Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – At no time in Pittsburgh history have so many women overseen so many cultural, health and public service institutions — agencies that essentially bolster the livability of the region.
They run the Pittsburgh Public Theater, Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Allegheny County Airport Authority, Port Authority of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Allegheny County Health Department, Pittsburgh Film Office, Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Jewish Healthcare Foundation, Friends of the Riverfront, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Allegheny Health Network, Allegheny County Parks Foundation and many other organizations…
Karla Boos gravitates toward the unexplored.
“The right circumstances for making art, for me, involve making the unknown, going into the unknown and figuring out what’s right for me,” she says.
“And I would like to work with artists who have a similar outlook.”
Anyone familiar with Quantum Theatre can attest to that. Its founder, Ms. Boos, 57, of Forest Hills, goes for thought-provoking content every time. This season alone, she staged “Chatterton,” a sprawling, three-narrative play about the 18th-century British poet, amid the eaves and alcoves of Trinity Cathedral, Downtown.
Coming in March is “The Gun Show,” a one-man play by E.M. Lewis. In May, there’s “King Lear,” on the grounds of the Carrie Furnace in Swissvale. Past performances have taken place in the basement of the old Garden Theater, in a defunct car dealership showroom, all over Rodef Shalom Congregation and on a grassy hillside in Mellon Park.
When it comes to works and their staging, Ms. Boos is renowned for thinking outside the (black) box.
In addition to the usual chaos of being artistic director for Quantum Theatre’s season, Ms. Boos served as curator for the 2018 Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts. In late November, she finally had time to take a breath.
“It’s on to new things,” she says. “Those were so big and so long in the making, both the play and the festival. But it’s always good in a way to move on, right? It’s bittersweet.
“I’m amazed and excited now; I can think of new things I want to embark on.”
Quantum Theatre, which she started in 1990, is closing in on 100 productions. Its importance to the Pittsburgh cultural community remains strong, as is what Ms. Boos describes as “a climate that encourages innovative arts to develop and younger artists to pursue their own voices.”
It takes confidence to challenge an audience, something Ms. Boos says she developed over the years. She won’t reveal Quantum’s coming productions but did tease “loving to work with music as a language with theater.”
As traditional American musicals are not her thing, that could be a hint toward any number of paths — all, no doubt, adventurous.