City Theatre 2016-2017 Season Annual Report

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“This professional company occupies a critical niche:

Just small enough to take chances, just big enough to do it right.” –Pittsburgh City Paper

2016-2017 PLAYS

As a company dedicated to new and contemporary plays, City Theatre annually produces 6-10 full-scale productions, play festivals, and special attractions. In 2016-2017, this included one world premiere, one second production, and an entire season fully balanced in terms of playwright gender and racial parity. In its history, City Theatre has produced more than 50 world premieres, elevating the careers of 20+ playwrights and spawning hundreds of productions worldwide. City Theatre also boasts an impressive record of artist history, with lauded and respected artists including Tony Award® winner Billy Porter (Kinky Boots), Tarrell Alvin McCraney (Academy Award®, Best Picture, Moonlight), Tony Award® Nominee Megan Hilty (Noises Off, Wicked, NBC’s Smash), Zachary Quinto (FX’s American Horror Story, The Glass Menagerie), Anthony Rapp (RENT, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown), and many others who have worked here in its history. City Theatre Company began in 1974 as a small touring troupe that performed in schools, parks, and housing projects and has since emerged as an anchor of Pittsburgh’s bustling South Side neighborhood. Under the leadership of Managing Director James McNeel, City Theatre operates as a LORT D Theatre on a $2.75 million annual budget, has no external debt, and is governed by a Board of Directors (Beth Newbold, President).

MISSION To provide an artistic home for the development and production of contemporary plays of substance and ideas that engage and challenge diverse audiences.

Dear Friends, We are proud to mark the 2016-2017 season as one of the most diverse arrays of offerings ever produced by a theatre company in Pittsburgh. At City Theatre, we strive to make the work we deliver on stage reflect the diversity in people and ideas that can be seen throughout our community. As we continue to produce new plays that challenge audiences and celebrate our diverse world, we are thrilled to extend that line of thought to other areas of programming. In January 2017, we launched City Connects— a program that creates meaningful and lasting partnerships with other nonprofits in the region. In doing so, we hope to use the theatre as a way to raise their profiles as well as create direct benefits, either through collecting goods to distribute to those in need or through opening our doors to host fundraisers on their behalf. As we continue to build community through art, we are hopeful that we can leave the world just a little bit better than we found it. It is because of people like you that we are able to produce the caliber of work we do and extend our fortune to others. As you peruse this impact report and reflect on another great season, know that we are grateful for every artist, subscriber, donor, and ticket holder (free or otherwise) that chooses to make City Theatre an artistic home. Thank you for trusting and believing in us. -The City Theatre Staff and Board of Directors


Total Attendance

6,306 % Capacity

89% Under 30 Tickets

597 Senior Rush Tickets

133 Pay-What-You-Want

Directed by Tracy Brigden

65 Average PWYW Price

$10.45 Access & Inclusivity Event Attendance

14+ CREATIVE TEAM: Scenic Designer: Tony Ferrieri Costume Designer: Tracy Christiansen Lighting Designer: Andrew David Ostrowski Sound Designer: Elizabeth Atkinson Puppet Designer: Stephanie Shaw Dialect Coach: Nancy McNulty McKeever Fight Choreography: Diego Villada Casting: Caparelliotis Casting/ Lauren Port Production Stage Manager: Patti Kelly

“Seeing Hand to God could send you straight to Hell, but you’ll be laughing the whole way down.” — Ted Hoover, Pittsburgh City Paper

Opening the season on the main stage, Hand to God left audiences in stitches with its bawdy, brazen, puppet-laden humor. Set to close October 16, 2016, the show extended a week due to popular demand— the first extended production on City Theatre’s Main Stage in almost a decade. Hand to God marked the first production of a script by playwright Robert Askins at City Theatre, and featured Nick LaMedica in a critically acclaimed turn as Jason/ Tyrone, a teen whose Christian ministry hand puppet has been possessed by the devil and threatens to take over its host. Other characters were played by an a cast of Pittsburgh local talent including, Maggie Carr as Jessica/ Jolene, Jason’s crush and fellow teen puppet ministry member; Michael Greer as Timothy, the hot-forteacher bad boy of the puppet troupe; Tim McGeever as Pastor Greg, the quintessential church leader; and Lisa Velten Smith as Margery, Jason’s mother and leader of the after-school puppet club.

