Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Karla Boos is the creative force behind Quantum Theatre, a theater company known for staging experimental productions in unusual places. Originally from West Virginia, Ms. Boos founded Quantum in 1990 and has been building on her unbounded imagination ever since as artistic director. Her brainchild turns 30 this year.
Why didn’t you go to New York to establish Quantum?
Because I love Pittsburgh and am endlessly inspired by Pittsburgh! I mean, New York is great, but it’s no Pittsburgh. I grew up nearby in beautiful West Virginia. I definitely needed to go away and the place I went was Los Angeles, to [California Institute of the Arts] and to work there in theater afterwards. I spent five years on the West Coast and by then I wanted things Pittsburgh had. It’s so easy to feel the whole city is yours. You can bike it, walk it, come to know all its many crazy nooks and crannies and call them your own. Then, surprisingly, get to an advanced age like mine and know there are still many more to discover.
When do you find yourself to be most creative?
5-9 am. I work while I sleep and dream. I’ve asked other theater people if they do this and I think it’s common. It’s kind of a drag but we definitely solve problems while we sleep. I get up pre-dawn to sort them out, commit them to paper, especially for original works I’m directing and/or writing.
Who would you become for a week if you could?
A virtuoso musician. I’m a performer…. I have loved performing as an actress. Music is a language of pure emotion to me. I so admire great musicians and can imagine the feeling of making those sounds of pure emotion.
Where are you least comfortable?
In the realm of technology. Software designers design for some species I don’t belong to. I’m trying to meet whomever they design for halfway these days — for obvious reasons.
What’s on your mind right now?
I’m very worried about the theater, even knowing we’ll apply our creativity and ingenuity to making safe circumstances, even knowing that our audiences are courageous and will be drawn to gather again, trusting us, trusting each other to attend to the safety of all.
May I give a shout out to my beloved Pittsburgh Symphony? I feel for the musicians, the Heinz Hall employees and the administrative staff. That’s an art form that requires a vaccinated, healthy population, which I know we will have. Until then, sending love, faith, and listening to WQED. Hey, that’s a shout out to two organizations! (laughs) Quantum Theatre was about to celebrate 30 years in very big ways, but we still are going to celebrate! And ingenuity is going to lead us out of this slowly and carefully.