Quantum Theatre and En Garde Arts to Present World Premiere of RED HILLS
Quantum Theatre and En Garde Arts are presenting the World Premiere of Red Hills by Sean Christopher Lewis in Pittsburgh's Strip District from August 18th - September 10th. Directed by Katie Pearl, Red Hills is a co-production with New York's En Garde Arts. After the Pittsburgh run concludes the show and its creative team will transfer to New York City for a 2018 staging.
Sean was inspired to write Red Hills when he traveled to Rwanda for a teaching residency. At an open-air market outside of Rubona he saw a man dressed entirely in pink. When he asked one of his students why, his straightforward reply was "Pink's what the killers wear." As Sean learned, because of the sheer numbers of people guilty of genocide crimes, sentencing all to jail time was infeasible. Traditional village courts called "Gacacas" were re-instituted in the aftermath of the genocide, and perpetrators and victims would come speak in front of judges and their community. Many murderers were sentenced to wear these outfits and then allowed to return to their homes.
Red Hills tells the story of two men - "David," an American author and professor, and a Rwandan man named "God's Blessing". On the 20th anniversary of the genocide they witnessed together firsthand, a copy of David's book about his time in Rwanda arrives on his doorstep with a note: "There are untruths here." To find redemption, they must face long buried memories, confront the ghosts of their past, and seek forgiveness for themselves and one another.
This is the first time Quantum Theatre and En Garde Arts have worked together, though they share much in common. Both companies were founded by strong female artists, passionate about producing site-specific theatre and showcasing the cities they love. Anne Hamburger founded The New York based En Garde Arts in 1985, creating groundbreaking productions which won OBIE, Drama Desk, and Critics Circle Awards. Karla Boos notes that "Anne's work was an early inspiration for her and for Quantum Theatre." Quantum is now in its 27th season of creating nontraditional theatre in venues across Pittsburgh such abandoned mills, historic churches, and groves of trees.
The Red Hills cast includes Patrick J. Ssenjovu as God's Blessing and Scott Parkinson as David. Deb O is the Scenic Designer and Costume Designer, C. Todd Brown is the Lighting Designer, StEve Shapiro is the Sound Designer, and Joe Seamans is the Projection Designer.
Performances will take place August 18th through September 10th, Wednesdays through Sundays at 8:30PM. The show will be performed in The Recycling Building at 32nd and Smallman Street in the Strip District, courtesy of Uber Advanced Technologies Group which is sponsoring the production. Parking is available to patrons in Uber's 31st and Smallman lot. Tickets can be purchased by calling 412-362-1713 or online at www.quantumtheatre.com. Prices range from $38-$55 with $18 tickets available for students and discounts for groups of 10 or more.
· Hello Neighbor Night, Sponsored by Uber Advanced Technologies Group on August 16th, a benefit performance in support of Hello Neighbor, an organization which improves the lives of refugees and immigrants by matching them with dedicated neighbors to support them in their new lives.
· Pay What You Can Preview on August 17th.
· Opening/Press Night on Friday, August 18th, with a post-show champagne reception.
· Post-Show Q&A on August 20th, Q&A session with the cast and team.
· Ladies Night on August 23rd, a ladies-only pre-show networking reception hosted by Pittsburgh Winery.
· Quantum Quaff on August 24th, pre-show rum drink tasting at Maggie's Farm Rum Distillery.
· Quantum-on-the-Couch on September 2nd, post-show discussion of the psychology of the characters led by Dr. Manuel Reich, Psychiatrist and Artistic Director Karla Boos.
Quantum Theatre (Co-Producer) creates adventurous, environmental productions of plays all over the city of Pittsburgh. Original works, contemporary international plays or updated classics are brought intimately close in settings like groves of trees, abandoned mills, grand museums, or empty swimming pools. The plays unite directors, performers, and designers from all over the world with Pittsburgh's most talented artists.
En Garde Arts (Co-Producer) is a not for profit New York City based theatre company founded by Anne Hamburger, is dedicated to developing and producing site-specific, immersive and documentary theatre that has social impact at its core, telling stories of relevance to 21st century audiences through live performance, movement, music and design. For every project, En Garde Arts assembles an artistic team of the highest caliber and in concert with the process of creation forms constituencies of subject matter experts to deepen and expand the impact of the work beyond traditional theatre-going audiences.
