We hope you enjoyed your Quantum experience, and we’d love to hear your thoughts on Collaborators. Leave a comment below and tell us what you liked, disliked, or anything in particular that may have resonated with you. Thank you for your feedback!
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OUTRAGEOUSLY RELEVANT THEATRE for the times we are living in! Reels us in with just the right amount of humor and then sucker punches us right in the gut! Stellar production, spot on direction, excellent cast, perfect setting…Quantum delivers fully!
I totally agree! This play is a huge reminder of true event so that have occurred in the past. If it’s not a reminder then it’s educating! This is my first professional live performance and i have to say I throughly enjoyed it. The acting was great! It wasn’t humorous and I forgot I was even watching it on a small set.
“Collaborators” is one of the best plays I’ve seen in years. The characters, set and language are superb. The acting is consistently right on key. I was pleasantly engaged the whole time, breathless less I miss anything. This was my first time for seeing the play. My friend had seen it, years ago in NY, and she said Quantum’s production was much better. Bravo to everyone involved in this production!
I agree characters, set, etc were creative and done well. My wife and I liked the venue and will attend other performances presented there. The space is large and was well used.
I’d never before been to a Q production, did so at the invitation of a friend who’s in the cast. This production is wonderful on all levels. The play is provocative and complex; however, those who wrote reflections for the program went provocative and didactic, even to the point of explicitly mentioning Pres. Trump and the “current administration.” Yes, there are Trump supporters in the audience, and perhaps you could stretch your own “tolerance” to imagine that we love people of all shapes and colors and nations, that we love art and beauty just as do you, and that we don’t require conversion or schooling from our artistic elites. I could bring you a whole reading of the play that resonates with the tactics of the previous administration, which after all: a. had virtually all artists and media in its pocket (in many cases doing propagandistic media on behalf of the government/the Democrat party); b. stirred up a new red scare, whereby people are tarred by alleged Russian associations; and c. it’s now unfolding that the state apparatus (e.g., the intelligence community on behalf of the Obama administration) was unleashed on private citizens (from Trump himself on down through Gen. Flynn and many random people) through unlawful surveillance and unmasking, in a way that appears to be far more sinister and criminal than the events of, y’know, Watergate. So yeah, the play is currently relevant (and beautifully staged and performed), but you might let audience members play with those readings ourselves rather than beating us over the head with your lesson (yeah, I’m picturing Old Joe wielding a typewriter).
“Collaborators” is a well-constructed play, densely textured — real theatre. This production is beautifully designed and very well acted by all the characters. In my view it is the best Quantum presentation in recent years. One special virtue of the production is that the brief switches from one slice of time to another as the narrative unfolds are always clear. Some memorable details, plus and minus: the casting of the bald man in dark shades who silently menaces many scenes at the margin of the action is brilliant (indeed, could not possibly be better); on the other hand, one female character, upon leaving the stage near the climax of the second act, swallowed the key word of her sentence, prompting everyone around me to whisper “I missed that word; did you catch it?” Intellectually, the drama held my attention throughout, yet the unfolding plot does not engage the viewer in an emotional response and so remains affectless. This assessment is, however, a reservation about the play and not the production itself. Karla Boos, in Quantum, remains a national treasure.
Great play! One of the best Quantum has done.
I knew the play had comedic and surreal elements before I entered the theater because I’d read up on it. However, it had much more comedy than I expected and the treatment of Stalin by the actor and director broke much of my stereotypical impressions of the Russian leader. He didn’t come off as so blood thirsty as I’d imagined, and his obsession with getting the play written while at the same time being cavalier about matters of state came as a shock. The first act was real hoot, the second more sinister. The direction was absolutely brilliant and Tony Bingham as Bulgakov was something very special to witness. Kudos to the supporting cast who added such interesting nuance to the production. This has got to be one of the best plays I’ve seen in town in the last 12 months.
This was the best play of the season, maybe of the past three seasons. Brilliantly presented!
This is an outstanding play on so many levels, and the acting/directing/staging are superb. This is theatre at its best.
This production was wonderful. That’s all I can say because my other, longer comment is “awaiting moderation”–I guess because it wasn’t wholly positive. I believe the moderator’s name is Joseph something. No doubt this one’ll also go into permanent exile, awaiting moderation or liberation. I imagine citizens under the Iron Curtain had to learn ways to encode messages–wish I were cleverer.
I heard laughs during the first act that I couldn’t join in. I was thinking the whole time that this was real, this had happened. The second act was nerveracking, as it should be. The actors, all of them, are very good. It was a shock to see Josef Stalin on that stage!
