Skip to main content
2024-2025 Season

Quantum Theatre’s 2024-25 Season Boasts an O’Neill Classic, a Screen-to-Stage Adaptation and an American Premiere

By May 23, 2024No Comments
three people standing

Quantum Theatre’s Karla Boos gets a hand from frequent collaborators Jay Ball and Jed Allen Harris at the company’s 2024-25 season announcement. (Image: Sharon Eberson)

onStage Pittsburgh – Following a Quantum Theatre season boasting a record number of subscribers, Karla Boos hasn’t tired of her quest for “transformative experiences.”

“I love everything we’ve done,” Quantum’s founder and artistic director says as her company enters its 34th season, “and I’m still seeking, seeking, seeking …”

Her quest has led the 2024-25 season to include an essential work of the American theater, a reimagined silent film classic, and the American premiere of a home-grown play that debuted in London, and tells the tale of a real-life 18th-century Pennsylvania abolitionist.

The Return of Benjamin Lay teams author Marcus Rediker, Distinguished Professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of History, with Obie Award-winning playwright Naomi Wallace for a play based on Rediker’s novel, The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf Who Became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist.

Performer Mark Povinelli, who premiered the play in London, comes to Pittsburgh with members of the creative team, joining Quantum for the play’s further development, on its way to a New York run.

The season opens in August with a new look at Eugene O’Neill’s A Moon for the Misbegotten, directed by Cody Spelllman, and continues with an adaptation of the 1920 German silent horror movie, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, reteaming writer Jay Ball and director Jed Allen Harris (Quantum’s An Odyssey, The Task, Pantagleize).

A crowd of people sittingA crowd of supporters and company artists (above) gathered at Quantum’s North Side warehouse and scene shop on Wednesday evening, May 22, to hear the season announcement and mingle with the company’s artists. Among the guests was Victoria Vargo, executive director of Braddock Carnegie Library, where The Return of Benjamin Lay will be staged in the newly renovated gym. Vargo noted that the Quantum Theatre production will be the first event held inside the 135-year-old library since renovations by the architectural firm GBBN began, which will grant attendees a first look, before a public grand opening.


A Moon for the Misbegotten I Quantum Theatre I August 2-25, 2024 I Longue Vue Club, Verona, PA I Director: Cody Spellman

O’Neill’s bittersweet love story gets the Quantum treatment by bringing “contemporary resonance … in an outdoor production under a real moon.” Director Cody Spellman, Quantum’s director of production, follows in the Writers Theatre’s footsteps in casting Black actors as members of the Hogan family: Melessie Clark plays Josie Hogan, with Wali Jamal as her father, Phil, and Jordan Drake as her brother, Mike. Brett Mack (Horatio in Quantum’s Hamlet; Tom in The Glass Menagerie at New York’s Bridge Street Theatre) plays Jamie Tyrone, while newcomer Allen Law rounds out the cast. The creative team includes scenic designer Stephanie Mayer-Staley, lighting designer C. Todd Brown and costume designer Damian Dominguez, with sound designer Ryan McMasters contributing original compositions.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (“An out-of-the-box experience”) I Quantum Theatre I November 1-24, 2024 I Union Trust Building I Director: Jed Allen Harris

The adaptation of the Hans Janowitz/Carl Mayer film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari will be brought to life by the team that staged Quantum’s An Odyssey in Schenley Park in 2021. Moving indoors to the Union Trust Building’s 10th-floor theater, guests will experience “this sinister carnival inspired equally by German Expressionism and America’s current political landscape.” Playwright Ball and director Harris reteam to bring “humor, sophisticated scholarship and fierce politics to the meaning of the story for today,” including the introduction of the character of Helene Weigel, widow of Bertolt Brecht. The cast comprises Catherine Gowl, Dan Krell, Nick Lehane, Jerreme Rodriguez and newcomers Sara Lindsay, Mark August and Cameron Nickel. Scenic design is by Yafei Hu, joined by filmmaker Joe Seamans and cinematographer Mark Knobil, with additional design by Joe Pino, Angela Vesco and C. Todd Brown.

The Return of Benjamin Lay (American premiere) I Quantum Theatre I January 31 – February 23, 2025 I Braddock Carnegie Library I Director: Ron Daniels

The works tell the story of the real-life abolitionist who was disowned for his “radical” ideas of freedom, and who “became a towering example of conviction who stood 4 feet tall.” Playwright Wallace collaborated with Rediker (The Amistad Rebellion) to write about the historical figure, then teamed with Ron Daniels, a longtime associate director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Star Povinelli is a past president of Little People of America, the organization founded in the 1950s by actor Billy Barty. London designers Isobel Nicolson, John Leonard and Anthony Doran work with Quantum’s local team to stage the piece in the Braddock Carnegie Library.

Braddock Library
Renovations to the Braddock Carnegie Library gym – seen here in an 1893 photograph – will be revealed during the production of The Return of Benjamin Lay. (Image: Library of Congress)

Read the full story here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.