Pictured: Maggie Carr, Nick LaMedica, Michael Greer, Tim McGeever, and Lisa Velten Smith. Photos by Kristi Jan Hoover.

“Hand to God is like sex…It doesn’t last as long as you wish it would, but it’s great while it does.” — Christopher Rawson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“...just about the loveliest 90 minutes currently available on local stages." — Ted Hoover, Pittsburgh City Paper

Feeding the Dragon delighted City audiences with a true-life story of Sharon Washington— an actor who grew up inside various branches of the New York Public Library. Playing various roles including those of her own mother and father, Washington recounted stories of growing up, her father’s battle with alcohol, and how the library helped shape who she became. The dragon at the center of the story refers to the large coal furnace in the basement of the St. Agnes Branch, which Sharon’s father was charged with keeping lit. Because of its success, Feeding the Dragon will be produced by two other respected theater companies on the East Coast for production in 2017-2018. Both productions, at Hartford Stage in Connecticut and Off-Broadway at Primary Stages, will feature scenic design by City Theatre’s own Tony Ferrieri. The Primary Stages production marks Mr. Ferrieri’s first Off– Broadway design out of the hundreds created during his 40-year career.

CREATIVE TEAM Scenic Designer: Tony Ferrieri Costume Designer Stephanie Shaw Lighting Designer: Ann Wrightson Sound Designer: Lindsey Jones Production Stage Manager: Taylor Meszaros

Pictured: Sharon Washington. Photos by Kristi Jan Hoover.


"Moving, bittersweet and ultimately uplifting... — Sharon Eberson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Total Attendance

3,748 % Capacity

102% Under 30 Tickets

128 Senior Rush Tickets

88 Pay-What-You-Want

19 Average PWYW Price

$12.73 Access & Inclusivity Attendance

9+ Directed by Maria Mileaf

"… like seeing a title-match performed by a symphony…” — Jason Clearfield, Pittsburgh in the Round

Statistics Pictured: Desean Kevin Terry, Bria Walker, Tim Edward Rhoze, Andrew William Smith, Bernard Gilbert, Siddiq Saunderson, and Tony II Lorrich. Photos by Kristi Jan Hoover.

Total Attendance

4,452 % Capacity

73% Under 30 Tickets

284 Senior Rush Tickets

91 Pay-What-You-Want

60 Average PWYW Price

$12.56 Access & Inclusivity Attendance

7+ Directed by Stuart Carden

“The Royale[’s]… combination of confident theatricality and brutally honest emotion is fresh and bracing..." —Wendy Arons, The Pittsburgh Tatler

CREATIVE TEAM Scenic & Lighting Designer: Brian Bembridge Costume Designer: Karen Gilmer Sound Designer: Mikhail Fiksel Body Percussion & Movement Choreographer: Stephanie Paul

A theatrical tour-de-force, The Royale followed boxer Jay “The Sport” Jackson on his journey to become the heavyweight champion of the world during the Jim Crow Era. Loosely based on the true story of Jack Johnson and written by Marco Ramirez (Netflix’s Daredevil), The Royale featured a cast of seven including Desean Kevin Terry (Jay), Bria Walker (Nina), Tim Edward Rhoze (Wynton), Andrew William Smith (Max), Bernard Gilbert (Fish), and Tony II Lorrich and Siddiq Saunderson (ensemble). Unique in its use of body percussion (designed by Stephanie Paul), The Royale pulled no punches in telling its visceral story of victory against all odds, and the price one pays to achieve one’s dreams. Partnership with the Pittsburgh chapter of the NAACP added further context to the production.

