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The world premiere online show will stream December 4 – January 10. Live interactive events will take place December 5, 8, 12 & 19.


As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to prevent a safe return to indoor performances, City Theatre has announced an all-new holiday story created for the digital stage.

After the success of last year's Santa's Ted Talk, City Theatre commissioned playwrights Monteze Freeland and Shua Potter to create a full-length drag musical. Adding original music by Douglas Levine, the trio created Claws Out: A Holiday Drag Musical set to hit the digital stage on December 4, 2020, co-directed by Monteze Freeland and Marc Masterson, starring Monteze Freeland and Shua Potter.

Originally intended to make its world premiere on stage in the Hamburg Studio this holiday season, City Theatre and the creative team had to re-imagine the show for an online platform as the ongoing pandemic prevents a safe return to indoor performances. Working with union partner SAG/AFTRA and employing an artistic team of media and theatrical designers, Claws Out demonstrates a new and original model for how theaters must adapt to make art and serve their communities during the Covid-19 crisis. To overcome one of the many new hurdles facing the sector, City Theatre developed, in consultation with its medical advisors and CDC guidelines, a comprehensive safety plan (including frequent testing) for the project's cast and crew.

"This has been a rough year. But the moments I choose to remember are those that made me laugh," said Monteze Freeland, City Theatre Associate Producer. "So, I want others to feel that silly smile creep up and enjoy a small break from the world. Claws Out is fun, shady, campy, bawdy, and familiar. It's original but full of iconic pop-culture references that only drag queens can resurrect with no shame. Grab your favorite auntie and have a good time with us this holiday season!"

Claws Out will be available to stream anytime from December 4 - January 10. Live and interactive virtual events are also available on December 5, 12, and 19 at 7:30pm. Freeland and Potter will host preshow holiday events including crafts, games, and holiday treats (personally delivered to your home by the elves of City Theatre). Each live virtual event will partner with another nonprofit in Pittsburgh.

"Inspired by the show's creative team and our core values, City is proud to use the virtual production to highlight the work of organizations supporting Pittsburgh's LGBTQIA+ community. Through the theater's City Connects program we are partnering with PGH Equality Center, True T PGH, and Proud Haven," said Clare Drobot, City Theatre Associate Artistic Director. "Each live event will highlight a different organization and encourage patrons to engage with their imperative work."

In a continued effort to keep ticket prices accessible, City Theatre will also offer a Pay-What-You-Want Virtual Live Event on December 8 with tickets starting at $5 (plus fees).


Digital tickets for Claws Out are "pick your price" and start at just $15 (per household) for the streaming performance and $50 for the live virtual events on December 5, 12 & 19 at 7:30 p.m.(the December 8 live event is Pay-What-You-Want starting at just $5). Limited tickets are available to the live events.

More information and tickets available at Tickets go on sale November 9, 2020. Subscribers with on-account funds can now reserve tickets online. For more information visit or call the box office.

For phone sales or other questions, the box office is currently open Monday - Friday from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Call 412-431-CITY (2489).

ABOUT CLAWS OUT: A Holiday Drag Musical:

Book by: Monteze Freeland & Shua Potter
Lyrics by: Shua Potter & Douglas Levine
Music by: Douglas Levine
Co-Directed by: Monteze Freeland & Marc Masterson

The Story: After attempting to give the north a new look, Mrs. Rachel Claus finds herself face-to-face with a contract clause allowing her to be replaced by North-Pole-Newcomer Roberta. With her crown in jeopardy, the stage is set for an epic showdown. From the team that brought you Santa's Ted Talk (City Theatre, 2019), comes a new holiday drag musical where the North Pole has never been so icy.

Claws Out: A Holiday Drag Musical will be available online (December 4 - January 10) through City Theatre's website and has a run-time of 80 minutes (the live, interactive events will be two hours).

Filmed in studios at WQED and Steeltown Entertainment, the creative team includes: Caite Hevner (Digital Media Design & Editing), Tony Ferrieri (Scenic & Props Design), Howard Patterson (Sound Design), Madison Hack (Costume Design), Human Habits (Videography), Ryan Looke (Production Coordinator), and Clare Drobot (Dramaturg and Script Supervisor). Additional support from Frank Warninski (WQED Lighting Director), Cheryl El-Walker (Wig Artisan) and Tru Verret-Fleming (Makeup Artist).

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