Theater Notes: Work-in-progress comedy 'The Sisters Grey' at Wilson Center


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Before "The Sisters Grey" by Gab Cody and Lori Roper is bound for Luna Stage's New Moon Short Play Festival in New Jersey next month, audiences can catch the comedy in a workshop production at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture.

The play finds two sisters-in-law, one African-American and one Jewish, who believe that their family histories of racial oppression require retribution and sacrifice from others. A funeral, an heirloom that survived the Holocaust and secrets galore help the playwrights ask: Why do we question love outside our own tribe?

The playwrights met at the first Dramatist Guild conference two years ago and immediately began developing the idea for "The Sisters Grey." "We were brought together by shared, empathetic senses of exclusion and belonging in the cultural circles through which we move," Ms. Cody said. The August Wilson Center has given the collaborators a from-page-to-stage development period as part of the center's Great Collaborations series.

"The Sisters Grey" is directed by Sam Turich and stars Bria Walker and Theo Allyn, with Tracey Turner, Edwin Lee Gibson, Lisa Ann Goldsmith and Monteze Freeland.

Showtimes for "The Sisters Grey" are 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, then 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 3 and 8 p.m. next Saturday. Tickets: $25, with discounts available for students and seniors, at awc.culturaldistrict.org or 412-338-8742.

In The Raw schedule

Bricolage Production Company has announced selections for its first In the Raw Festival, in which emerging playwrights will be presented alongside two classics during a five-week span, April 21-May 20.

Three works were chosen for residency from 74 submissions: "Ganglia: Instructions for the Symbiogenesis" by Peter J. Roth," For the Tree to Drop" by Pittsburgher Lissa Brennan and "The Gospel Singer" by C.S. Wyatt. In addition, Bricolage will present "A Streetcar Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams and "A Raisin in the Sun" by Lorraine Hansberry.

The festival is presented with an international grant from the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of America. The format allows the three playwrights the opportunity to work closely with dramaturg Annie DiMario to revise, explore and solidify a new work. Each play will receive a weeklong workshop that will culminate in two public readings at Bricolage Theater, Downtown, followed by audience response sessions.

All performances are at 7 p.m. and are "give-what-you-can" at the door; reservations are be accepted by emailing intheraw@webbricolage.org. Include your name, date of performance and number of seats you would like to reserve. More at bricolagepgh.org.

In the Raw performance schedule:

April 21-22: "Ganglia: Instructions for the Symbiogenesis" by Peter J. Roth. Norman and Amelia arrive in their new neighborhood armed with their friendly demeanor and an alien parasite that is feeding off of their brains. They've come to unite humanity in one great protocol -- except Amelia is falling in love.

April 29: "A Streetcar Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams.

May 5-6: "For the Tree to Drop" by Lissa Brennan. In an updated "Antigone," a plantation mourns the loss of its owner's son in a Civil War battle while a slave works tirelessly to bury her brother, who has been hanged as punishment for an act of rebellion.

May 13: "A Raisin in the Sun" by Lorraine Hansberry.

May 19-20: "The Gospel Singer" by C.S. Wyatt. Isaac Dumont has achieved a cult following performing as "Ruthie" in a local jazz haven. But Isaac's true desire is to sing the gospel music dearest to his heart. Set in 1987 and based on real events, the play bounces between communities seeking spirituality in different ways.

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