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Steel City Shakespeare Center

Pittsburgh Troupe Debuts with 12th Night

Steel City Shakespeare Center logoA company of actors in Pittsburgh, Pa., calling themselves the Steel City Shakespeare Center will be mounting their first production, William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, in four different locations the Pittsburgh area Nov. 7–16.

Only five actors will be taking on the play's 17 characters. "Our goal is to use the Extreme Casting style to encourage interaction between actors and audience and engage our audience's imagination and sense of play," Steel city Shakespeare Center Artistic Director Jeffry Chips said in an e-mail to "We work without scenery, stage lighting, elaborate costumes, realistic props, technological sound effects, or most of the common trappings of modern theater."

Nor are they performing in typical theaters. The venues—two church halls, a youth activities center, and an art gallery—are as follows:

Chips is a graduate of the Mary Baldwin College MLitt/MFA program in Staunton, Va., and worked at the American Shakespeare Center there for a couple of years. "Through my time working with the American Shakespeare Center and other theaters, I've come to believe that performance is a form of service," he wrote in his email. "Actors may not cure diseases or stop wars or famine, but we have the ability to gather individuals of all different backgrounds into a room and take them on an imaginative journey, where we hope (if we've succeeded) they leave that room different people than when they entered.

For more information on the Twelfth Night production, email

November 3, 2014

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