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City Theatre Announces Details of MOMENTUM '19 New Plays at Different Stages

The annual Momentum Festival of New Plays at Different Stages will close the 2018-19 City Theatre season with four days of an intergenerational epic, an unconventional comedy, a chilling thriller, and a touching story of hope. Supported by The Fine Foundation, the festival runs May 30 - June 2, 2019, and is free and open to the public, though reservations are required as seating is limited. Reservations may be made at or by calling the box office at 412-431-CITY (2489). Event schedule and project descriptions below.

"As a theater dedicated to fostering new work, Momentum is an exciting chance to engage Pittsburgh audiences in the new play process," shares Director of New Play Development, Clare Drobot. "This year's projects are urgent and intensely human, tackling big issues and examining the world around us. The festival allows us to tailor development to each play's needs and we're able to support writers and creative teams at all stages of creation."

Projects include four public play readings: BURBNBABYBURN: AN AMERICAN DREAM by a.k. payne, The Dust People by Catherine Trieschmann, Wade by Isaac Gomez, and The Garbologists by Lindsay Joelle. City will also presnt In Their Own Voices a showcase of local playwrights reading excerpts of unproduced work. Through a continued partnership with Point Park University, acting students will have a chance to observe the development process and serve as stage directions readers.

The festival runs in conjunction with the World Premiere of Stephen Belber's We Are Among Us, directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt and a special talkback will be held following the 1pm matinee performance on Saturday, June 1st to showcase how City brings plays from the page to the stage.




BURNBABYBURN: AN AMERICAN DREAM By a.k. payne Directed by Reginald L. Douglas

Lester Hamburg Studio

A tale of two Skys, this intergenerational epic explores the bonds of family history between Sky and her granddaughter Sky II. Set in Pittsburgh's Homewood neighborhood, former Young Playwrights Festival Winner a.k. payne, crafts a poetic tale of two women bound by legacy, history, and a search for their own voice.

a.k. payne is a playwright and artist-theorist whose people are rooted in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has served as artistic director of Yale's undergraduate, Black theatre ensemble and has directed shows like The Colored Museum and Topdog/Underdog. She is a recipient of the Floyd Gaffney Playwriting award at UC San Diego and in 2017 she was a playwright in the 24-Hour Plays: Nationals. She is a 2017 semifinalist for the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference and a 2016 YoungArts Winner in Playwriting. She is a graduate of Pittsburgh CAPA, a member of Alumni Theater Company and a two-time winner of City Theatre's Young Playwrights Festival. She will begin the MFA playwriting program at Yale School of Drama in the Fall of 2019. She owes all to God, her parents and her many mentors.



Artist Happy Hour

Join us in the City Theatre lobby for a special chance to engage with the Momentum Festival artists. This informal gathering will include snacks, drink specials, and the opportunity to meet playwrights and casts from all the Momentum projects.


THE DUST PEOPLE By Catherine Trieschmann Directed by Marc Masterson

Lester Hamburg Studio

Johanna is a woman of the land, farming the same plot that's been in her family for generations. When a young, idealistic couple with big ideas about sustainable energy and wind farms buys the farm next door, she's convinced they and their ambitious eco-friendly plans won't last. Their rural community is thrown into chaos by a murder, forcing every resident to reckon with the winds of change.

Catherine Trieschmann's plays include Crooked, How the World Began, Hot Georgia Sunday, The Most Deserving, Holy Holy Laughter, and One House Over. They have been produced Off-Broadway at the Women's Project Theater, in London at the Bush Theater and with Out-of-Joint at the Arcola Theatre, South Coast Repertory, the Denver Theater Center for Performing Arts, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Geva Theater Center, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Penguin Repertory Theater, Florida Stage, and Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, among others. She has received commissions from South Coast Repertory, Manhattan Theater Club, the Denver Center for Performing Arts, Milwaukee Repertory Theater and Geva Theater Center. She's the recipient of the Weissberger Award, the Otis Guernsey New Voices Award from the Willian Inge Theatre Festival, and a two-time awardee of the Edgerton New Play Prize. Her plays are published by Samuel French and Dramatic Publishing in the U.S .and Methuen in the U.K. She lives in a small town in Western Kansas.