In a soaring second-ever production of this play by City Theatre favorite Jessica Dickey (Charles Ives, Take Me Home; The Amish Project), audiences were taken on a time-bending journey thanks to Rembrandt’s painting Aristotle with a Bust of Homer. From a modern art museum, to Rembrandt’s studio, to Homer’s Greece, and back again, the play explored the power of human connection and encouraged audiences to seize the day. Featuring masterful lighting design by Pittsburgh favorite Andrew David Ostrowski, the play featured Melinda Helfrich (Madeline/Henny), Andrew May (Henry/Rembrandt), Billy Hepfinger (Jonny/Martin), Stephen James Anthony (Dodger/Titus), and Raphael Nash Thompson (Homer/Simon). The play received its third production at the illustrious Steppenwolf Theatre Company in the Fall of 2017 under the title The Rembrandt.

“The Guard dazzles” — Christopher Rawson, Pittsburgh Post– Gazette

CREATIVE TEAM Scenic Designer: Narelle Sissons Costume Designer: Elizabeth Hope Clancy Lighting Designer: Andrew David Ostrowski Sound Designer: Zachary Brown Composer: Eric Shimelonis Casting: Caparelliotis Casting/ Lauren Port

Statistics Total Attendance

4,406 % Capacity

72% Under 30 Tickets

142 Senior Rush Tickets

105 Directed by Tracy Brigden

“...a banquet for the eye as well as the mind." — Michelle Pilecki, Pittsburgh City Paper

Pictured: Melinda Helfrich, Stephen James Anthony, Andrew May, Billy Hepfinger, and Raphael Nash Thompson. Photos by Kristi Jan Hoover.


46 Average PWYW Price

$11.34 Access & Inclusivity Attendance


“...wild, whacky outrageous, crazy, over-the-top, beyond hilarious. Just amazing.” — Lonnie Jantsch, Burgh Vivant

Writer/Actor Colman Domingo’s Wild With Happy filled the Hamburg Studio with gales of laughter, prompting the second extended production of City Theatre’s season. Starring Pittsburgh locals Monteze Freeland (Mo/ Elder Bovane) and Jason Shavers (Terry/ Church Nurse) alongside City newcomers Corey Jones (Gil) and C. Kelly Wright (Adeleaide/Glo), Wild With Happy followed struggling actor Gil as he dealt with the passing of his mother. From Philly to Disney World and everywhere in between, audiences experienced a wild romp through grief overflowing with love and laughter. Through City Connects, the theatre was proud to partner with Proud Haven, an up-and-coming nonprofit in the region focused on connecting homeless and unstably housed LGBTQ+ find resources and housing options.


Under 30 Tickets

Average PWYW Price

Total Attendance




Senior Rush Tickets

% Capacity


Access & Inclusivity Attendance





CREATIVE TEAM Scenic Designer: Tony Ferrieri


Costume Designer: Karen Perry Lighting Designer: Andrew David Ostrowski Sound Designer: Zachary Brown Casting: Caparelliotis Casting/ Lauren Port

Directed by Reginald L. Douglas

Actors in photos: Corey Jones, C. Kelly Wright, Jason Shavers, and Monteze Freeland. Photos by Kristi Jan Hoover.

“...a perfect ensemble” — George Hoover, PGH In the Round

Statistics Total Attendance


“a sympathetic look into the precarious lives of… working class women” —Wendy Arons, The Pittsburgh Tatler

% Capacity

65% Under 30 Tickets

94 Senior Rush Tickets

98 Pay-What-You-Want

56 Average PWYW Price

$11.56 Access & Inclusivity Attendance

6+ Directed by Tracy Brigden

CREATIVE TEAM Actors in photos: Rebecca Harris, J.D. Taylor, Rod Brogan, and Eric Martin. Photos by Kristi Jan Hoover.

Scenic Designer: Anne Mundell Lighting Designer: Andrew David Ostrowski Costume Designer: Robert C.T. Steele Composer & Sound Designer: Eric Shimelonis

Martyna Majok’s play about the American Dream in modern times, Ironbound follows Darja (played expertly by Rebecca Harris) as she works to find her footing in a country that keeps knocking her down. Taking place at a run-down bus stop in New Jersey (wonderfully crafted by scenic designer Anne Mundell), Ironbound closed the season on City’s mainstage with heart, introspection, and eternal optimism. Alongside Harris, the cast featured additional City alums Rod Brogan (The Night Alive) and J.D. Taylor (The Last Match) alongside newcomer Eric Martin. City Theatre was proud to Partner with Jewish Family and Community Services on a supply drive for newly-relocated refugees as well as a lobby photography display that shed light on the immigrant experience.

