Pittsburgh’s Town Theatre revisits 25-yr-outdated enjoy exploring media, technology

Town Theatre in Pittsburgh is bringing back a participate in that initial appeared on its stage 25 decades in the past.

“The Medium,” a postmodern deconstruction of the musings of author/thinker Marshall McLuhan, will operate from Jan. 22 as a result of Feb. 13 on the City Theatre Principal Stage on Pittsburgh’s South Aspect.

The 3rd present of the 2021-22 membership season is presented by New York Town-dependent SITI Business.

“The production was initially produced in 1993 and conceived to discover the then-burgeoning discipline of technologies by means of the lens of Marshall McLuhan,” mentioned Anne Bogart, SITI Organization co-creative director, who conceived the engage in. “We observe the renowned Canadian philosopher of media scientific studies on an Alice in Wonderland-like journey as a result of the landscape of his profound insights about the outcomes of media upon the human working experience.

“Now, just about 30 many years later on, the enjoy seems even more pertinent to the world that we inhabit right now than it did when we first created it,” she claimed.

Initial noticed at Town Theatre in 1996, “ ‘The Medium’ explores the impact of media and emerging technologies on our perceptions, our psyches, and our private life,” according to a release.

“ ‘The Medium’ is structured on the perfectly-known narrative structure of ‘the hero’s journey,’ which can be identified in tales and fairy tales from all-around the entire world and all over heritage,” Bogart explained. “Our hero is based mostly on the fantastic Canadian thinker Marshall McLuhan who, in the 1960s, was able to predict what would transpire to us when the media, digital technological innovation and the online would dominate our life.”

By the tv screen

In a bewildered point out right after struggling a stroke, the character of McLuhan finds himself transported, like “Alice By way of the Looking Glass,” into the earth of tv.

Not able to speak, McLuhan “moves from channel to channel, dealing with firsthand the success of his worst and most insightful dreams,” Bogart reported.

“The scenes in ‘The Medium’ are offered in the form of television genres, like vintage kinds like a Western, a hospital drama, a recreation exhibit, a loved ones exhibit, a chat show and so on,” she extra. “Each genre variety features as a container for different insights and themes from Marshall McLuhan’s writings. McLuhan himself, our principal character, travels as a result of this Tv set landscape.”


Courtesy of SITI Firm

Will Bond will seem in the SITI Company production of “The Medium,” Jan. 22-Feb. 13 at City Theatre in Pittsburgh.


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

“One can see the irony in the simple fact that this prescient thinker, who spoke and wrote so eloquently and playfully on the media and culture, need to go through the lack of ability to converse,” Bond stated. “In this way, just one may possibly call him a present day-day Cassandra who is insightful more than enough to sound the warning, but doomed to have his warnings not be considered by his possess society.”

The other people are common folks working with remarkable adjustments introduced about by the fast altering planet, in scenes that are expressionistic and collage-like. The textual content is taken from McLuhan’s writings, expressionistic writings of the 1920s and contemporary media.

“Scenes, actions, and moments change abruptly, at occasions manically, out of the blue lyrically, as in the blips and bleeps of electronic media,” Bogart stated.

Issues stemming from the common sharing of information and facts — and disinformation — go back to the advent of the printing press, Bogart reported.

McLuhan was “the first man or woman able to articulate the tension and complexity of the earth in which we now find ourselves,” she stated. “He was the progenitor of these kinds of familiar notions as ‘the world-wide village’ and ‘the medium is the concept.’ He commenced to fully grasp the impact of media and rising systems on our perceptions, our psyches, and our private lives.”

Discovering this sort of challenges is the pretty raison d’etre of theatre, Bond claimed.

“Among theater’s perennial issues are ‘Who are we? Do we know what is occurring to us? And most importantly, how can we get alongside, or function alongside one another, far better?’ ” he stated.

Scenic and lighting is by SITI Organization 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 generation phase supervisor.

Thrilled to be back

Adhering to its newly tailored revival in Pittsburgh, the production will vacation to the Brooklyn Academy of Tunes in New York City.

“We are thrilled and delighted to convey our creation of ‘The Medium’ again dwelling to City Theatre,” Bogart reported. “Our prolonged affiliation with Pittsburgh, Marc Masterson and Metropolis Theatre conspire to make this a significant celebration in fact.”

“City Theatre is very pleased to be a section of the internationally renowned SITI Company’s previous, existing and future,” mentioned Masterson, City Theatre co-artistic director. “This collaboration has spanned 4 many years and has produced productions that have been seen all about the earth.”

Five plays have premiered among the two businesses given that the first Pittsburgh staging of “The Medium.”

Masks and evidence of vaccination or negative covid-19 check will be necessary of all audience members. Exceptions will be designed for those people underneath age 12, who must be accompanied by an grownup who meets the venue’s vaccination prerequisites, and for attendees who need to have realistic lodging thanks to a health care exception or sincerely held spiritual belief.

For a lot more information and facts and tickets, call 412-431-2489 or check out citytheatrecompany.org.

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Critique personnel writer. You can get hold of Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or by using Twitter .

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