City Theatre Announces Momentum Reading Series

City Theatre is excited to kick off to the 2018/19 Momentum Reading Series with Isaac Gomez's PerKup Elkhorn. Set in the small Wisconsin town of Elkhorn in the aptly named PerKup Coffee shop, owner Lori and her pal Vicki are testing out the market for cold brew and debating swinging by the local RibFest with Vicki's' husband Jeff and their recently returned childhood friend, Eric. Something shifts when newcomer Pedro visits the shop to use the Wi-Fi and touch base with his job in Chicago. The ensuing encounter will forever alter these five interwoven lives in this searing portrait of present day America.

Gomez is an award-winning Chicago-based playwright originally from El Paso, Texas/Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. His play La Ruta will be receiving its world premiere at Steppenwolf Theater Company this fall. He is currently under commission from South Coast Repertory and The Goodman Theatre among others. The reading will be directed by City Theatre Artistic Director Marc Masterson and feature actors Nancy McNulty, Julianne Avolio, Alec Silberblatt, Jason McCune, and Edgar Miguel Sanchez. A continued partnership with Point Park University will also provide new play development experience for senior students who will serve as production assistants and stage direction readers.

"Isaac Gomez has written a complex drama of well-intentioned people whose situation spins gradually and inevitably out of control," said Marc Masterson. "I admire his compassion for his characters even as they make choices that lead to tragic acts."

The Momentum Reading series will continue throughout the season offering developmental opportunities to artists from around the country. December will feature a reading of We Are Among Us by Stephen Belber, directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt. The play will make its World Premiere at City this spring as the final production of the 18/19 season. In addition an in-house workshop of #F*ck7thGrade by Jill Sobule and Liza Birkenmeier will continue the development launched in this past June's Momentum Festival.

"We're doing something different this year by announcing the dates of our reading series, but remaining flexible in the programing," said Director of New Play Development Clare Drobot. "As the season evolves and City continues to forge new artistic relationships, this allows us to truly tailor each reading or workshop to the individual needs of a project."

Each season's developmental work culminates in the theater's Momentum Festival: New Plays at Different Stages. Momentum/19 will take place May 30th through June 2nd 2019 with a line up to be announced in March.

The Momentum Reading Series is free and open to the public, but patrons are asked to reserve tickets in advance at citytheatrecompany.org or by calling the box office at 412.431.2489.

Founded in 1975, City Theatre enters its 44th season as Pittsburgh's home for bold new plays. Located in the historic South Side on its four-building cultural campus, the company produces a season of regional and world premieres, including the upcoming The Burdens by Matt Schatz and We Are Among Us by Stephen Belber; its renowned Young Playwrights Festival; a season-long reading series of new works in progress; and the annual Momentum Festival. City Theatre's mission is to provide an artistic home for the development and production of contemporary plays of substance and ideas that engage and challenge a diverse audience. With an annual average operating budget of $2.75 million, City is the largest performing arts organization not located in Pittsburgh's downtown Cultural District and is a constituent and core member of the League of Resident Theaters (LORT), Theatre Communications Group (TCG), and the National New Play Network (NNPN). Marc Masterson returned as Artistic Director in July, after a 19 year absence, to join Managing Director James McNeel as co-leaders of the organization.

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