NEXTpittsburgh – A Baroque twist on Shakespeare set amidst a Gilded Age landmark. A 1920s Italian dinner party roaming throughout the historic Rodef Shalom Congregation. A pop-up comedy club animating the Bloomfield-Garfield Community Center.
These kinds of creative endeavors continue to inform and define Pittsburgh-based Quantum Theatre—whose founder and artistic director Karla Boos just won a Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Award. This fall will be no less ambitious for the innovative homegrown company, as the Quantum team asks: what would the story of one family look like through the eyes of their four chickens?
Written, produced and set in Pittsburgh, Chickens in the Yard is being staged inside the ground floor of Lawrenceville-based Javo Studios. A chicken coop, a family drama, gay identity and a photography studio all come together in Quantum’s latest site-specific production.
The creative process finds Quantum embracing new collaborators and looking to uncharted territory to produce the contemporary new work. Written by Paul Kruse and directed by Adil Mansoor—both from the Pittsburgh-based multidisciplinary theater organization Hatch Arts Collective—Chickens in the Yard explores the experiences of one couple as they “journey from the families that raised them to the family they choose to create together,” as well as issues surrounding partnerships, individuality, familial bonds and a sense of belonging.
The first production of Hatch Arts, the play stars Laurie Klatscher (Lucille Two, Joyce), Siovhan Christensen (Anne Hutchinson, Abby), Joseph McGranaghan (Bruce Lee, John) and Alec Silberblatt (Eleanor Roosevelt, Tom). Original live music will be performed by Morgan Erina and Ginger Brooks Takahashi.
The play marks another milestone for Quantum as it’s the company’s inaugural production in the recently established Gerri Kay New Voices Program. Named for the late friend and mentor of Boos—an advocate for civil rights, social justice and the arts who passed away in 2014—the new program allows Quantum to support and mentor developing artists.
Additional local artists working on the production’s design team are Britton Mauk (scenic), Patrick Hayes (lighting), Jenn Gooch (costume) and David Bielewicz (sound)…