Things to (Virtually) Do This Weekend in Pittsburgh: May 21-24

We have four new, socially distant picks to shake up your weekend at home.
Lake Valley Still1

Rachel Rose, Still from Lake Valley, 2016. Courtesy the artist. © Rachel Rose

Visual Art
“Rachel Rose: Lake Valley”
Through Aug. 16
Online via Carnegie Museum of Art

Anyone who has wandered without agenda through an art museum has likely run into a quiet, dark room where a mysterious video dances across a blank wall. Often intriguing, hypnotic or (especially in the case of the Warhol) just plain odd, these short films can trap the viewer in curious wonder until they re-start — at which point it’s not uncommon to linger, viewing the work again from the beginning for fuller context.

Artist Rachel Rose exhibited “Lake Valley,” a kinetic, hypnotic, storybook nightmare of collage and cel animation, at the 2018 Carnegie International. The eight-minute piece is the exact sort of work which would grab your attention (and knock you out) in a museum setting but was never featured digitally. Fortunately, the CMOA has done a great job creating an online context for works such as this, with background on the piece and (most importantly) a beautiful transfer of the piece itself. (You’ll want to go full-screen and turn the volume up.)

CMOA will also stream a conversation with the artist on June 17. More tie-in programming, including activities for families — the work is odd but still family-friendly — is scheduled throughout the summer.

“Sorry We Missed You” Almost Like the Real Thing Screening
6:45 p.m. Saturday
Online via CMU International Film Festival

A few months ago, I previewed the CMU International Film Festival, which was scheduled for mid-March; it was postponed to the fall. One of the festival’s featured films is available to watch now, however, and is getting a virtual celebration this Saturday night.

Ken Loach’s “Sorry We Missed You” was already relevant, but it became positively timely in the past few months. The film depicts the unexplored impacts of the gig economy — one main character is a delivery driver, the other is a home-care nurse — on family and relationships. It’s the sort of subject matter Loach excels out; he recently won a Palme d’Or at Cannes (his second) for “I, Daniel Blake,” a story about navigating the byzantine world of public health care.

Loach will participate in a post-film discussion, exclusively for the CMU International Film Festival audience, after Saturday night’s screening. While the film can be viewed throughout the week, an advance purchase (before Saturday) is required to view the special event content.

Prime Stage Shares Series
Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays
Online via Prime Stage Theatre Facebook

The theater world continues to adapt to the pandemic, as many organizations begin to question what they can provide followers and fans beyond virtual performances. For Prime Stage Theater, the answer is a three-time-per-week social media series, “Prime Stage Shares,” featuring the company’s staff, performers and friends. The highlight is the Friday reading series, which features snippets of literature and other readings; an email announcing the series promises a forthcoming video from Richard Blair, son of novelist George Orwell (who is unintentionally having a bit of a moment right now).

Mini Dungeon Pajama Party
9 p.m. Friday
Online via Arcade Comedy Theater

Each day, as we pull on proper clothing — those of us who are still doing so, at least — a question arises: “Why am I doing this?” “For whom am I pretending?” We’re at home; should the mighty robe not now become a round-the-clock garment? Long-form improv team Mini Dungeon, who have become a favorite of mine — there’s some seriously mind-meld going on with this troupe — certainly thinks so. They’ll perform “Pajama Party,” an original, fully improvised show this Friday night with the full team donning sleepwear for the occasion. Audience members, obviously, are encouraged to adhere to the same dress code.