Pittsburgh CLO Announces Three New Programs To Make Theater More Family Accessible

Season features beloved classics like WEST SIDE STORY, THE MUSIC MAN, and THE COLOR PURPLE, alongside fresh contemporary shows.

By: Apr. 09, 2024
Pittsburgh CLO Announces Three New Programs To Make Theater More Family Accessible
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Pittsburgh CLO has announced its groundbreaking initiatives in enhancing accessibility by removing barriers (affordability, transportation & parking, and childcare) to live musical theatre experiences.

Rooted in its mission to foster unity, understanding, and inclusion, PCLO introduces three new programs, PCLO SHOW SHUTTLE, PCLO FAMILY PASS and PCLO SHOW CARE all of which were made possible by the Richard King Mellon Foundation, RAD, and partnerships with Molly's Trolleys and Audacy Radio.

Pittsburgh CLO has been the driving force for 78 years behind the preservation, creation, and promotion of live musical theatre since 1946. Founded in the years following WWII to bring Pittsburgh together for a community experience, the company has grown to become one of the largest regional musical theatre organizations in the country. At the heart of PCLO's mission lies a commitment to unity, understanding, and inclusion. This summer, in addition to offering the RAD Pass, ASL Interpreted shows, Audio Description shows, Pre-Show Talks, Post-Show Talks and a Quiet Room (in partnership with the Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh) for every production, the organization proudly announces the launch of three new initiatives. Each new offering is made possible by the Richard King Mellon Foundation, RAD and partnerships with Molly's Trolleys and Audacy Radio, aimed at removing barriers and making the joy of live theater accessible to all families. Pittsburgh CLO is thrilled to be the leader in creating magical musical memories that are by Pittsburgh, for Pittsburgh and partnered with Pittsburgh all year long!

The Pittsburgh CLO Summer Series is a highly anticipated event within the community, and this year's lineup is no exception. Featuring beloved classics like WEST SIDE STORY, THE MUSIC MAN, and THE COLOR PURPLE, alongside fresh contemporary shows of LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR AND GRILL, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, and SEUSSICAL, there's something for everyone to enjoy at the Benedum Center, Greer Cabaret Theater, and the Byham Theater.

In a world where barriers often separate families from unforgettable experiences, Pittsburgh CLO stands as a leader, removing obstacles and inviting all to experience the transformative power of musical theater. Acknowledging the obstacles that may prevent families from attending these performances, Pittsburgh CLO introduces innovative solutions to enhance accessibility:

PCLO SHOW SHUTTLE: Say goodbye to the stress of traffic and parking! Guests can now board the Trolley at specific locations in the surrounding suburbs of the city, enjoying free parking and a seamless journey to the theater and back. With Molly's Trolleys providing the ride and Audacy Radio providing onboard entertainment, the journey to and from the theater becomes part of the experience offering convenience and fun for the whole family. PCLO show tickets must be purchased in advance, and guests can then add-on a Trolley ticket for $10.00 directly through Molly's Trolleys. PCLO SHOW SHUTTLE will only be offered on select show dates and times throughout the summer.

PCLO FAMILY PASS: Families can now enjoy the magic of theater together without breaking the bank. For every Adult ticket purchased, up to four Child tickets can be added for just $10 each. This initiative ensures that economic barriers never stand in the way of creating magical memories together. PCLO Family Pass tickets can be purchased in all price zones for any show date and time of show offered. PCLO FAMILY PASS will be available for four of the six Summer Series productions: WEST SIDE STORY, THE MUSIC MAN, and SEUSSICAL for children 3 – 18 years of age. For THE COLOR PURPLE, children should be aged 13-18 years old due to the content of the show.

PCLO SHOW CARE: For parents torn between the desire to experience the magic of the stage and the responsibility of childcare, Pittsburgh CLO offers a solution. With PCLO Show Care, parents can entrust their young ones (ages 3 (fully potty trained) - 12) to the care of Pittsburgh CLO Academy of Musical Theatre Faculty while they immerse themselves in the wonder of live theater. It's not just childcare; it's peace of mind and a fun-filled show themed creative opportunity for children. Limited spaces are available, so be sure to purchase tickets and complete SHOW CARE registration in advance for this exclusive offer. PCLO SHOW CARE is being offered at the Saturday matinee performances of WEST SIDE STORY, THE COLOR PURPLE, and THE MUSIC MAN.

ALL offerings available on select show dates and times. Visit PittsburghCLO.org/RemovingBarriers for more information. PCLO SHOW SHUTTLE in partnership with Audacy Radio, Molly's Trolleys and made possible by Richard King Mellon Foundation. PCLO SHOW CARE & PCLO FAMILY PASS were made possible by Richard King Mellon Foundation.

"These initiatives embody the spirit of Pittsburgh CLO – a spirit of compassion, empathy, and togetherness," said Mark Fleischer, Executive Producer, Pittsburgh CLO. "We understand the challenges families face in accessing cultural experiences, and we're committed to breaking down those barriers. Every family deserves the chance to laugh, cry, and dream together in the theater."

As a leader in accessible cultural experiences, Pittsburgh CLO is proud to partner with the Richard King Mellon Foundation, RAD, Molly's Trolleys and Audacy Radio to make these initiatives a reality. Together, we're not just removing barriers; we're building bridges to a brighter, more inclusive future.

