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The Umbrella Man

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One early attraction of the new theater season is all tied up with the movies.

The Umbrella Man, a stage drama by Edward J. Delaney, started life as "Conspiracy Buff," a short story Delaney published in The Atlantic in 1996. The screenplay version he co-wrote found its way into the hands of film and stage director Robert Miller.

Miller, who regularly directs for Point Park University's REP professional theater company, showed it to REP artistic director Ronald Allan-Lindblom -- who thought it should be a play and a film.

Now the REP is staging the former as a world premiere. And next year, Point Park and its film students will take a hand in making the film version, with help from co-screenwriters Joseph M. Grasso and Michael A. Grasso.

While Delaney lives in Massachusetts, the play is set in Pittsburgh, in the late 1980s. It follows a couple who lose their young son in a traffic accident, after which the husband becomes obsessed with Kennedy-assassination conspiracy theories. (The title comes from a mysterious figure in the famous Zapruder film.)

Miller directs the stage version, whose top-notch cast stars David Cabot and Dana Hardy.

"What we're trying to do is a staged screenplay," says Allan-Lindblom. "This is kind of our experiment."

 

The Umbrella Man Thu., Sept. 9-26. Pittsburgh Playhouse, 222 Craft Ave., Oakland. $15-27. 412-621-4445 or www.pittsburghplayhouse.org

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