HAND TO GOD, IRONBOUND and More Slated for City Theatre's 2016-17 Season

City Theatre Artistic Director Tracy Brigden has announced the full lineup for 2016-2017, the South Side company's 42nd Season.

All six productions in the season are Pittsburgh premieres, including one world premiere, and continue City Theatre's dedication to gender parity and diversity on its stages. The season, which begins September 24, 2016, includes three plays by contemporary female writers and three by playwrights of color.

"I am thrilled to announce the six plays of our 42nd season. It will be a year of exceptional storytelling by incredibly talented playwrights. The characters they've created are wholly unique and intensely human-they leap off the page, hurtling from side-splitting hilarity to heartbreaking loss to unstoppable tenacity," said Tracy Brigden.

"As Artistic Director, I take pride in choosing a season that showcases the diversity and depth of the world we live in today. We strive to be a leader in the field in terms of gender parity and inclusivity and this season is no different. We are proud to be at the forefront of conversations surrounding equity in the arts.

"We are opening our season with Robert Askins' Hand to God, a dark comedy featuring a notoriously foul-mouthed puppet. The smash-hit Off-Broadway production rolled onto Broadway last year with great fanfare, and we're one of the first regional theaters to produce it. It's unlike anything you've seen before, Pittsburgh. Get ready.

"Our season continues with a poetic and truly one-of-a-kind play, Feeding the Dragon, written and performed by Sharon Washington. She starred at City in the unforgettable String of Pearls in 2003. Sharon is truly a voice and talent to be reckoned with. In the tradition of Daniel Beaty's Through the Night and Tami Dixon's South Side Stories, Sharon will embody a multitude of characters in this tour-de-force biographical play.

"In January, we're excited to present The Royale, by the incredibly talented Marco Ramirez. Those who couldn't help but binge on Orange Is the New Black or Daredevil this year on Netflix have Marco to thank. In The Royale, he tackles ambition and race in this gripping new play, inspired by the turn-of-the-century boxer, Jack Johnson.

"I am thrilled to direct Jessica Dickey's play, The Guard, a captivating new work that is going to take you on a magical journey from New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art back in time to some crucial moments in art history. Jessica has a knack for clever storytelling, which you might remember from our production of Charles Ives Take Me Home. It's touching, and surprising, and funny.

"Wild with Happy isn't your typical play about letting go. This fierce and funny comedy will take audiences on a wild ride from the funeral home to Disney World, of all places. Playwright Colman Domingo has an imagination that knows no bounds and we can't wait to see his unique voice realized on a City Theatre stage. It will be a fabulous production directed by Artistic Producer Reginald L. Douglas, in his official City Theatre directorial debut. It will leave you crying with laughter.

"Finally, we are closing our season with a story that feels so alive, so raw, so truly American, that it can only be written by a hot new playwright like Martyna Majok. Ironbound is about a down-on-her-luck Polish immigrant woman who is determined to make her own path in life, despite the circumstances - and relationships - that have set her back. It's told in beautiful detail, with profound bursts of humor, heart, and hope. Ironbound is a quintessential City Theatre play."


HAND TO GOD by Robert Askins
Directed by Tracy Brigden
September 24 - October 16, 2016 (Main Stage)
Pittsburgh Premiere

In a church basement in a little town in Texas, something evil is afoot. Or, well - at hand. The youth group has a monster in its ranks: a rogue puppet named Tyrone. He's hijacked the hand of timid teen Jason and there's nothing his classmates, his mother, or the pastor can do to exorcise this foul-mouthed demon. Hand to God is a thrill ride of a comedy about good and evil, sex and sin, faith, and the filthy mind of one twisted sock puppet. Don't miss the Pittsburgh premiere of the uproarious Tony Award Nominated Broadway hit The New York Times calls "Flat out hilarious."

FEEDING THE DRAGON written and performed by Sharon Washington
Director to be Announced
October 22 - November 20, 2016 (Hamburg Studio)
World Premiere

Award-winning stage and screen actress Sharon Washington (String of Pearls) returns to City Theatre for her world premiere playwriting debut in this heartfelt coming-of-age story. Deep in the bowels of the New York Public Library lies the dragon: a monstrous coal furnace that Sharon's father, the live-in custodian, must feed every night. A moving investigation of family secrets, forgiveness, and the power of language, Feeding the Dragon explores Sharon's life growing up in the library and the fire she never allowed to fade.

