Photo Flash: Point Park University Reveals New Pittsburgh Playhouse
After 28 months of construction, the painstaking deconstruction and reconstruction of three historic-facades, and the unprecedented restoration of a 22 stained- glass-paneled ceiling from Pittsburgh's historic Stock Exchange Building, the gleaming new Pittsburgh Playhouse is ready for its close-up.
Pittsburgh Playhouse at Point Park University officially opens its doors on Thursday, October 11 with a dedication ceremony for University trustees, civic and community leaders. On Saturday, October 13, the Pittsburgh Playhouse hosts a ticketed gala event that will include an elegant reception, performance, dinner and dancing.
"We are thrilled to finally pull back the curtain on this amazing new entertainment center in Downtown Pittsburgh," said Point Park University president Paul Hennigan. "For those of us who have been a part of seeing this building come to life, it's a very special moment."
A 90,411 square- foot theater complex, the Pittsburgh Playhouse features a total of 91 rooms including a magnificent lobby space that boasts a three story wide-open space with natural light, a grand staircase and tucked-in spaces for students to lounge and gather; the 550-seat PNC Theatre whose backstage and inner workings are visible from the street, resulting in an intentional glimpse into performing arts classes; the main floor which includes an enormous paint shop, a 2,738-square-foot soundstage three stories high, a 15-foot-high catwalk and 24-foot-high ceilings to provide professional-level learning opportunities to students in multiple disciplines, including cinematography, audio work, lighting work and aesthetics.
The new Pittsburgh Playhouse was designed to be a learning laboratory for all Point Park students, not just those enrolled in the University's prestigious Conservatory for the Performing Arts. Students from across the academic community will have experiential learning opportunities that include aspects of producing, marketing, management, ticketing, and programming. In addition, the Playhouse will collaborate with the University's Rowland School of Business and Center for Media Innovation on events, lectures and related programming. "This is a unique component of the new Playhouse and was a key driver in its design and mission. We believe the cross-disciplinary opportunities it will provide students will be unrivaled in our region," said Hennigan.
For Pittsburgh's Downtown economy and community, having another exceptional cultural attraction in the Central Business District will continue to help drive visitors to the area. Allowing for passersby to see the main stage area of the Playhouse from the street will help connect community to students and encourage everyone to feel a part of the creative process. Theater-goers can enjoy the indoor and outdoor seating at the Pittsburgh Playhouse Café and view up-close the larger-than-life restored facades of the Royal, Goettman and Palace buildings.
"For decades, many of our students, faculty and staff have been separated from the rest of the Academic Village in Oakland, "said Hennigan. "Now everyone will be part of the greater academic community and have an opportunity to be inspired by the energy, vitality and pace of Downtown Pittsburgh. It's a new beginning and we're thrilled to finally get started," he said.
Located at 305 Forbes Avenue, the new Pittsburgh Playhouse's first season runs from Oct. 26, 2018, through April 14, 2019 and features the award-winning musicals Cabaret and Sunday in the Park with George as well as the Broadway smash, History Boys. Full price season subscriber packages include a complimentary season parking pass at the PNC Garage, across the street from the Playhouse.