee premiere for 2022-23
By Sharon Eberson
With the theme “It’s a New Day,” Pittsburgh Public Theater has announced its 48th season. It kicks off with the Tony Award-winning drama A Raisin in the Sun in October. And it includes a world premiere by award-winning playwright Lauren Yee as well.
“For our first full season since 2019, we launch with a promise to our audiences, artists, and to our city that it is a new day at the Public,” artistic director Marya Sea Kaminski said in a statement.
“We are all changed from the last two years, but this season we are taking a big and bold step forward to return to the stage, and to each other, reinvigorated with beloved stories that illuminate our histories and thrilling new voices who are shaping our future.”
The Public’s current season at the O’Reilly Theater, Downtown, continues with Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express and How the Hell Did I Get Here?, the solo show by Lesley Nicol (Downton Abbey‘s Mrs. Patmore) that debuted this week in Chicago.
2022-23 Pittsburgh Public Theater Schedule
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry (Oct. 12-30, 2022) – Hansberry was 28 when she became the first Black woman produced on Broadway. Her drama centers on a tight-knit family in a small apartment in 1950s Chicago. They receive a large life insurance payment, and each have a dream for the money, including Mama, who hopes to use the money to find a new home with a little space where her grandson Travis can play in the sun.
A Christmas Story by Philip Grecian; directed by Marya Sea Kaminski (Nov. 30-Dec. 18, 2022) – A staged adaptation of Jean Shepherd’s account of his 1940s upbringing in the Midwest, with Ralphie yearning for a Red Ryder BB Gun and his put-upon parents and pals dealing with all that life can throw at them one memorable Christmas season.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Harlem, adapted from Shakespeare’s original and directed by Justin Emeka (Feb. 1-19, 2023) – As described in the press release, “In this heightened and hilarious retelling of the Bard’s most magical romantic comedy, resident director Justin Emeka draws upon the art and music of the Harlem Renaissance to inject Shakespeare’s beloved story with new life and humor, contemporary fashions and ancient rituals. In this adaptation, the world of mischievous fairies, lovelorn Athenians and rude mechanicals is our world and celebrates Black culture with imaginative influences from around the globe.”
Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling; directed by Marya Sea Kaminski (March 22-April 9, 2023) – Before the 1989 film became a box-office hit, Louisiana salon owner Truvy first set up shop on the stage, notes the Public. The cast of regulars and employees that frequent her establishment include a mother-daughter duo planning a wedding, a woman who’s “been in a bad mood for 40 years,” and a mysterious newcomer. These women face trials and triumphs armed with their greatest strength: each other.
Young Americans by Lauren Yee; directed by Desdemona Chiang (April 26-May 14, 2023) – The world-premiere co-production with Portland Center Stage is described as a “journey between two eras and two generations. … On parallel treks, Joe drives from D.C. to Portland trying to win the heart of his unfamiliar new fiancé Jenny and, 20 years later, drives the same roads back to have one last adventure with their adopted daughter Lucy before delivering her to college. With some unexpected detours, immigrants Jenny and Joe traverse the strange territory of their new country while their daughter Lucy pieces together their bittersweet family history in this beautiful new comedy.” Lauren Yee is the writer of Cambodian Rock Band,” seen at City Theatre in 2019 and winner of the 2020 Outer Critics Circle Award for outstanding new off-Broadway play.
Frida … A Self Portrait, written and performed by Vanessa Severo; directed by Joanie Schultz (June 7-25, 2023) – The life of artist Frida Kahlo unfolds in in this “exquisite, muscular retelling of the ways she wielded her creative genius to survive a debilitating accident, to embody a magnificent parade of historical moments, and to transcend her passionate marriage to Diego Rivera.” In a review of the 2019 world premiere at Kansas City Rep, BroadwayWorld.com described the performance as “an amazing selfie brought to life” and “a magnificently told story.”
Current subscribers may call the O’Reilly Theater Box Office at 412-316-1600 or visit PPT.ORG/RENEW. New subscribers may call the box office or email firstname.lastname@example.org for information. Individual tickets go on sale in late summer.