Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Karla Boos has built Quantum Theatre’s local “Q” rating on bringing the unexpected to Pittsburgh. The quirky company that could exist without a home, create a Baroque opera and produce a play featuring a family of chickens in the same season is turning 25 this year, and its founder and artistic director has a big, broad thank-you for its loyal followers.
“It’s an achievement not only for me but for Pittsburgh to have brought something along that was so experimental in its outlook,” Ms. Boos said. “Pittsburgh is adventurous and I hope feels as good as I do about having made a place for something untried.”
Quantum announces its four-show 2015-16 season today, and the future holds more project announcements to celebrate 25 years of site-specific theatrical experiences.
Sept. 16-Oct. 3, 2015: “The Winter’s Tale,” a world premiere opera. Site: The 19th-century-style music hall at the top of the Union Trust Building, Downtown. Based on Shakespeare’s text, “The Winter’s Tale” opera will be presented as a Baroque assemblage using the Metropolitan Opera’s “The Enchanted Island” as an inspiration. The production is a collaboration with Chatham Baroque and Attack Theatre, celebrating 25- and 20-year anniversaries, respectively. Chatham Baroque’s Andres Cladera will be music director and Ms. Boos will be stage director, as they were for “Candide,” “Maria de Buenos Aires” and “Ainadamar.” Mezzo-soprano Raquel Winnica Young leads the cast. Designers Tony Ferrieri, Susan Tsu, Todd Brown and Joe Seamans will transform the Union Trust space.
Nov. 20-Dec. 62015: “Chickens in the Yard,” the first production from the Gerri Kay New Voices Program. The new program pays tribute to loyal supporter Gerri Kay, who died in September and left a substantial gift to the theater. Ms. Boos was inspired by having helped Gab Cody and Rita Reis develop “Fat Beckett” after seeing an initial reading at Bricolage. “We thought nurturing a work by a young artist would be a great way to honor [Ms. Kay],” Ms. Boos said. The play by Hatch Arts Collective (writer Paul Kruse, director Adil Mansoor and producer Nicole Shero) is a story of unconventional families “and its mode is startlingly new — even to me,” said Ms. Boos.
Jan. 28-Feb. 14, 2016: “Ciara,” an American premiere. Scottish playwright David Harrower’s “Knives in Hens” remains Ms. Boos favorite Quantum project, and now comes his latest work, “Ciara,” a solo show about a mob boss’s daughter. Mary Rawson will star as a proprietor of an art gallery who champions local artists — especially an artist whose female figures defend the city’s spirit against the vice below the surface. Ms. Boos will direct, and paintings by Pittsburgh artist Robert Qualters will be animated by Mr. Seamans.
April 1-24, 2016: Ibsen’s “The Master Builder,” a collaboration with the Heinz Architectural Center of the Carnegie Museum of Art. For the HAC’s yearlong exploration of Modernism, the project, directed by Martin Giles, will be set in an appropriate building to be named later. Quantum’s aim is “to help Pittsburgh explore the legacy of such architectural imprimatur, even as we give life to one of Ibsen’s most iconic characters.”