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Pittsburgh's Quantum Theatre grows without a stage

In an sophisticated reprise of  old Judy Garland-Andy Rooney stagecraft, Pittsburgh’s Quantum Theatre has found the key to artistic longevity: forget the theater and concentrate on the show.

The company inaugurates its nineteenth season outdoors this weekend with "36 Views," a play by Naomi Iizuka, set on Washington's Landing, an island in the Allegheny River.  

Under the direction of founder Karla Boos, the company has presented fifty productions, including numerous American and world premieres, in venues as unusual as an abandoned steel mill or primate house at the Pittsburgh Zoo.

"We believe in putting our resources into making our works," says Boos. "We have low overhead--not only do we not have a building, but we have a very small staff. But we are quite ambitious, often bringing works from other places." The company's overall budget is just over $500,000 a year.

With support from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, Quantum has developed an adventurous audience willing to venture anywhere that its "Q" flag flies.

To produce "36 Views," Quantum got help from the Rubinoff Company. The developer reclaimed the island brownfield for award-winning residential, office and green space. Three Rivers Rowing is lending its its boathouse to the actors for storage and dressing rooms. Pittsburgh's Citiparks backs Quantum's efforts to bring theater into neighborhoods all over Pittsburgh; in return, Quantum offers discounted tickets for community night performances.

"36 Views" runs July 30 to August 30 under the stars.

Source: Karla Boos
Writer: Chris O’Toole
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