THE GARBOLOGISTS By Lindsay Joelle Directed by Tome' Cousins

Lester Hamburg Studio

An unconventional buddy comedy on a garbage truck, The Garbologists follows rookie Marlowe and lifer Danny, two polar opposite New York City sanitation workers. Thrown together by the job, they pass their shifts bickering and searching for mongo-the treasure hidden in the city's trash. As their lives become increasingly entwined, they learn that some things are easier to toss than others.

Lindsay Joelle is a playwright, lyricist, and librettist. Plays include Trayf (Theater J, Penguin Rep), The Garbologists, A Small History of Amal, Age 7 (Forward Flux/Pratidhwani) and The Princess of Riverside Drive (libretto, Vital Theater). She has received an Audible Playwright Commission, EST/Sloan Commission, NNPN collaboration grant with Curious Theatre, Rita Goldberg Award for Graduate Playwriting, Irving Zarkower Award, and has developed work with PlayPenn, The Great Plains Theatre Conference, and the Lark. Member of Nashville Rep's Ingram New Works Lab and the New Georges Jam, alumna of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, Columbia University (BA), and Hunter (MFA).

9:00 p.m. In Their Own Voices

Excerpted Readings, Lester Hamburg Studio

Join us Saturday night for a window into a playwright's mind! This evening of works in progress is a celebration of Pittsburgh based writers sharing excerpts of their work out loud. Artists include Rob Zellers, Molly Rice, Ty Greenwood, Dominique Briggs, and a special sneak peek at a new rock'n'roll piece by David Conrad and Joe Grushecky.


SUNDAY, JUNE 2 - 10:00am

WADE By Isaac Gomez Directed by Anya Martin Lester Hamburg Studio

As Hurricane Harvey rages, this powerful play explores the intersecting lives of six Houstonians riding out the storm in the city's downtown convention center. Written by Isaac Gomez, author of next season's PerkUp PerKup, Wade is a beautiful exploration of fate, human connection, and believing in hope when the world as you know it has been washed away.

Isaac Gomez is an award-winning Chicago-based playwright originally from El Paso, Texas/Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. His play PerkUp PerKup will receive its world premiere at City Theatre in the 2019/2020 season. His play La Ruta is currently receiving its world premiere at Steppenwolf Theater Company. Isaac is currently under commission from South Coast Repertory, Denver Center Theatre Company, The Goodman Theatre, The Theatre School at DePaul University (Cunningham Commission for Youth Theater), Steep Theatre, and StepUp Chicago Playwrights. His plays have been supported by Steppenwolf Theater Company, Primary Stages, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Northlight Theatre, Albany Park Theater Project, WaterTower Theater, Haven Theater, Teatro Vista, Greenhouse Theater Center, Jackalope Theater Company, Pivot Arts, Definition Theater Company, Broken Nose Theater, Stage Left, The VORTEX, and Something Marvelous. He is the recipient of the 2018 Dramatists Guild Lanford Wilson Award, the 2017 Jeffry Melnick New Playwright Award at

Primary Stages, an inaugural 3Arts "Make A Wave" grantee, a member of the 2017-18 Goodman Theatre's Playwrights Unit, Co-Creative Director at the Alliance of Latinx Theatre, a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists, an Artistic Associate with Victory Gardens Theater, Ensemble Member with Teatro Vista, Artistic Associate with Pivot Arts, Artistic Curator for Theater on the Lake 2018/2019, a steering committee member of the Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC) and a core producer with the Jubilee. He is a Professional Lecturer at The Theatre School at DePaul University, and is represented by The Gersh Agency and Circle of Confusion.

BOX OFFICE INFORMATION: Momentum '19 is free and open to the public. Seating is limited; reservations are suggested. 412.431.CITY (2489) or

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