City Theatre Company
March 12 – April 3
One of the hottest new plays hitting stages around the country is coming to town and theater fans should not miss experiencing it. Laura Eason‘s Sex with Strangers brings a frank, refreshing and compelling voice to City Theatre and is ripe with relevance during today’s Twitterverse era dominated by digital communication, shifting online identities and the rapid-fire consumption of information.
In what is one of the top 10 most-produced plays of the 2016 American regional theatre season—and Eason’s first play to be produced in Pittsburgh—audiences will find out what ensues when 40-year-old, gifted but underrated novelist Olivia gets snowed in and stuck in a secluded cabin during a writers’ retreat with a 20-something “superstar sexcapade blogger named Ethan.
With a winter storm brewing, the chemistry between the pair heats up as each character becomes obsessed with what the other has, and a would-be one-night-stand has the potential to become something more meaningful. As Olivia and Ethan’s online and offline personas intersect—IRL and in the bedroom—the provocative and witty play explores themes of fame, cyber identity, ambition, desire, creativity and more.
Starring as the captivating Olivia is Megan Byrne, who recently appeared in John Patrick Shanley’s Outside Mullingar. Playing the memorable Ethan is Nick Ducassi, a Carnegie Mellon graduate who previously starred in Eric Simonson’s Speak American.
Eason’s Sex with Strangers is part of a series of outstanding new plays written by women and being produced by City Theatre. One of contemporary theater’s most-produced playwrights, Eason is also known for her successful work as a screenwriter for the Emmy Award-winning Netflix show, House Of Cards. A Chicago native who is based in Brooklyn, Eason is the author of 20 plays, adaptations and musical books.
At the helm in the director’s seat is Christian Parker, chair of Columbia University’s graduate theatre program. The riveting work features sound design and original music by Elizabeth Atkinson, costumes by Jessica Wegener Shay and scenic design by Tony Ferrieri. Serving as lighting designer is Andrew David Ostrowski, who is celebrating his 70th production at City Theatre.
Go behind-the-scenes to learn more about Sex with Strangers at one of City Theatre‘s special public programs, including a Talkback with the cast and creative team on March 20, a conversation with local women writers on March 22 and a fascinating panel discussion exploring how blogging, social media and self-publishing are impacting literature on March 29.
Looking for more events? Read our 12 Pittsburgh events not to miss in March feature.