Karla Boos (Artistic Director) founded Quantum Theatre in 1990. She often directs for the company, recently leading the collaborative creative teams of The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, The Winter's Tale and Ciara. Quantum has produced many of her original texts, like All the Names (adapted from José Saramago), The End of the Affair (adapted from Graham Greene), and The Howling Miller (adapted from Arto Paasilinna) and will produce her adaptation of Peter Ackroyd's Chatterton next season as part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Festival of Firsts, for which she is Guest Curator. Quantum's work has been featured in national publications like American Theatre, Live Design, and Stage Directions Magazines, frequently earns distinction in local publications, and has toured internationally. Boos has won awards locally, including the Carol R. Brown Award and a Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Creative Achievement Award. She is a member of the National Theatre Conference and the International Women's Forum.
Anne Hamburger (Executive Producer) is the Founder of En Garde Arts, the company that pioneered the development of site-specific theatre in NY from 1985 through 1999, featuring nationally known artists including Anne Bogart, Chuck Mee and Tina Landau. She was Artistic Director of La Jolla Playhouse in 1999 before serving as Executive Vice President at Disney and leading the creative development and production of all the major stage shows for the parks worldwide featuring renowned artists including Diane Paulus and Bobby and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. She re-launched En Garde in 2014 with Basetrack Live, a multimedia, documentary theatre piece about the impact of war on the military and their families. Named Top Ten of 2014 by The NY Times, Basetrack Live premiered at the Next Wave Festival and traveled to 40 cities throughout the country and will be traveling to Fort Hood in 2018 at the invitation of their Commanding General. En Garde's most recent production Wilderness, about the struggle for connection between parents and their teenage children was a NY Times Critics Pick and is going on tour this fall to the Kennedy Center and Oz Arts Nashville.
Katie Pearl (Director) has a twenty-year history of creating and directing site-specific and interactive shows in collaboration with designers and artists from all disciplines. Her performance work has been commissioned by the American Repertory Theater, Trinity Repertory Theater, the Kitchen, PS 122, Arts > Brookfield Properties/WFC, and the Whitney Museum Performance on 42nd St series among others. Katie is co-Artistic Director of PearlDamour, an interdisciplinary company she shares with playwright Lisa D'Amour. PearlDamour's work has been honored with an OBIE Award, a Creative Capital Award, four Multi-Arts Production Fund grants, and two NEA Our Town grants. Off Broadway, regional and experimental theater notable projects include Why We Have a Body by Clare Chaffee (Magic Theater, San Francisco); Panic! Euphoria! Blackout! by Ellen Maddow of the Talking Band (HERE Theater, NYC); The Wrestling Patient, developed with playwright Kirk Lynn - finalist for NEA Outstanding New American Play (Speakeasy Theater, Boston); and Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, by Kristina Wong (National Tour). Katie is the current Anschutz Distinguished Fellow at Princeton University, where her work focuses on the concept of the Artist-Citizen. She will hold the Quinn Martin Directing Chair at the University of California San Diego in the fall of 2017.
Sean Christopher Lewis (Playwright) is the co-creator and writer of the comic books Saints and The Few, both published by Image Comics, with Saints recently optioned for television by Grandview/Automatik and The Few optioned for film by Genre Films. He can be heard as a commentator on NPR's This American Life and he serves simultaneously as the Artistic Director of Working Group Theatre and Riverside Theatre. His work has won the NEFA National Theatre Project Award, the Kennedy Center's Rosa Parks Award, the National New Play Network's Smith Prize, the NEA Voices in Community Award, a Barrymore Award and a Puffin Foundation Artists Award. These plays have been seen across the country including Baltimore Centerstage, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Cleveland Public Theatre, Salt Lake Acting Company, the Centre X Centre International Theatre Festival in Kigali, Rwanda and the Institut Del Teatra in Barcelona, Spain and include: Dogs of Rwanda, Killadelphia, Just Kids, The Gone Chair, I Will Make You Orphans, Black and Blue, Militant Language, The Aperture, and Manning Up. Recently, with Jennifer Fawcett, he developed the one man performance installation Ghost Story at the Tony Award Winning Berkeley Repertory Theatre.