“Rebecca Harris dominates” —Michelle Pilecki, Pittsburgh City Paper

In partnership with Classic Lines Book Store, City Theatre presented “Bryan Cranston: In Conversation�. The Breaking Bad and All The Way star shared insights about his life and career as part of his book tour for A Life In Parts.

Benjamin Scheuer, writer and star of The Lion, returned to City Theatre for a three-concert event.

City Events raised over $220,000 to benefit the theatre.

Tamara Tunie returned to Pittsburgh for a twonight engagement of her popular show Legends from The ‘Burgh

City Theatre’s 2017 Gala delighted over 200 guests in the Heinz Field East Clubhouse. With a classic Hollywood theme, guests dined on silver-screen themed delicacies, enjoyed classic cocktails, and danced the night away, all while raising over $150,000 to support City Theatre.

ARTISTIC An annual festival, MOMENTUM is a celebration of new theatrical works featuring readings, workshops, and conversations free and open to the public. The festival is a chance for audiences to not only see new works in an early incarnation, but also to get a sneak peek at plays slated for the following year’s season and to glimpse inside the minds of the playwrights. For MOMENTUM 17, City Theatre workshopped five new plays, including:  The Desired by Lana Meyer  Citizens Market by Cori Thomas  I Get Restless by Caroline V. McGraw  Consequences Music and Lyrics by Nathan Leigh and Kyle Jarrow, Book by Kyle Jarrow  The White Chip by Sean Daniels

Residencies and Readings In addition to the MOMENTUM Festival, City Theatre welcomed award-winning playwright Steven Dietz & composers Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen to its South Side campus. During residencies, City provides artists full use of City’s resources, including travel stipends, housing, and staff time to further the development of their latest scripts. At the end of the residencies, artists have the opportunity to hear their work read aloud by professional actors and receive feedback on their work from City Theatre’s artistic staff. Plays developed included: 

This Random World by Steven Dietz

Mad Beat Hip & Gone by Steven Dietz playwriting life

“A lot about the is challenging, draining, etc. but it's times like [my recent City Theatre residency] ...that are replenishing, inspiring, fuel for the fire. “ -Mat Smart


ADVANCEMENT Directing Observerships “[The Directing Observership] showed me how someone could make a career out of being a working director. By getting the chance to observe so many leaders in the field I became more able to visualize a pathway to what I wanted to do and eventually take the first steps down that pathway.” -Razghiem Golden

In the 2016-2017 season, City Theatre invited applications from upand-coming directors to participate in its Directing Observership Program. Shadowing industry-leading directors, participants gained behind-the-scenes access to the process City goes through to get every production on stage— from design meetings to rehearsals, and final dress to opening night— all while receiving a stipend for their time. In its second year, five directors participated: Rebecca Antal Mutschler (Hand to God), Razghiem Golden (The Royale), Spencer Whale (The Guard), Maggie Sulka (Wild With Happy), and Nick Mitchell (Ironbound)

AUDIENCE City Connects City Connects fosters relationships with community organizations based on shared values, connecting art and advocacy through engaged partnerships. City Theatre is committed to enriching the community around it by utilizing theatre as a medium to build understanding, champion kindness, and cultivate a greater sense of unity. City Connects specifically extends the conversation surrounding the work on City’s stages by designing unique partnerships with nonprofits and social service organizations that actively cross-pollinate between institutions and foster community networks in Pittsburgh and beyond. In the 2016-2017 season, City Theatre was proud to partner with the Pittsburgh chapter of the NAACP, The Thomas Merton Center, Proud Haven, the YWCA, and Jewish Family and Children's Services on collaborative programming that highlighted the connection between art and community; fostered important conversations about race, politics, orientation, and refugees; raised the profiles of all organizations; and provided goods and services to populations these organizations serve.

City Speaks City invites audiences to participate in pre– and post– show conversations with staff and artists for each production. In addition, artists and staff contribute writings for blogs and playbills that further enrich the play-going experience.

