BWW Preview: A SPARK Ignites in Pittsburgh this Weekend

BWW Preview: A SPARK Ignites in Pittsburgh this Weekend

Surprising to an outsider, Pittsburgh's cultural scene is impressive for a city its size. Ranging from music to murals and everything in between, the Steel City has much to offer visitors and neighbors within its localized cultural mecca. Included in that mix is the Pittsburgh CLO, an organization that has been fostering musical theater in Pittsburgh since 1946.

Each year, the Pittsburgh CLO puts on dozens of events; its Summer Season attracts talent from across the country to perform musicals that run only a week or two, while the Cabaret Theater hosts a handful of shows that run for months at a time.

Among many other events throughout the year, the CLO is proud to host Pittsburgh's inaugural festival of new small-cast musicals. SPARK, Igniting the Future of Small Musicals, is a two week event that began last week and peaks this weekend.

Over the course of the festival, 10 new works will be developed and workshopped. This final weekend will feature productions that range from script reading to fully staged presentations. Up and Away, the current show at the CLO Cabaret, will be the festival's feature presentation, as it too is a new small-cast musical premiering in Pittsburgh.

This festival is unique for so many reasons, but above all else, is the fact that Pittsburgh has never really hosted a musical theatre festival of its kind. One would have had to travel to a major metropolitan center like New York or Chicago to experience this type of talent and this type of atmosphere. SPARK will hopefully change that for years to come.

For a community of this size to be taking on such a project as this is commendable. From those involved with the productions to those purchasing passes to view them, the inaugural festival will benefit everyone and ignite the passion for musical theatre in Pittsburgh. When given a spark, there's little doubt that the Pittsburgh CLO will make a flame.

For more information and to purchase passes, visit

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From This Author Dylan Shaffer

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