Five new works gain Momentum at City Theatre festival
June 1, 2016 12:00 AM
The City Theatre on Birmingham Street, South Side.
By Sharon Eberson / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
City Theatre’s Momentum 16 — a festival of “plays at different stages” of development — showcases five works in progress Thursday through Sunday at the South Side theater.
This year’s schedule includes works by Carnegie Mellon University alumna Liza Birkenmeier, Michael Hollinger (“Hope and Gravity,” “Opus,” “Red Herring” at City) and Pittsburgh native James McManus. There also will be a peek at “Feeding the Dragon,” the world premiere by stage and screen actress Sharon Washington that has been announced as part of City’s 2016-17 season.
Audiences will be asked for their feedback at Momentum 16, which is free and open to the public. Reservations are suggested, at citytheatrecompany.org or 412-431-CITY.
• “Sing the Body Electric” by Michael Hollinger — The drama set in 1980s Florida is about growing up and growing wiser at any age.
• “Feeding the Dragon” by Sharon Washington — The autobiographical solo show also is performed by Ms. Washington (“String of Pearls”). It’s a coming-of-age story set in the bowels of New York Public Library, where Sharon’s father, the live-in custodian, feeds a coal furnace at night.
• “Dry Bones” by James McManus — Boo and Half Pint are childhood friends growing up and fighting to get by in a dying factory town in the Mon Valley.
• “Radio Island” by Liza Birkenmeier — Army vet turned hostage negotiator Ellen returns home to take care of her ailing mother and finds mysteries await her in a thriller by City newcomer Birkenmeier.
• “Scrapmetal/scars” by Jackson Torii Bart — The alumnus of City’s Young Playwrights Festival (high school winner 2010), returns for an invitation-only reading of a play with music, exploring the lives of community members living on the margins in the Bronx.
Thursday: 7 p.m. — Reading of “Sing the Body Electric” (directed by Tracy Brigden), Hamburg Studio Theatre.
Friday: 5 p.m. — Momentum happy hour/meet and greet, Gordon Lounge. 7 p.m. — Reading of “Feeding the Dragon” (directed by Reginald L. Douglas), City Theatre Rehearsal Room.
Saturday: 6:30-7:30 p.m. — “CitySpeaks” Playwrights Panel, a conversation about craft and creativity with Momentum writers Washington, McManus and Birkenmeier, Hamburg. 8 p.m. — Reading of “Radio Island” (directed by Ms. Brigden), Hamburg.
Sunday: 1 p.m. — Reading of “Dry Bones” (directed by Sheila McKenna), City Rehearsal Room.
Sharon Eberson: email@example.com or 412-263-1960.
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