By: Amanda Narcisi
Reading, PA is only four hours from Pittsburgh, but in November it will seem a bit closer. Sweat, a new play from Lynn Nottage, takes the stage at Pittsburgh Public Theater.
One Steel Factory Defines a Town
Sweat opens with two men, Chris and Jason visit with their parole officer. This is a quick scene but plays a pivotal role in the characters. Then the play rewinds to 2000. The scene is set in a local bar with Stan behinds the bar pouring drinks for the local patrons. Three of the patrons are Cynthia, Jessie and Tracey. These friends have been together for years working their days at Olstead’s Steel Tubing and spend their nights partying. Joining the cast in the bar is Cynthia’s estranged husband and Oscar the busboy.
Things begin to change at Olstead’s Steel Tubing and it begins to cause problems between the friends. To go along with all the drama, the union is beginning to renegotiate contracts and are asking for deep concessions. As the tensions mount, Sweat concludes in an electrifying fashion.
Meet Lynn Nottage
Lynn Nottage wrote Sweat after countless interviews with manufacturing employees in Reading, PA. With every interview, she noticed a shift from industrial to service. Sweat was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2017. Lynn Nottage is also the author of numerous plays including Mlima’s Tale; By the Way, Meet Vera Stark; Ruined (Pulitzer Prize); Intimate Apparel; Fabulation, or the Re-education of Undine; Crumbs from the Table of Joy; Las Meninas; Mud, River, Stone; Por’knockers; POOF!
Meet Justin Emeka
Justin Emeka joins Pittsburgh Public Theater as the Director of Sweat. Justin began his career at the age of 12 in commercials, on stage and in educational films. He attended Washington School of Drama for Directing while he served as Artistic Director for the UW Ethnic Cultural Theater. After receiving his MFA in 2005, Justin became a professor and theater and Africana Studies at Oberlin College. He continued to direct both on campus and off. Recently Justin Emeka directed Sunset Baby at the Dobama Theater in Cleveland, Ohio.
Sweat opens at Pittsburgh Public Theater on November 8th and plays through December 8th. Opening Night is November 16th. Showtimes vary based on day of the week. Ticket prices start at $30. Tickets for students and age 26 and younger: $16.50. Discounts for groups of 10+ are available by contacting Casey Helm at 412.316.8200 ext. 704 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ticket prices are subject to change. For tickets call 412.316.1600, go to ppt.org, or visit the O’Reilly Theater Box Office.
Do you have a show or event for us to check out? Drop us a line or comment below. If you would like to know what else is coming to Pittsburgh Public Theater visit our piece on Welcome Home. Experience more of the Cultural District with the piece on this upcoming season for the PNC Broadway Series. Grab a bite beforehand; we recommend Fogo De Chão, a new Brazilian Steakhouse in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh.