Favorite

New productions of Elephant Man, Agnes of God and As You Like It, plus the local premiere of area playwright Amy Hartman's Mercy and the Firefly

MERCY AND THE FIREFLY. In plays like Disinfecting Edwin and Mad Honey, locally based playwright Amy Hartman finds her characters on the edge and gives them distinctively lyrical voices. Hartman's latest, set in Homestead, tosses together a displaced East Los Angeles schoolgirl, a traumatized nun, a statue of the Virgin Mary and more. Point Park's professional theater troupe The REP Pittsburgh-premieres Mercy and the Firefly with this production starring Patrick Jordan, Penelope Lindblom, Shammen McCune and Chelsea Mervis, and directed by Melissa Martin. March 31-April 17. 222 Craft Ave., Oakland. $24-27. 412-621-4445 or www.pittsburghplayhouse.com

THE ELEPHANT MAN. Bernard Pomerance's acclaimed 1977 play about grossly deformed 19th-century Englishman Joseph Merrick comes to town for six performances by way of Ireland. That's where Pitt grad Kelly Colleen McMahon founded Ninth Wave Theatre, which will be staging the show, aptly, in Philadelphia's famed Mütter Museum of medical oddities. But the play previews here, at Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Co.'s space, with McMahon directing a cast including former Pittsburgher Corey Reiger as Dr. Treves and Irish actor Patrick Curley as Merrick April 1-9. 542 Penn Ave., Downtown. 412-651-7858 or www.theninthwave.org

AGNES OF GOD. John Pielmeier's contemporary classic comes to McKees Rocks courtesy of Actors Civic Theater, the resident professional company at the Father Ryan Arts Center. The intense three-character play about a Mother Superior, a court-appointed psychiatrist and a young noviate accused of murdering her newborn was a 1980 Broadway hit. In ACT's new production, Dr. Livingstone is played by Robin Beruh, a well-regarded actress little seen on local stages of late. Abigail Lis-Perlis and Patricia Cena also star, with direction by Mary Chess Randolph. April 1-10. 420 Chartiers Ave., McKees Rocks. $10-12. 412-394-3353 or www.actorscivictheater.com

AS YOU LIKE IT. One of Shakespeare's most popular takes on romantic folly comes to Pitt Rep in a production set in and near a present-day Forest of Arden ... but where cell phones and social media aren't the only way to meet new friends or lovers. Sam Turich directs a large ensemble cast including both student actors and local favorite Ken Bolden. The company promises "original music by Pitt student composers and a spectacular dance number." March 31-April 10. Charity Randall Theatre, Forbes Avenue at Bigelow, Oakland. $12-25. 412-624-7529 or www.play.pitt.edu

click to enlarge Agnes of God - PHOTO COURTESY OF STEPHEN L. CHESS
  • Photo courtesy of Stephen L. Chess
  • Agnes of God

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