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New Play Reading Series At Point Park Suggests Playwrights To Look To Pandemic

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Point Park University's award-winning Pittsburgh Playhouse announces a Play Reading Series to premiere in its 2020-2021 season.

Hosted in the Rauh Theatre, the new series will feature readings of original plays and musicals not previously produced by local, regional and national playwrights. Six (6) plays will be selected, assigned a professional director and cast with students attending Point Park's Conservatory of Performing Arts. Each play will rehearse 1-2 weeks and will culminate in a public reading/discussion.

"In what continues to be an extremely challenging time, those of us in the arts are looking for ways to stay positive, hopeful and excited to share with our audiences," said Steven Breese, Artistic Director and Dean of the Conservatory of Performing Arts (COPA).

"While the Playhouse has a long history of premiering new works, this play reading series is a first for us. It's also a natural extension of our broader play development initiative and programmatic mission to bring new and renewed works to our stages," said Breese. He points out as examples last season's sold-out world premiere production of The Old Man and the Sea and the planned for premiere of Pump Up the Volume, a new musical based on the 1990 film, a production in collaboration with RWS Entertainment Group.

According to Breese, the global pandemic began occurring as the series was being planned. "We wanted to recognize the ongoing impact of the pandemic on our lives and will be actively seeking one new play to interpret this time in a meaningful way," he said. The pandemic is only one element of this new initiative; playwrights are encouraged to submit any original work.

Suggested criteria include:

  • Multi-ethnic casts
  • Strong female protagonists
  • Diverse ideas
  • Contemporary social & political issues

Submissions will be accepted June 1-July 1, 2020. Authors may only submit one play each year. To be considered all submissions must follow the prescribed process and include:

  • Professional resume
  • Character page (list of characters and one-sentence description of each)
  • Play synopsis, not to exceed one page
  • 10-page dialogue sample (professional format required)
  • Musicals Only: 5-minute music sample (Mp3 or Mp4 format)

All submissions must conform to these guidelines to be considered. Electronic submissions only are accepted and may be sent to ArtisticDirector@pointpark.edu.

Selected plays are expected to be announced by September 1, 2020. For more information, visit pittsburghplayhouse.com.

Point Park University is encouraging students to stay connected through #PghPlayhouseArtShare and #PointParkTogetherApart.


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