Scott Parkinson (David) is an award-winning New York-based actor, writer, acting teacher, and audition coach. Broadway: The Coast of Utopia (Lincoln Center); National Tour: 39 Steps; Off-Broadway: the Stage Manager in David Cromer's Our Town, Orson's Shadow (Barrow Street Theatre), EST, CSC, and MCC. Regional: An Iliad, Cock (Studio Theatre), Shakespeare Theatre, The Old Globe, Mark Taper Forum, Hartford Stage, and La Jolla Playhouse. Chicago credits include the title role in Hamlet, Arcadia, Hedda Gabler, Crime and Punishment (also at 59e59, NYC), The Glass Menagerie, and Cassius in an adaptation of Julius Caesar which he also co-directed and adapted (Writers Theatre), sixteen productions at Chicago Shakespeare Theater (including Rose Rage, also at the Duke Theatre, NYC), the Court Theatre, Northlight, and the Goodman. Other roles include Angelo, Mercutio, Treplev, Richard II, Richard III, the Fool, Puck, Iago, and Prior Walter. Featured interview: North American Players of Shakespeare.
Patrick J. Ssenjovu (God's Blessing) was born and raised in Uganda. He joined Impact International, a repertoire company, at the early age of seventeen and toured Europe and America. Shortly after moving to the United States, he was asked by Ellen Stewart of La MaMa to join Great Jones Repertory Company-he is still a member of the East Village company. He has worked with various artists including Alex Mukulu, Meredith Monk, Ping Chong, Carl Hancock-Rux, Adong Judith, Michael Greif, and Seth Barrish. Patrick has performed at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, Lincoln Center, The Ohio Theatre and St. Anne's Warehouse, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. On film, he has worked with the late Sydney Pollack (The Interpreter) and Michael Hoffman (Game 6). He currently resides in New York City.
Deb O (Scenic & Costume Design) Selected set and costume designs: Ready Set Go: Race (Falconworks, NY), Airness (Humana Fest, KY), Selkie (Z Space, CA), Thieves (El Portal Theater, LA), Sweeney Todd (Perseverance Theater, Alaska), Christmas Carol and Middletown (Trinity Rep, RI), Light: A Dark Comedy (New Victory, NY), Rite Of Spring (Kimmel Center, PA), The Seagull, Ivanov, Platonov, Uncle Vanya (Lake Lucille, NY), The Nature of Captivity (Mabou Mines, PS 122), Salsalandia (La Jolla Playhouse, CA), Savannah Disputation (The Old Globe, CA), The Lacy Project (Premiere Yale), Jihad the Musical (Edinburgh Festival), The Mistakes Madeline Made (Yale Rep). She received her MFA from Yale and teaches design at NYU/PHTS.
C. Todd Brown (Lighting Designer) has designed the lighting for many Quantum Theatre productions, including Collaborators, Peribañez, Ciara, The Winter's Tale, Brahman/i, TAMARA, Pantagleize, Mnemonic, The Golden Dragon, The Electric Baby, Maria de Buenos Aires, Indian Ink, Kafka's Chimp, Dog Face, The Voluptuous Tango, The Collected Works of Billy the Kid and The Task. His lighting has also been seen locally at The Pittsburgh Playhouse, City Theatre and West Virginia Public Theatre. Other design work includes productions at La Jolla Playhouse, Contemporary American Theatre Company, Lamb's Players Theatre, and Virginia Ballet Theatre. Todd is an Associate Professor of Lighting in the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama.
StEve Shapiro (Sound Design) has spent 30 years as a professional sound designer around the country and the world. He is pleased to be returning to Quantum Theatre after a successful run last year with The River. He has spent the last eight years as Resident Sound Designer for The Pittsburgh Playhouse, where he has designed everything from Pinkalicious to The Scottsboro Boys. Steve spent 20 years in South Florida, where he won 4 Carbonell Awards for Best Sound Design, and spent 16 years as Resident Sound Designer of Miami's famous Coconut Grove Playhouse. He continues to design for theaters around the country and the world.
Joseph Seamans (Media Design) This is Joe's eighth Quantum Theatre production serving as Projection Designer. Previous productions include Maria de Buenos Aires, Ainadamar, Mnemonic, All the Names, The Winter's Tale, Ciara, and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.