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Pittsburgh Public Theater Announces 2020-2021 'Classics N'at' Online Line-Up


The series will commence this September as an extension of the theater's successful benefit PlayTime series.

Pittsburgh Public Theater Announces 2020-2021 'Classics N'at' Online Line-Up

Pittsburgh Public Theater has announced the 2020-2021 "Classics N'at" online line-up, which will commence this September as an extension of the theater's successful benefit PlayTime series. Since its inception, Public PlayTime has entertained over 20,000 audience members online from 22 countries worldwide, and strengthened the connection with the organization's audience in spite of the COVID-19 crisis.

Given that it will not yet be safe to gather in person this fall at the O'Reilly Theater, the much-anticipated 2020-2021 "What the Heart Wants" season will move to the following year - kicking off in the fall of 2021. The blockbuster line-up will now feature Murder on the Orient Express, She Loves Me, Two Trains Running, The Belle of Amherst, Yoga Play, and a special season opener to be announced soon. All subscriptions will be honored for the 2021-2022 season, and additional benefits will be included with each package. Subscribers can visit PPT.ORG/SUBSCRIBE for further details.

This coming year of online premieres will spotlight the work of established and promising Pittsburgh writers in monthly readings, including five new adaptations of classic stories as part of the Public's "Classics N'at" commissioning series. In addition to the "Classics N'at" line-up, The Public will be launching a new play contest open to writers from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. The winner will be selected by this season's commissioned playwrights, who will also serve as members of next season's Public Playwrights Workshop (Mora Harris, Alec Silberblatt, Steven Wilson, TJ Young, and PPT staffer Brian Pope). The contest will take place from October to March, and the winner's work will receive a professional reading as the featured Public PlayTime script in June 2021.

"While we look forward to gathering in person again soon, we are thrilled to use these next few months as an opportunity to deeply invest in the future of the Pittsburgh arts community by showcasing the astonishing playwrights in our midst," said Pittsburgh Public Theater Artistic Director, Marya Sea Kaminski. "We all know that there is a long legacy of incredible playwrights who have come out of this region - George Kaufman, Adrienne Kennedy, and of course, August Wilson. But not everyone knows that there is an entire generation of great playwrights coming up in this city right now, continuing that legacy - like TJ Young, Alec Silberblatt, and Tammy Ryan. They are among the artists who are writing the next chapter in the American Theatre and they will be at the center of our work over the next 12 months. In true Pittsburgh spirit, we're calling this series of new plays and commissions, 'Classics N'at.' It's going to be the Year of the Playwright here at the Public. When we are going to celebrate the rich stories of our past by amplifying the voices of the writers shaping our future."

"We're currently living in a world marked by uncertainty, but one thing I'm sure of is The Public can deliver excellent art and authentic connection, so that's what we're going to continue to do. We're looking forward to creating content and events exclusively for our subscribers and engaging new audiences with innovative programming to usher in an even brighter future for Pittsburgh Public Theater," stated Managing Director, Lou Castelli.

The 2020-2021 Public PlayTime Series schedule is as follows:

September 17, 2020:
A new commission of Much Ado About Nothing, adapted by Steven Wilson

October 22, 2020:
A new commission of Edgar Allan Poe's stories, titled A Tell Tale Heart, adapted by Alec Silberblatt

November 19, 2020:
Redux, a new play by Rob Zellers (The Chief, Harry's Friendly Service)

December 17, 2020:
A new commission of The Gift of the Magi, adapted by Brian Pope

January 21, 2021:
A new commission of The Three Musketeers, titled The Inseparables, by TJ Young

February 18, 2021:
Romeo & Juliet, adapted by Pittsburgh Public Theater Artistic Director Marya Sea Kaminski

March 18, 2021:
A new commission titled North of Forbes, an Agatha Christie adaptation by Tammy Ryan

April 15, 2021:
A new commission of Cyrano de Bergerac, titled The Bergerac Simulation, adapted by Mora Harris

May 20, 2021:
Black Ballerina, a new play by Stephen Fedo and Tim Rhoze

June 17, 2021:
Recipient of Pittsburgh Public Theater's Inaugural New Play Contest

Access to Public PlayTime and the Classics N'at line-up will be available starting in September by visiting PPT.ORG/PLAYTIME and providing a suggested donation starting at $10. A portion of contributions received for each PlayTime presentation will be shared with the artists involved.

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