ENGAGEMENT Lobbyturgy In order to further contextualize the work on stage for audiences, City strives to make space in the lobby and on social media for each production that invites audiences to reflect, interact, and think more deeply about the work they are seeing. For The Royale, City partnered with Optic Voices to turn the lobby into a gallery space for photographer Emmai Alaquiva’s work chronicling the Black Lives Matter Movement. Audiences were encouraged to leave comments on notecards that responded to the images presented. For The Guard, City partnered with photographer Madison Turiczek to photograph and collect stories from museum guards across Pittsburgh. The portraits and stories collected were posted on Facebook throughout the run to humanize the workers who protect cultural assets for a living. City also partnered with Radiant Hall, inviting artists working in their studios to showcase “touchable art” in the theatre’s lobby. Brianna Martray and Reba Harman both loaned artwork to the project.

EDUCATION City Theatre Young Playwrights is a comprehensive, dynamic arts education program serving teachers, students, and the Southwestern Pennsylvania and Northern West Virginia region. The program fulfills state academic standards, including Arts and Humanities as well as English Language Arts. Five major components make up the Young Playwrights program: the Young Playwrights Contest, Festival, and Anthology; Teacher Institute; and In-School Workshops. In addition, City offers a student matinee program, complete with study guides and postshow discussions for regional schools.

Counties impacted in Pennsylvania and West Virginia by City Theatre Educational Programming, 2016-2017



Students Impacted

Schools Participating

362 Plays Submitted

SCHOOLS Academy at Westinghouse Allegheny Traditional Middle Academy Armstrong Jr/Sr High School Bentworth High School Bethel Park High School Brentwood Middle School Cannon McMillan High School Fort Cherry Jr./Sr/ High School Freedom Area High School Greensburg Salem High School Hampton High School Holy Family Academy Jefferson Middle School Keystone Oaks Middle School Lakeview High School Marshall Middle School Mellon Middle School

Moon Area High School Moon High School Mt. Lebanon High School Neil Armstrong Middle School New Brighton Middle School North Allegheny Intermediate HS North Allegheny Senior High School North Hills Middle School Pittsburgh Arsenal 6-8 Pittsburgh Brashear High School Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12 Pittsburgh Carmalt Academy of Science & Technology Pittsburgh Conroy Pittsburgh Millones University Prep Pittsburgh Morrow 6-8 Pittsburgh Pinoeer Pittsburgh Sunnyside K-8

Pittsburgh Sterrett Classical Academy Quaker Valley High School Seton La-Salle High School Sewickley Academy Shady Side Academy Sharpsville Area High School Sharpsville Middle School South Fayette High School The Ellis School Washington High School Weir High School West Allegheny HS West Greene High School Winchester Thurston School WISCA (The Watson Institute

Young Playwrights Day City Theatre was honored to have Pittsburgh City Council proclaim April 23, 2017 as Young Playwrights Day, marking 17 years of Young Playwrights programming and publication of the first-ever Young Playwrights Anthology. The anthology, made possible by a generous gift from The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, contains the final scripts of all six contest winners from 2016-2017 and is used as a teaching tool in Young Playwrights Classrooms.

“I feel incredibly blessed that City Theatre has been there for me from quite literally the first play I ever wrote, and I am always heartened to know that you extend that generosity to so many other young artists and playwrights….The experiences I have had with City Theatre were so crucial to my formation as a writer, and I will never ever forget that support.” -Lana Meyer, Young Playwrights Contest Winner 2010-2011 and emerging professional playwright

“My internship experience with City Theatre was wonderful. I felt at times both challenged and integral, and both those things are top notch when in an internship. You want new experiences that expand your knowledge, but you also want to see the nitty-gritty of what makes organizations like this tick— and I got all of those.” - Taylor Wilkerson, CMU MAM Class of 2018


This season, City Theatre hosted 12 interns from local high sc From the costume shop to the scene shop, and education to m actively supporting the work of the theatre and taking on sp

EDUCATION Osher Lifelong Learning City Theatre is pleased to offer senior educational programming through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Designed for those over the age of 50, the program provides a platform for continued exploration of the theatre arts. Last year, City Theatre had 180 participants take advantage of this enrichment program.

