Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre marks its first decade with a season of plays highlighting the genesis and mission of this groundbreaking theater company.

Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company is committed to developing and showcasing the works of local playwrights; to nurture a racially and culturally diverse community of playwrights, directors, staff, actors and technical specialists to hone their craft and to network creative opportunities who, together, promote audiences that reflect the rich variety of our Pittsburgh community.

The season opens with an intimate one-woman performance: Kim El’s revelatory “Straightening Combs” (March 9-31) directed by Chrystal Bates. This dramatic memoir details the challenges of growing up as a Black woman in contemporary America and the all-too-common struggle for peace and acceptance.

Next up is “Ma Noah” (April 20-May 12) by Mark Clayton Southers, which was produced in February at the Stockton Performing Arts Center of Stockton College in Pomona, NJ. “Ma Noah” a poignant treatment of the the everyday struggle of a single mother against relentless odds, is the recipient of the Theodore Ward Prize from Columbia College, Chicago.

The season concludes with the final installment of August Wilson’s epic Pittsburgh Century Cycle, “Radio Golf” directed by Eileen J. Morris (June 1-29). These performances will establish PPTCO as the first company to produce the Cycle in ten consecutive seasons. It’s only fitting that such a monumental achievement in American Theatre take place in Pittsburgh under the vision of Southers, PPTCO producing artistic director and August’s fellow Hill District-native and protégé.

“I am really excited about our tenth season at Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company. After the successful Theatre Festival in Black and White, we will continue to celebrate Pittsburgh’s writers Kim El, Mark Clayton Southers and August Wilson,” said Managing Director Eric A. Smith. “Not only am I excited about the great works these playwrights have given to Pittsburgh and the world, but we will complete the Century Cycle by August Wilson with Radio Golf. This tenth season at Pittsburgh Playwrights is not to be missed.”

PPTCO was founded by Southers in 2003. It began as the resident company of Garfield’s Penn Theater, and moved to a 75-seat space at 542 Penn Avenue in the Downtown Cultural District in January 2005. In October 2011, PPTCO relocated to the penthouse at 937 Liberty Avenue.

PPTCO is supported by the Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh Fund, a partnership of The Heinz Endowments and The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Cultural Trust, ARAD and PCA.

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