Single tickets for all shows May 17, 2024 – September 1, 2024, are now on sale at PITTSBURGHCLO.ORG or by calling 412-456-6666. Additionally, patrons thinking of purchasing 3 or more shows can enjoy exclusive benefits and savings by becoming a Pittsburgh CLO subscriber. A Pittsburgh CLO subscription is not only support for Pittsburgh CLO, but an investment in the future of musical theatre in our community!

Groups of 10+ can save 15% off regular ticket prices and other benefits. For more information call 412-263-2560 or email Groups@PittsburghCLO.org

Did you know the cost of your ticket only covers half of what it takes to produce our Summer Series? The rest is covered by the generosity of our many donors (many of whom are also subscribers). Explore ways to give and elevate your summer experience with incredible exclusive donor benefits. For more information, please visit. PITTSBURGHCLO.ORG

Pittsburgh CLO's 2024 Summer Series includes:


May 17-June 30, 2024
Greer Cabaret Theater

The time is 1959. The place is a seedy bar in Philadelphia. The audience is about to witness one of Billie Holiday's last performances, given four months before her death. More than a dozen musical numbers are interlaced with salty and often humorous reminiscences to project a riveting portrait of the lady and her music.

Musical by Lanie Robertson


June 11-16, 2024
Benedum Center

Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is transported to modern-day New York City as two young, idealistic lovers are caught between warring street gangs, the American Jets, and the Puerto Rican Sharks. Their struggle to survive in a world of hate, violence, and prejudice is one of our time's most innovative, heart-wrenching, and relevant musical dramas.

Book by Arthur Laurents
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Based on a Conception of Jerome Robbins


June 25-30, 2024
Benedum Center

This musical adaptation of Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel (and the famous 1985 Steven Spielberg film) spotlights Celie, a downtrodden young woman whose personal awakening over 40 years forms the arc of this epic story. With a joyous score featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel, and blues, THE COLOR PURPLE is a story of hope, a testament to the healing power of love, and a celebration of life.

Book by Marsha Norman
Music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray


July 9-14, 2024
Benedum Center

THE MUSIC MAN follows fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the people of River City, Iowa, into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys' band that he vows to organize – this, even though he doesn't know a trombone from a treble clef. His plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when he falls for Marian, the librarian, who transforms him into a respectable citizen by the curtain's fall.

Book, Music & Lyrics by Meredith Willson
Story by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey


July 19-September 1, 2024
Greer Cabaret Theater

From the creators of the record-breaking Broadway sensation, THE PRODUCERS comes this monster new musical comedy. The comedic genius Mel Brooks adapts his legendarily funny film into a brilliant stage creation – YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN! Grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein, Frederick Frankenstein inherits his family's estate in Transylvania. With the help of a hunchbacked sidekick and a leggy lab assistant, Frederick finds himself in the mad scientist's shoes of his ancestors. "It's alive!" he exclaims as he brings to life a creature to rival his grandfather's. Eventually, of course, the monster escapes, and hilarity continuously abounds.

Book by Mel Brooks & Thomas Meehan
Music & Lyrics by Mel Brooks


July 30-August 4, 2024
Byham Theater

Celebrate Theodor Seuss Geisel (AKA Dr. Seuss!)'s 120th Birthday with SEUSSICAL - a fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza! Tony winners Lynn Ahrens and Pittsburgh's own Stephen Flaherty (ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, RAGTIME) have lovingly brought to life all our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, Mayzie, and a little boy with a big imagination – Jojo. The colorful characters transport us from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus to the invisible world of the Whos. SEUSSICAL is fun for the whole family!

Book by Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty
Music by Stephen Flaherty,
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens,
Co-Conceived by Eric Idle,
Based on the works of Dr. Seuss

ABOUT Pittsburgh CLO:

Pittsburgh CLO has been a driving force behind preserving, creating, and promoting live musical theater since 1946. As one of the largest regional musical theater organizations in the country, it is fortunate for the yearly support of nearly 200,000 audience members. In addition to producing fresh new productions of Broadway classics, the not-for-profit's mission is to develop new works and highlight emerging talent and has been credited with launching the careers of numerous artists such as Billy Porter, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Rob Marshall, Kathleen Marshall, Rob Ashford, Bernadette Peters, and Shirley Jones. The organization's dedication to musical theater extends beyond its six-show Summer Series at the Benedum Center to year-round programming at the 250-seat Cabaret Theater, which saw the world premieres of Up and Away and Game On in 2018 and Th Double-Threat Trio in 2019. Its extensive education efforts include the Pittsburgh CLO Academy of Musical Theater, a university internship program, New Horizons, and in-school programs Gallery of Heroes and Creative Vision. Other ongoing initiatives include the Construction Center for the Arts, the Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater, and SPARK, a festival for new small-cast musicals launched in 2018. The organization also founded the National High School Musical Theatre Awards/ Jimmy Awards. To further its mission to grow the art form, Pittsburgh CLO has been involved with 31 Broadway shows (32 Tony Awards), and in 2014, produced the world premiere of An American in Paris in Paris, then on Broadway, where it won 4 Tony Awards, and in London, Tokyo, Pittsburgh and throughout the U.S. and Europe. Pittsburgh CLO is the subject of a film starring Jeff Goldblum titled "Pittsburgh."


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