City Theatre Introduces Pay-What-You-Want Initiative for Select Performances

Published On October 26, 2015 | By Shayna Mendez | The Arts

TNA_playAs part of City Theatre‘s 2015-2016 season, organizers will host a handful of Pay-What-You-Want performances for their six upcoming main stage productions. Now into its 41st season, the Southside theatre company continues striving to provide an artistic home for contemporary productions of substance and ideas meant to engage and challenge their diverse audience base. Their Pay-Want-You-Want performances will give Pittsburghers the opportunity to get cultured and check out a collection of unique, dynamic performances for a nice price.

Ireland born writer-director Conor McPherson’s The Night Alive is the first show in the Pay-What-You-Want series, which debuted October 17. “The Night Alive” tells the dark comedic tale of a man named Tommy who’s been laying low in Dublin, working odd jobs while avoiding the trials and tribulations of his home life. That is, until he rescues a mysterious woman and his life is altered drastically.

In addition to the Pay-What-You-Want night, the run of “The Night Alive” also features post-performance discussions with cast members and set designers on Sunday, October 25 following the 2PM matinee; a performance by acclaimed singer/songwriter Mark Dignam as part of City’s Greenroom Young SB_playProfessionals Night on Friday, October 23; and accessible performances on Tuesday, October 27 at 7PM (ASL Interpretation), and Sunday, November 1 at 2PM (Open Captioning & Audio Description).

The Pay-What-You-Want nights will occur seven more times throughout the entire season, two of which will be performances of “Sunset Baby” by Dominique Morriseau on November 21 and December 5. “Sunset Baby” tells the story of Nina, a smart hustler who’s rejected everything her parents fought for in the black liberation movement. Her estranged father attempts to reconcile their differences, but he’s caught in a hustle of his own, leaving Nina stuck in a state of purgatory between her past and present lives. Dominique Morisseau is a playwright and actress who got her BFA in Acting from the University of Michigan and started her career as a performance poet in Harmonie Park. She has since become an award winning playwright in NYC, and she’s currently working on a 3-play cycle highlighting her hometown of Detroit.

The company’s 2015 Pay-What-You-Want show schedule will come to a close with “Sunset Baby,” and return on January 30, 2016, with Keith Reddin‘s “Some Brighter Distance.” Reddin’s production is set in the Cold War era, and speaks the tale of German rocket scientist, Arthur Rudolph, a historic and instrumental figure in the U.S. Space Race victory. Randolph was then forced out of the country along with his wife after being accosted with his Nazi history.

SBD_playPay-What-You-Want nights will continue through spring on March 19, 2016, with Laura Eason‘s “Sex with strangers“: an intricate, dynamic love tale of 40-year-old Olivia, an unrecognizable but talented novelist who gets snowed in at a writer’s retreat with 20-year-old Ethan, a “superstar sexcapade blogger and king of the Twitterverse.”

On April 22 and May 7, 2016, catch Anna Ziegler‘s “The Last Match,” a tale of rising Russian tennis star, Sergei Sergeyev, who is pitted against American Tim Porter in a showdown that documents their lives and histories both on and off the court. The series ends on May 21, 2016 with a performance of “The Lion” by Benjamin Scheuer, a mesmerizing musical that animates a man’s journey to find his “inner roar.”

A limited number of Pay-What-You-Want tickets will be available two hours before the show starts on Fridays and Saturdays, and interested patrons will have the opportunity to check on availability by contacting the box office in advance (be sure to mention “Pay-What-You-Want” pricing when purchasing). Each performance will then be followed by a late-night salon and happy hour in the theatre’s Gordon Lounge.

Regularly priced tickets for each show are also available to purchase online and range from $15-$56. Audience members under 30 can score $15 tickets on show dates excluding Friday’s 8 o’clock show, and Saturday’s 5:30PM performance.


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