I’m old enough to remember when Stalin died in 1953, my last year of high school.
Outstanding in every way
Quantum deserves a full house for every presentation. Go Pittsburghers and take a friend to see superior theater on Elaine Morris
We loved the production: the cast was fantastic, the staging imaginative and effective, the setting perfect. Martin Giles’ “Stalin,” in particular, conveyed the creepy seductive power of a mass murderer perfectly. However, we feel that the play is deeply unfair to the real Bulgakov who was a courageous person and in no way can be associated with Stalin’s reign of terror of which, if anything, he was a victim. John Hodge could have created a fictional writer in order to make his points — which are crucial ones, especially in the current climate.
I loved it. Best one this year.
Outstanding play selection, direction, and acting. Pittsburgh is very lucky to have Quantum Theater and Karla Boos in residence.
I second the comment above.
Exceptional production of a fascinating play. Imaginative staging and a strong ensemble.
great performance, full of energy, smart, superb acting. Really enjoyed this.
I went home unable to listen to the radio, so turned it off while driving. This is good theater that had me thinking so deeply. The actors were superb, and very well presented the absurdity and the horror of the absurdity.
Excellent production! The staging was creative and effective, and the acting consistently strong. One of my favorite Quantum pieces.
Terrifically acted, staged creatively and cleverly – a tremendously enjoyable and thought-provoking evening! Thank you for something so different to chew on, and so well executed!
Bravo! An excellent production in every aspect. Thought-provoking, entertaining and presented in a way that left our emotions raw.
Thank you, Karla. Last night’s play was enormously invigorating theater. Another of Quantum’s explorations of the world of theater in Pittsburgh. Many thanks, Barbara Paull.
Great job, one and all. Pertinent production and what an all-star cast.
I was particularly impressed by the physicality/choreography and immediacy of the performances.
Question? Why was there no bio of playwright Hodge in the program?
Thoroughly enjoyed “Collaborators” from start to finish. A wonderful mix of humor and pathos. The actors were absolutely wonderful, the set perfectly sparse and the setting just right. Thanks Karla and all!
An intense production with great pacing. It wound our heads into the horror of tyranny slowly, deftly and inexorably. One of the best productions this year and very timely politically. Barbara Jones
This was good solid theater. I applaud the selection of this play which really had a strong story to tell.
Collaborators shows all of Quantum’s strengths in full force: a perfect space for the play’s sensibilities, a terrific director for a challenging and meaningful script, and an exceptionally talented cast–a wonderful production in every respect.
The acting is superb and the entire cast first rate. The East End warehouse stage set captures the impoverishment of the early Soviet era. A real train rushing past the warehouse during the opening scene was a true-to-life sound effect. Directing and staging are imaginative, and the pace is spot on. Although the subject matter seems dated (oppressed artists during Stalin’s rule), on reflection, there is timelessness to the message: Tyrants continue to censor critics and manipulate messaging to the masses, even in the absence of the internet and twitter.
why was there nothing written in the program about the author, John Hodge? Mention should have been made that Collaborators won the Lawrence Olivier award in 2011 (I think) for Best New Play and was part of the LondonLive Theater movies in US. I had to google him in order to learn about him and his work. Definitely an oversight on the part of Quantum to exclude him from the program. Otherwise, a great performance, wonderful play and finally, comfortable seats!!!
My pleasure in the energy and commitment to the production was very great, indeed. And I found a special pleasure in the “theatre” itself, in being gently and warmly forewarned by the staffer directing me from street (where I had parked) to door “be careful of the uneven footing” was a brilliant foretaste of the central argument of the play itself. At the same time, substantively, I found the the extreme broadness of Act 1 to be perfect, while the extreme contrasting broadness of Act 2 didn’t fully persuade me of the misery of spirit that it wanted me to recognize. I could see its intention, but not quite experience it. No matter– it was for me a joyous evening of theatre, and I’ll surely be back for further productions (of which I, somewhat a newcomer to the area, was not aware prior to TWO separate recommendations I had received of collaborators from two friends, strangers to one another (unless unaware collaborators).
As always, Quantum knocks it out of the park in all the details — set design, lighting, sound, venue. The actors were phenomenal as well. Quantum is a real gem and Pittsburgh is lucky to have them.
Theatre at its best because one left the ‘slaughterhouse’ thinking about the real horrors of Stalin’s dictatorship, of artistic integrity, of the wrenching choices that sometimes have to be made to survive, to protect others. I left emotionally drained, silent on the way home, grateful for such a stellar play and production. Kudos and thanks to all.