By SHARON EBERSON
With a unique display of First Folios as a backdrop, Quantum Theatre previewed its 2023-24 season, which includes Hamlet and the return to the scene of another Bard tragedy.
Quantum will be taking up residence again at the Carrie Furnaces, the National Historic Landmark where, in 2019, the company performed an epic production of King Lear.
During a reception Monday night at The Frick Pittsburgh — host of the exhibition From Stage to Page: 400 Years of Shakespeare in Print — it was revealed that the three-show season also would open with Hamlet in August, follow with the klezmer musical The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk as Quantum’s 100th show, back at Tamara site Rodef Shalom Congregation.
Quantum’s season concludes in April 2024 with Scenes From an Execution, starring Lisa Velten Smith (Far Away, Plano) and directed by her husband, Andrew William Smith (The Hard Problem, The Gun Show, Far Away).
QUANTUM THEATRE 2023-24 SEASON
August 4-27, 2023: Hamlet — Quantum returns to the Carrie Furnaces with “another muscular edit of Shakespeare.” Treasure Treasure, a Pittsburgh-based artist creating and performing in multiple disciplines, stars as the infamously indecisive Prince of Denmark. Director Jeffrey Carpenter, who starred in Quantum’s King Lear, will be joined by frequent company designers Tony Ferrieri, Susan Tsu, C. Todd Brown and Sartje Pickett, “artists collectively responsible for Quantum’s greatest works.” The cast includes Pittsburgh performers Robin Walsh, Sam Turich and Saige Smith.
October 28-November 26, 2023: The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk — Quantum returns to Rodef Shalom to make a klezmer musical based on the love story of artist Marc Chagall and his poet wife, Bella, as Pittsburgh celebrates its engagement with Violins of Hope – nearly 100 instruments that survived the Holocaust. Daniel Jamieson and Ian Ross’s “fantasy fairytale” takes its name from the Lithuanian city in which Chagall was born in 1887. On whimsical sets inspired by Chagall’s work, “Marc and Bella are the picture of romance, floating over a Russian village or the Eiffel Tower. Although they are often seen flying on canvases, in life they survived some of the most devastating years of Jewish history” Conceived for two triple-threat actor/singer/dancers and backed by a klezmer band, the musical is directed by Gustavo Zajac, a scholar on music of the Jewish diaspora as well as an accomplished Broadway director/choreographer (Nine, Fiddler on the Roof), with music direction by Douglas Levine.
April 5-28, 2024: Scenes From an Execution — Venice in the 1500s is the setting for “a fearless exploration of sexual politics and the tension between personal ambition and moral responsibility.” Actresses such as Glenda Jackson have played the rebellious painter Galactia, “caught between a patron’s demands and her artistic autonomy.” Avant-garde British writer Howard Barker strikes “a contemporary relevance, showing how even the most transgressive art can be co-opted by the state.”
Quantum is currently in the midst of the world-premiere immersive event The Devil is a Lie. For tickets and information, visit quantumtheatre.com.
From Monday night’s Quantum Theatre event at The Frick Pittsburgh:
Left, Carole King, Quantum’s board chair, with artistic director Karla Boos.
Below, Wanda Wilson and Julie DeSeyn, Quantum’s interim co-executive directors
Categories: Arts and Ideas