THE ROYALE by Marco Ramirez
Directed by Stuart Carden
January 21 - February 12, 2017 (Main Stage)
Pittsburgh Premiere

Jay "The Sport" Jackson is a legend in the making. He has his eyes set on becoming the heavyweight champion of the world, but the Jim Crow reality of 1905 America might just be his fiercest opponent yet. This thrilling drama by Marco Ramirez (Daredevil, Orange is the New Black) goes ringside for the fight of the century. Inspired by the true story of trail-blazing boxer Jack Johnson, The Royale follows one man's quest for victory against all odds.

THE GUARD by Jessica Dickey
Directed by Tracy Brigden
March 11 - April 2, 2017 (Main Stage)
Pittsburgh Premiere

A museum guard, Rembrandt, and Homer all walk into a play... by City Theatre favorite, Jessica Dickey (Charles Ives Take me Home, The Amish Project). When dedicated museum guard Henry dares to truly connect with the paintings he proudly protects, he sets into motion a time-bending journey where art intersects with life. Drawing inspiration from Rembrandt's "Aristotle with a Bust of Homer," this poignantly funny play explores the idea of "carpe diem" in (and at) any age, and takes audiences on a spellbinding theatrical exploration of the power of human connection.

WILD WITH HAPPY by Colman Domingo
Directed by Reginald L. Douglas
April 8 - May 7, 2017 (Hamburg Studio)
Pittsburgh Premiere

When struggling actor Gil returns home to bury his mother, he learns what a funny thing grief can be. Gil searches for a way to send her off in style, while his outrageous (and overbearing) Aunt Glo, hilarious best friend Mo, and an intriguing new-age funeral director do their best to derail his plans. Overflowing with love and laughter, this bright new comedy by Fear the Walking Dead star, Colman Domingo, will transport audiences from the church to the Magic Kingdom, with a whole lotta fabulous in between.

IRONBOUND by Martyna Majok
Directed by Tracy Brigden
May 13 - June 4, 2017 (Main Stage)
Pittsburgh Premiere

So much of Darja's life has been spent waiting: for love, for her break in life, and for the bus she relies on to get to and from cleaning jobs in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Hailed as "vivid, perceptive and quietly gripping" by the New York Times, Ironbound is a riveting portrait of an independent Polish immigrant on her search for the American Dream. This gritty new play by rising star Martyna Majok explores life on the economic margins and the hope that sustains us all.

Season subscriptions are now available by phone or in person at the Box Office. Season ticket holders enjoy 25% or more off single ticket prices, unlimited exchanges, and preferred seating. Subscribers may also choose to purchase season-long parking in the City Theatre lot, and will receive exclusive discounts to City Events, the Young Playwrights Festival, and special attractions.

Three Ways to Purchase: On-site: City Theatre Box Office, 1300 Bingham Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203; By phone: 412.431.CITY (2489); Online: Beginning June 1. Available at: CityTheatreCompany.org.

Season Subscription Packages:
$168 Tuesday 7:00 p.m., Wednesday 1:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m., Thursday 8:00 p.m,
Saturday 9:00 p.m.
$198 Friday 8:00 p.m., Saturday 1:00 p.m. (NEW this season!), Sunday 2:00 p.m.,
Sipping Sunday 7:00 p.m. (First Sunday of each production)
$264 Saturday 5:30 p.m., Opening Night 8:00 p.m. (First Friday of each production)

Flex Packages: Choose your own schedule.
$216 Basic Flex: Six vouchers, good for Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday at 9:00 p.m.
$276 Premium Flex: Six vouchers, good for any performance.

Single tickets for the 2016-2017 season will go on sale Monday, August 15. An exclusive pre-sale for Hand to God will begin Friday, August 12, open to CityM@il subscribers. Sign up to receive CityM@il at www.citytheatrecompany.org.

Group sales for all 2016-2017 season productions begin May 1. Please contact Joel Ambrose, Box Office Manager, at 412.431.4400 x286 for pricing and details.

City Theatre is now in its 41st season. Located on Pittsburgh's historic South Side, City Theatre specializes in new plays, commissioning and producing work by playwrights including Daniel Beaty, Jessica Dickey, Christopher Durang, Michael Hollinger, Willy Holtzman, Tarell Alvin McCraney, and Madeleine George. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Tracy Brigden, Managing Director James McNeel, and a 37-member Board of Directors, 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.

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