Kristi Jan Hoover

City Theatre Company
March 11
—April 2
Various times

We’ve likely all strolled pastand hopefully stopped to take a long close look atpaintings by iconic artists such as Monet, da Vinci, Picasso and many others. But have you ever stopped to think about what goes through the minds of the dedicated guards who diligently protect the world’s masterpieces, and assist countless museum visitors, day in and day out?

A fascinating new work by award-winning playwright and Pennsylvania native Jessica Dickey, The Guard will be showcased on City Theatre’s Main Stage.

It all begins when loyal museum guard Henry sparks a life-altering connection with Rembrandt’s 1653 painting, Aristotle with a Bust of Homer, and “sets into motion a time-bending journey where art intersects with life.”

Kristi Jan Hoover

Suddenly, the painting becomes a portal into other dimensions, where theater-goers will travel throughout three distinct time periods to meet legendary cultural figures such as Dutch painter Rembrandt and Greek poet Homer.

In an inventive format, the play’s versatile cast of five actors—Andrew May, Stephen James Anthony, Melinda Helfrich, Billy Hepfinger, and Raphael Nash Thompson—will portray all 10 roles.

Described as a “spellbinding theatrical exploration of the power of human connection,” the drama explores that it means to seize the day. Blending dramatic storytelling, rich language and imaginative character studies, The Guard also examines ideas about humanity, love, legacy, hope, and fear.

Inspired by a particularly moving experience that Dickey had while visiting The National Gallery in London, The Guard is directed by City Theatre’s Artistic Director Tracy Brigden.

The production marks the third time that the South Side-based company has collaborated with Dickey—who is best known for her acclaimed and widely-produced play, The Amish Project.

Dig deeper into the themes of the play at one of City Theatre’s engaging public programs offered in conjunction with The Guard. As part of its “City Connects UNITY” series, the theater will host a conversation with The Thomas Merton Center on Saturday, April 1, following the 1 p.m. matinee.

Kristi Jan Hoover

Additional programs include Sunday Talkbacks, Greenroom Young Professionals Nights, events with Carnegie Museum of Art and The Andy Warhol Museum, a photography exhibition featuring local museum guards at work, and a display of“touchable” works by Radiant Hall.

Buy tickets.

Looking for more events? Check out our 11 Pittsburgh events not to miss in MarchTop 10 family events in Pittsburgh this March and our 17 can’t-miss Pittsburgh concerts in 2017 feature stories.

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.