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About 10 for 21

Once upon a time in the 14th Century, a writer transported readers out of their plague-bound confines with stories told by 10 young people ‘podded together’ and using their imaginations to experience all the things on hold like love, sex, intrigue, friendship, and fun. The resulting book, “The Decameron” has endured, but whereas those 10 people were creations of Boccaccio, hundreds of years (and at least one pandemic) later Quantum Theatre’s new adaptation finds them real, alive, contemporary, and equally unstoppable.

Trail through woods
Yellow Bridge in Pittsburgh

10 for 21 is a bit bawdy. Its good-spirited fun might be too mature for pre-teens. It is recommended to be experienced along with two walks:

The first 5-story walk is rural, following a lovely mapped route in Frick Park, starting in the Regent Square soccer fields following Tranquil Trail, nodding to Homewood Cemetery and the Lawn Bowling Greens, and making a 2.8 mile loop that ends where it began.

The second walk is urban, with 5 iconic places chosen for people to sit and listen and watch the cityscape go by. It starts at the Point State Park fountain, includes gems Katz Plaza, Market Square, and Mellon Square Park, and ends in beautiful Trinity Cathedral graveyard, with 5 stories chosen especially for these places.

All 10 stories can also be also be experienced from home. Click the buttons above to begin your journey.

A Little Backstory

In the Spring of that fateful year 2020, as all well know and will recall, the Pandemic was declared and the Lockdown instituted. In our fair city, the stages, studios, shops and classrooms of a certain School of Drama went dark, and the students were consigned to remote learning. Ten of those students resided on several floors in one wing of a large old apartment building. They joined together, declared themselves a “pod,” and pledged trust, help and cooperation to each and all for, at least, the rest of the semester. They were several actors, a stage manager, a playwright and  director/dramaturge (she hadn’t quite decided which).

One day, early on in the Lockdown, the director/dramaturge—who had a more than passing knowledge of World Literature—realized that the “pod,” at seven women and three men, was an exact match for the group of ten young people in Giovanni Boccaccio’s classic “The Decameron,” wherein said ten young people escape the Plague in Florence in 1348 and, to pass the time ‘til the Plague passes, daily tell each other stories. The director / dramaturge brought this brilliant coincidence to the attention of her pod-mates. They were immediately struck and enthused, and, after a lot of lively discussion and creative negotiation, they each adopted the name of one of Boccaccio’s young characters, gave them histories and interests that threaded happily with their own, and resolved to divert themselves by taking regular pod-walks and telling stories in the names of their characters. These things they did, and thus bonded, got some exercise, and kept their creativities active and alive…

Cast and Creative Team

Directed by John Shepard
Adapted by Martin Giles
Sound Design by Steve Shapiro

Matt Henderson
Hannah Keeley
Arjun Kumar
Jalina McClarin
Moira Quigley
Jason Shavers
Zoe Ruth
Saige Smith
Emilia Suarez
Vanessa Vivas