Artistic director Ted Pappas is calling the Pittsburgh Public Theater's next season "Made in America," with a focus on homegrown work about domestic themes. Of special note are three newer plays, two of them contemporary-set.
Perhaps chief among these is playwright Bruce Norris' Clybourne Park, which won the 2011 Pulitzer for drama. Provocatively, it looks at the same house in a Chicago neighborhood in two different time periods: in 1959, with a black family that's the first to break the color line, and in 2009, as a white family prepares to help gentrify the now-black neighborhood. The show opens in April 2013.
Also notable is another take on social class: David Lindsay-Abaire's Good People, which also hit Broadway in 2011. The latest from the Rabbit Hole playwright concerns a low-income single mother reconnecting with the now-wealthy doctor whom she grew up poor with in Boston. The show opens this November, and will be directed by City Theatre's Tracy Brigden.
And race will sound a keynote in Thurgood, playwright George Stevens, Jr.'s acclaimed 2006 one-man show about Thurgood Marshall, the civil-rights lawyer who became the first African-American justice on the Supreme Court. On Broadway, the role was played by Laurence Fishburne; the Public's production opens in March 2013.
The schedule also includes a couple chestnuts — Garson Kanin's classic comedy Born Yesterday (September) and 1776, the musical with characters named Adams, Jefferson and Franklin (January 2013). The Public's season-closer is TBD.