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City Theatre to present world premiere of Hope and Gravity


City Theatre closes its 39th season with the world premiere of Hope and Gravity, a new play by Michael Hollinger featuring dynamic, interconnected stories.

Directed by Tracy Brigden, Hope and Gravity runs on City Theatre’s Mainstage from May 3–25, with an Opening Night performance on Friday, May 9 at 8 p.m.

Lives overlap and elevators stop on random floors as nine characters are compellingly revealed in this nonlinear comedy about fate. From an impromptu house call to an unlikely hotel hookup, chance encounters and rocky relationships unfold through nine stories and one momentous leap of faith.

“In Hope and Gravity, one random event unexpectedly triggers comic and profound consequences in nine intersecting lives,” says Ms. Brigden, City Theatre’s artistic director. “In the tradition of films like Magnolia and Love Actually, this jigsaw puzzle of a play fits together, piece by piece, to reveal a complete picture of the thin line that separates dreams from reality and the barely perceptible threads that connect us all.”

Michael Hollinger returns to City Theatre, where his plays Opus and Incorruptible premiered (in co-productions with Arden Theatre Company) and Red Herring was also produced. His other full-lengths include Ghost-Writer, Tooth and Claw, Tiny Island, and An Empty Plate in the Café du Grand Boeuf.

Together, these plays have enjoyed numerous productions around the country (including Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Old Globe, Seattle Rep, Northlight, Portland Center Stage, PlayMakers Rep, TheatreWorks, People’s Light, Berkshire Theatre Festival, and many others); in New York City (Primary Stages and Ensemble Studio Theatre); and abroad (London, Paris, Tokyo, Athens, Poland, and Slovenia).

Mr. Hollinger’s new translation of Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac (co-adapted with Aaron Posner) premiered at the Folger Theatre in Washington, D.C .; a new musical, A Wonderful Noise (co-authored with Vance Lehmkuhl), premiered at Creede Repertory Theatre. He is currently playwright in residence at Arden Theatre Company, which will premiere his next play in 2015.

His awards include a Steinberg New Play Citation from the American Theatre Critics Association, a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, a Mid-Atlantic Emmy, an Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award, four Barrymore Awards (including the F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Theatre Artist), nominations for Lucille Lortel and John Gassner Awards, and fellowships from the Independence Foundation, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

He is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Villanova University, and a proud alumnus of New Dramatists.

Hope and Gravity features Robin Abramson (Tribes, Maple and Vine, Time Stands Still, Blackbird, Mary’s Wedding, and Outlying Islands at City Theatre), John Feltch (Abigail/1702), Rebecca Harris (Seminar, The 39 Steps, Mother Theresa is Dead, The Missionary Position, Mezzulah 1946, A Picasso, Fiction, and String of Pearls), Daniel Krell (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Murderers, Tuesdays with Morrie, Gross Indecency, and others), and Federico Rodriguez.

City Theatre is at 1300 Bingham Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 (South Side).

Tickets are available for $35 to $55 at the Box Office; by calling 412.431.CITY (2489) or at


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