June 2019: Best of Culture in Pittsburgh

Check out some of the finest plays, dance performances and exhibits taking place this month in Pittsburgh.

Erika Diamond. Fifty States, 2017. Linen warp, alpaca weft. 24" x 30".

Through Aug. 24
Fiberart International 2019

Rescue discarded clothing, deconstruct it and build it back up into something totally new — a sculpture — and you have “No Place to Hide a Dark Heart,” Susan Avishai’s contribution to Fiberart International 2019. Among her goals is to make us aware of the problem of textile waste (85 percent of clothing cast-offs ends up in a landfill). Avishai sees her mission as: “Taking what was headed for the ignoble dump and reclaiming it — with dignity, purpose and whimsy — as art.”
She joins 55 national and international artists in the 23rd triennial exhibition of contemporary textile art, sponsored by Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh and spanning two locations: Contemporary Craft and Brew House Association.
From more than 1,400 entries, jurors Sonya Clark and Jane Sauer searched for “innovative work rooted in traditional fiber materials, structure, processes and history, as well as art that explores unexpected relationships between fiber and other creative disciplines.”
Work such as that by Serbian artist Zlatko Cvetkovic, who creates installations combining textile techniques and technologies with stuff from popular culture — CDs, audio-visual cassettes and the tapes therein — to explore such concepts as ephemerality and oblivion.
But not all hearts are dark. “I feel great hope for the future of fiber arts demonstrated by the tough concepts and material challenges many of the artists we viewed were willing to take on,” says Clark.
STRIP DISTRICT: Contemporary Craft, 2100 Smallman St.
412/261-7003, contemporarycraft.org 
SOUTH SIDE: Brew House Association, 711 S. 21st St.
412/381-2000, brewhousearts.org

June 7-16
Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival

Celebrating its 60th anniversary, the big annual production of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust returns with visual arts, theater, music and dance. To dovetail with the milestone, there’s a retrospective exhibition as well as the annual Juried Visual Art Exhibition, with a theme of “Remember Me.” See 52 works by 39 artists depicting “the basic human desire to be acknowledged, accepted, represented and remembered.” The Artist Market is back, and don’t overlook the shows in Cultural District galleries. 
DOWNTOWN: Various Sites
412/456-6666, traf.trustarts.org

June 7-July 28
Idea Furnace Retrospective

A look back on the artists participating in Pittsburgh Glass Center’s Idea Furnace features some 17 alumni. The Glass Center describes the program as “a free, experimental design session to connect nonglass artists with glass artists and encourage exploration in other art forms.”
“We want to educate artists about glass, give them access to the material and help them advance their ideas,” says Jason Forck, creative-projects coordinator, who created the program.
FRIENDSHIP: 5472 Penn Ave.
412/365-2145, www.pittsburghglasscenter.org

Through June 28
“The Seekers Book of Knowledge: Daria Sandburg”
“From Ancient to Now: Belgin Yücelen”

Pittsburgh-based multimedia artist Daria Sandburg assembles historical objects, sculpted metal, fused glass and a narrative to produce a new creation. Sometimes you’ll even discover a hidden treasure or message located in a piece, another way she reaches out to engage the viewer.
Turkish-American Belgin Yücelen draws from her ethnic and cultural heritage to forge connections between Middle East and West and past and present. Her show includes figurative bronze sculptures, works on paper and articles of clothing containing metal and silk. 
BLOOMFIELD: BoxHeart Expressions, 4523 Liberty Ave.
412/687-8858, boxheartgallery.com

Photo by Matt Polk

June 7-June 16
Head to Rydell High with greaser Danny Zuko and Australian transplant Sandy Dumbrowski in the Pittsburgh CLO’s “Grease.” Revel in the youthful rebellion originally portrayed on screen by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, notably outfitted in poodle skirts and leather jackets in this ’50s-themed theatrical delight. The nostalgic production comes in just in time for the recently announced prequel film, “Summer Loving,” which will chronicle Danny and Sandy’s initial “Summer Nights” romance. 
DOWNTOWN: Benedum Center, 237 Seventh St.
412/456-6666, trustarts.org

May 30-June 30
Marjorie Prime

“Marjorie Prime” is defined by familial relationships and loss in an age of advanced technology. The play, penned by Jordan Harrison (“Orange Is the New Black”), centers around 86-year-old Marjorie, who is visited by a clone of her deceased husband. The clone, tasked with feeding the memories of her life back to Marjorie as her memory fades, reiterates how precious the memories are, even if they can be warped upon reflection. Pittsburgh Public Theater Artistic Director Marya Sea Kaminski will direct the play at the O’Reilly Theater. 
DOWNTOWN: 621 Penn Ave.
412/316-1600, ppt.org

June 21-June 30

The midwestern musical that created a new wave for Broadway returns to the Pittsburgh CLO. Rodgers & Hammerstein’s first production created the blueprint for traditional sweeping scores and heartwarming stories. At its core, “Oklahoma!” is about the relationship between lovestruck cowboy Curly and independent farm-girl Laurey and their fight for a new life. 
DOWNTOWN: Benedum Center, 237 Seventh St.
412/456-6666, trustarts.org

Photo courtesy Jean Pierre Estournet

June 14-16

France’s Compagnie Furinkaï performs “Origami,” a 30-minute outdoor movement spectacle combining circus skills, contemporary movement, architecture and music. Inspired by Japanese paper folding and created by choreographer/aerialist Satchie Noro and designer/builder Silvain Ohl, the show evolves as Noro moves within, atop and between sections of a 40-foot shapeshifting red steel shipping container. This exclusive U.S. premiere is part of the Pittsburgh Dance Council’s 50th anniversary season and the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival (June 7-16).
DOWNTOWN: Point State Park

June 3-9
pearlPRESENTS Dance Festival

And the winners are! A dozen choreographers including Shana Simmons, Jil Stifel and Kaylin Horgan won a lottery drawing to showcase works for “3600 Seconds of Solos,” an offering of the pearlPRESENTS Dance Festival. Designed to elevate the international visibility of Pittsburgh’s dance scene and nurture homegrown artists, the week-long, annual festival at the New Hazlett Theater — initiated by choreographer Staycee Pearl — offers masterclass and performances embracing a variety of dance styles. 
NORTH SIDE: 6 Allegheny Square East

June 9
Prism: Full Spectrum Culture

The Tamburitzans, a 29-member troupe of dancers, musicians and vocalists under the direction of George Kresovich, celebrate world cultures with “Prism: Full Spectrum Culture,” a two-act production featuring the traditions of 11 regions from Armenia to Ireland to Cuba. Among the numbers on Hartwood Acres’ outdoor stage are Brâul, an athletic Romanian men’s team competition dance, a Celtic Dance Celebration, and the Greek Sirtaki, a well-known line dance performed with handkerchiefs in hand.
ALLISON PARK: 4070 Middle Road

June 13-15
A Letter Compiled From All Letters

Choreographer Maree ReMalia and her team of collaborators explore communication in the digital age at the New Hazlett Theater via “A Letter Compiled From All Letters.” The multimedia contemporary production is derived from actual correspondence from friends developed into an evening-length work through a series of improvisational explorations. Performed by a cross-disciplinary ensemble, the non-linear, abstract opus melds movement with recorded sound, text and video projections as it unfolds amid a mobile wooden set.
NORTH SIDE: 6 Allegheny Square East
412/320-4610, newhazletttheater.org

Categories: Things To Do