Arts Access Classrooms City Theatre is a proud partner with WISCA (The Watson Institute), Pittsburgh Pioneer and Pittsburgh Conroy schools to provide arts enrichment programs for students living with severe developmental and physical disabilities. Arts Access Classrooms provides students the opportunity to work alongside teaching artists to learn about and create theatre in their classrooms.

chools, The University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon, Brandeis, Slippery Rock, and Yale universities. marketing, interns were provided with hands-on, immersive experiences— not just observing, but pecial projects, including dramaturgical projects, and creating marketing collateral.


$557,902 Spending by audience members on non-ticket items

8% 26-39 14% 40-55

$11.86 Average Pay-What-You-Want Price

29% 70+ 48% 55-69

Age Demographics

$3,748,362 Total Economic Impact of City Theatre

3% South Side

4% Other States

$37.50 Average Ticket Price

13% PA, Outside Allegheny County

19% Allegheny County, Outside Pittsburgh

Residency Demographics

61% Pittsburgh




City Theatre Company, Inc. is independently audited by McGee, Maruca & Associates, P.C. Certified Public Accountants. A full copy of City Theatre’s audit is available upon request.

STAFF: 2016-2017 Artistic Director

Managing Director

Tracy Brigden

James McNeel

Artistic Reginald Douglas Clare Drobot

Front of House Joel Ambrose

Kristen Link Production Tony Ferrieri Kara Sinclair Paul Ford Patti Kelly Taylor Meszaros Stephanie Shaw Madison Hack Brad Peterson Matthew Shearer Louise Phetteplace Leah Blackwood Alex Barnhart John Michael Brucker David Maslow Administrative Natalie Hatcher Dianne Duursma Ryan Ferrebee Jan Grimes Ripper Laura Greenawalt Khadija Djellouli Christina Bordini

Artistic Producer Director of New Play Development Director of Education & Accessibility Director of Production Asst. to the Dir. of Production Technical Director Production Stage Manager Production Stage Manager Costume Shop Manager Asst. Costume Shop Manager Sound Engineer/ Media Technician Master Electrician/ Light Board Programmer Properties Master Scenic Artist Scene Shop Foreman Scene Shop Carpenter/ Production Technician Scene Shop Carpenter/ Production Technician General Manager Development Officer— Community Giving Development Officer— Institutional Funding Director of Finance Marketing Director Marketing & Sales Assistant Company Manager & Administrative Asst.

Kate Abel Nick Benninger Ryan Geraghty John Teresi Jenna Wilkin Chloe Saccol Francis Soane Heather Stubbs Consultants Landesberg Design

Director of Ticketing & Patron Services Box Office Associate Box Office Associate Box Office Associate Box Office Associate Supervisor, Front of House Operations House Manager House Manager House Manager

Graphic Design

Clayton Slater Design

Program Design

Human Habits

Website Development, Video, & Social Media Photography Video Design

Kristi Jan Hoover Jordan Harrison Interns Alex Jacobs Kyesi Shackelford Ashley Crockett Daniel Balet Leenie Baker Dani Joseph Giulianna Marchese Taylor Wilkerson Zach Marlin Debra Monti

All production photos by Kristi Jan Hoover. * Indicates membership in Actors’ Equity Association

BOARD: 2016-2017 President

Vice Presidents

Beth W. Newbold

Lewis B. Gardner Jeffrey D. Solomon



Tamara Dudukovich

Daniel E. Rosati

Carol R. Brown* Tacy M. Byham, PhD Alex Condron Norbert J. Connors Melanie Crockard Gregory DiGioia David T. Fisfis, Esq. Robert M. Frankel* Matthew Galando Joseph R. Gette Brian Jeffrey Gross Jean Anne Hattler, PhD Thomas Hollander* H.L. Bud Kahn

Claudette Lewis Beth Marcello Marcy Morton David L. Porges* Steven Reinstadtler Richard Scheines, PhD Narelle Sissons Susan B. Smerd Nancy Traina Jim Van Valkenburgh Nancy D. Washington, PhD Sheila A. Washington Jim Van Valkenburgh June Yonas * Lifetime Member


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