June 23, 2024

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Pittsburgh’s City Theatre revisits 25-year-previous participate in checking out media, technological innovation

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City Theatre in Pittsburgh is bringing back again a enjoy that to start with appeared on its stage 25 yrs in the past.

“The Medium,” a postmodern deconstruction of the musings of author/thinker Marshall McLuhan, will run from Jan. 22 by Feb. 13 on the Town Theatre Primary Stage on Pittsburgh’s South Aspect.

The 3rd present of the 2021-22 membership time is offered by New York Town-dependent SITI Corporation.

“The production was originally established in 1993 and conceived to take a look at the then-burgeoning area of technological know-how through the lens of Marshall McLuhan,” explained Anne Bogart, SITI Organization co-creative director, who conceived the participate in. “We abide by the popular Canadian thinker of media scientific tests on an Alice in Wonderland-like journey by means of the landscape of his profound insights about the consequences of media on the human expertise.

“Now, virtually 30 a long time afterwards, the perform looks even additional relevant to the planet that we inhabit right now than it did when we 1st designed it,” she said.

Very first witnessed at City Theatre in 1996, “ ‘The Medium’ explores the outcome of media and emerging systems on our perceptions, our psyches, and our individual lives,” in accordance to a launch.

“ ‘The Medium’ is structured upon the nicely-known narrative structure of ‘the hero’s journey,’ which can be found in stories and fairy tales from close to the entire world and in the course of record,” Bogart reported. “Our hero is based on the wonderful Canadian thinker Marshall McLuhan who, in the 1960s, was ready to forecast what would happen to us when the media, digital technologies and the online would dominate our lives.”

As a result of the television display screen

In a confused state just after struggling a stroke, the character of McLuhan finds himself transported, like “Alice By means of the Looking Glass,” into the globe of tv.

Not able to talk, McLuhan “moves from channel to channel, going through firsthand the achievement of his worst and most insightful desires,” Bogart mentioned.

“The scenes in ‘The Medium’ are introduced in the kind of tv genres, like common varieties like a Western, a clinic drama, a sport clearly show, a spouse and children show, a chat exhibit and so on,” she added. “Each genre type capabilities as a container for different insights and themes from Marshall McLuhan’s writings. McLuhan himself, our principal character, travels via this Tv landscape.”


Courtesy of SITI Organization

Will Bond will look in the SITI Firm manufacturing of “The Medium,” Jan. 22-Feb. 13 at Metropolis Theatre in Pittsburgh.


Directed by Bogart, “The Medium” characteristics performers William Bond, Gian-Murray Gianino, Ellen Lauren, Barney O’Hanlon, Violeta Picayo and Stephen Duff Webber.

“One can see the irony in the reality that this prescient thinker, who spoke and wrote so eloquently and playfully on the media and culture, must go through the inability to communicate,” Bond stated. “In this way, one particular may well contact him a modern-day-day Cassandra who is insightful more than enough to seem the warning, but doomed to have his warnings not be considered by his have society.”

The other figures are everyday folks dealing with incredible adjustments introduced about by the speedily changing globe, in scenes that are expressionistic and collage-like. The text is taken from McLuhan’s writings, expressionistic writings of the 1920s and fashionable media.

“Scenes, actions, and moments shift abruptly, at periods manically, all of a sudden lyrically, as in the blips and bleeps of digital media,” Bogart mentioned.

Difficulties stemming from the common sharing of details — and disinformation — go back again to the arrival of the printing push, Bogart explained.

McLuhan was “the initial individual ready to articulate the anxiety and complexity of the planet in which we now uncover ourselves,” she mentioned. “He was the progenitor of such common notions as ‘the world village’ and ‘the medium is the message.’ He started to fully grasp the influence of media and emerging systems on our perceptions, our psyches, and our individual lives.”

Checking out these issues is the very raison d’etre of theatre, Bond said.

“Among theater’s perennial issues are ‘Who are we? Do we know what is happening to us? And most importantly, how can we get along, or purpose together, greater?’ ” he reported.

Scenic and lights is by SITI Corporation member Brian H. Scott, costumes are by Obie Award-winner Gabriel Berry and soundscape by is Tony Award-winner Darron L. West. Patti Kelly is the creation phase supervisor.

Thrilled to be back again

Following its recently tailored revival in Pittsburgh, the production will journey to the Brooklyn Academy of Songs in New York Town.

“We are thrilled and delighted to bring our creation of ‘The Medium’ again dwelling to City Theatre,” Bogart stated. “Our extended association with Pittsburgh, Marc Masterson and Town Theatre conspire to make this a meaningful event certainly.”

“City Theatre is very pleased to be a element of the internationally renowned SITI Company’s past, existing and potential,” mentioned Masterson, Town Theatre co-artistic director. “This collaboration has spanned 4 decades and has produced productions that have been noticed all more than the planet.”

Five plays have premiered between the two firms since the first Pittsburgh staging of “The Medium.”

Masks and evidence of vaccination or negative covid-19 exam will be essential of all audience members. Exceptions will be manufactured for those below age 12, who will have to be accompanied by an grownup who satisfies the venue’s vaccination needs, and for visitors who have to have fair lodging owing to a healthcare exception or sincerely held spiritual perception.

For much more data and tickets, get in touch with 412-431-2489 or stop by citytheatrecompany.org.

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Critique staff members author. You can get hold of Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or by means of Twitter .

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