Pittsburgh Public Theater

O’Reilly Theater
December 20—January 7
7 p.m. & 1 p.m.

Looking for a crowd-pleasing cultural outing over the holidays that will even appeal to those relatives in your clan who will be glued to the television or radio or in the stands any time the Steelers are playing?

Four-time Super Bowl champion and famed Steelers halfback Rocky Bleier will take center stage this holiday season, when Pittsburgh Public Theater presents a special limited-run engagement of The Play.

Pittsburgh Public Theater

Based on Bleier’s life story, The Play was written in 2015 by Pulitzer Prize-nominated sports journalist Gene Collier, who is co-author of The Chief— The Pittsburgh Public Theater’s hit play about legendary Steelers founder Art Rooney, Sr.

For a run for 14 performances only, the Steelers legend will perform the authentic and highly theatrical one-man show which chronicles his journey “from the football field to the battlefield and back.” Blending sports history, personal memoir, and historical events, The Play is directed by Scott C. Wise.

Fans of contemporary theatre and football alike will be transported to Bleier’s early days, as the story begins in Appleton, Wisconsin where the star athlete was raised with his family above his father’s bar.

Pittsburgh Public Theater

The setting then shifts to a local Pittsburgh bar, where Bleier recalls what it was like being selected in the 16th round of the 1968 draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers—only to be drafted just one year later by the Army and sent to Vietnam.

After being severely injured, Bleier—who was not expected to walk or play football again—was back at training camp in 1970 thanks to his deep personal determination and the encouragement of Art Rooney and his teammates.

In The Play, Bleier also looks back on his experiences as part of the Steelers dynasty, and winning Super Bowl victories in 1975, 1976, 1979, and 1980.

The production’s design team includes Anne Mundell (scenic), Ted Pappas (costumes), Andrew Ostrowski (lighting), and Steve Shapiro (sound).

Buy tickets.

Looking for more events? Check out our 10 Pittsburgh events not to miss in December and 10 great family adventures in Pittsburgh this December feature stories.

Jennifer BaronEvents & Jobs Editor

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.