Point Park University Professor of dance and accomplished choreographer Kiesha Lalama has been appointed Managing and Artistic Director of the Pittsburgh Playhouse, the school’s 5-year-old performance and instructional hub.
The announcement on July 19 note that Lalama “is an internationally recognized artist who has created works for stage, film, and television [and] has choreographed feature films such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Sorority Row.
Her work has included the annual Pittsburgh CLO Gene Kelly Awards and National High School Musical Theater Awards — the Jimmys — which was recorded in 2012 as the PBS documentary series Broadway or Bust. Other TV work includes the Pittsburgh-filmed series Outsiders (WGN), and American Rust (Showtime). She has created three acclaimed full-length dance theater productions, titled The Bench: Journey into Love, HeartShakes and Bound in Before.
Lalama recently celebrated 15 years of service as a professor of dance at the Conservatory of the Performing Arts at Point Park University, where her other roles include Director of the Jazz Unit and Founder and Director of the Choreography Collective.
“Kiesha’s creative vision is a recognizable brand in Pittsburgh and we believe her energy, focus and creative know-how will be a tremendous asset to the Pittsburgh Playhouse,” Ted Black, Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Strategy at Point Park, said in a statemment.
With this appointment, Black said, “We wanted to swing for the fences in terms of how we see the Playhouse growing, not only in terms of audience numbers, but in its regional and national reputation as a destination for exceptional, must-see performances.”
Lalama will work in collaboration with Garfield Lemonius, Dean and Artistic Director of the Conservatory of the Performing Arts.
As Artistic and Executive Director of the Playhouse, Lalama will “lead efforts to further develop and engage in community and artistic partnerships, usher in new immersive experiences for audiences, and identify artistic endeavors enabling inter-disciplinary efforts across the university.”
“I’m honored to have been offered this amazing opportunity,” said Lalama, whose work with Pittsburgh CLO has included serving as Director of Strategic Initiatives. “The Pittsburgh Playhouse is a crown jewel of the university and Downtown Pittsburgh. I’m thrilled to be able to work with artistic partners, colleagues and community stakeholders to create programming that befits the Playhouse’s iconic reputation and to take a leading role in continuing to build and revitalize our city’s vibrant Downtown.”