Pittsburgh Public Theater goes online to bring classic plays to homebound theater lovers | Features | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pittsburgh Public Theater goes online to bring classic plays to homebound theater lovers

click to enlarge Pittsburgh Public Theater artistic director Marya Sea Kaminski - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
Pittsburgh Public Theater artistic director Marya Sea Kaminski
As the COVID-19 virus outbreak grows, state leaders have called for all nonessential businesses across Pennsylvania to temporarily shut down. This includes theaters, which means many plays and other live stage productions will never get to see an audience. To stay active and bring the stage to fans, the Pittsburgh Public Theater will present Playtime, a new live online reading series described as bringing “great classic plays and the work of extraordinary Pittsburgh writers right to your living room, computer, or device.“

The series launches this Thu., March 19 and Fri., March 20 with PPT artistic director Marya Sea Kaminski providing an introduction and reading excerpts from the Shakespeare drama, Henry V. The series continues on Thu., March 26 and Fri., March 27 with Kaminski and special guests reading Oscar Wilde’s farce, The Importance of Being Earnest.

Each live session will begin at 7 p.m. and can be accessed through the PPT Playtime Zoom account. The series is free, but donations will be accepted to support the guest artists and the costs of the program.


The series provides an opportunity for people to enjoy theater without having to go out and risk exposure to the virus, a valid concern in Allegheny County where a growing number of confirmed cases have been reported.

“Although we cannot gather in person during these strange and unpredictable times, there are many ways we can still come together,” says a description on the event's Facebook page. “Home is not always a place. Home is the people we love, the experiences we share, and the stories we use to connect us across time and space.”

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