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Pittsburgh Performing Arts Organizations Getting Creative To Produce Live Shows

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Performing arts organizations are trying to figure out how to perform without large groups gathering in theaters.

Some local organizations are now getting creative and producing live shows in new ways. One way is to perform outside. Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's new artistic director Susan Jaffe can't wait for the ballet to open its new open-air theater on Thursday night.

"When the lights go on, I will probably start to cry," Jaffe says. "I have been so starved, myself, for live performing arts, and I know a lot of people will feel very emotional as well."

The 45-minute performances will happen on a mobile stage set up in the PBT's parking lot in the Strip District. Also performing will be the Pittsburgh Symphony, Pittsburgh Opera and Pittsburgh CLO.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

The stage cost $700,000 and was almost paid for with grants and donations. Jaffe was able to get around social distancing for the performers by creating duets with cohabitating couples.

"Luckily, we have many dancers in the company that like each other and live together or are married," she said.

Quantum Theatre has also been using couples for streaming theater, and they've always used the outdoors. So while they postponed their show "An Odyssey" at Schenley Park until next summer, they created a scavenger hunt for now.

"It's about a two-mile walk, and at each one, there's a QR code that you will access with your phone that gives you a little bit of the traditional "The Odyssey" and Quantum Theatre's adaptation," said Karla Boos, Quantum Theatre's founder.

Also, starting Thursday, City Theatre presents a drive-in art festival at Hazelwood Green with live comedy, jazz, magic, poetry, and more over the next several weeks. You'll sit in your car and watch the live performances on stage and on a big screen, with sound through your radio.

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