Feeding the Dragon will run at City Theatre Oct. 22 thru Nov 20
Fresh on the heels of the raucous comedy, Hand to God, City Theatre turns in a different direction to present Feeding the Dragon, an intimate and magical world premiere by the award-winning stage and screen actress, Sharon Washington.
The production marks Ms. Washington’s playwriting debut. Feeding the Dragon runs October 22 through November 20 in the Lester Hamburg Studio at City Theatre, directed by Maria Mileaf.
Ms. Washington (String of Pearls, City Theatre ‘03) returns to City Theatre in her own heartfelt coming-of-age story. Deep in the bowels of a New York Public Library lies a dragon: the monstrous coal furnace that Sharon’s father, the live-in custodian, must feed every night. This examination of family secrets, forgiveness, and the power of language, explores her life growing up in the library and the fire she never allowed to fade.
“I think there’s a natural progression for an artist who has been doing something as long as I have,” said writer and performer Ms. Washington. “To continue to grow, you have to challenge yourself. Using my body as a creative tool to help the playwright tell their story—it’s where I feel the most alive as an artist. The difference is, this time it’s my story.”
“I was mesmerized by the script when Tracy [Brigden] shared it with me. City is giving us the time and space to figure out how to tell her story in the most simple and compelling way,” said director Maria Mileaf. “I really love narrative and Sharon is a great story teller. She is effortlessly chameleon-like; she is super smart and genuinely funny. That’s a perfect storm in a collaborator.”
In partnership with the Alumni Theatre Company, August Wilson Monologue Project, and Hope Academy, Ms. Washington will host an acting workshop at City Theatre for select young artists on November 5. This event is by invitation only.
In partnership with Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, there will be a talkback with Washington and Mary Frances Cooper, President and Director of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh on Saturday, Nov. 19, following the 1 p.m. performance. Throughout the run of Feeding the Dragon, a curated list of Ms. Washington’s favorite books will be on display at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and at City Theatre. She will also be included in the library’s reading campaign, #PGHReads in the coming weeks.
Ms. Washington has been a professional actress for more than 25 years. She made her Broadway debut in The Scottsboro Boys, the last collaboration of the legendary team of Kander and Ebb, in the role she originated Off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theater. She most recently appeared Off-Broadway at the Vineyard in the world premiere of Dot by Tony Award nominee Colman Domingo.
Other Off-Broadway credits include While I Yet Live by Tony Award winner Billy Porter at Primary Stages; Luce by JC Lee at Lincoln Center Theater (LCT3); and Wild With Happy, also by Colman Domingo, at the Public Theater, for which she received a Lucille Lortel Award nomination and an Audelco Award. Sharon’s most recent film appearance was playing opposite Danny DeVito in the Todd Solondz film Weiner Dog.
Other film and television credits include roles in Gotham, Blue Bloods, The Blacklist, Golden Boy, White Collar, Taking Chance, Royal Pains, Damages, Mistress America, Torn, The Bourne Legacy, Michael Clayton, Rocksteady, Freedomland, The School of Rock, Half Nelson, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Malcolm X, Die Hard With A Vengeance, Law & Order, Law & Order: CI, Law & Order: SVU and the webseries Hustling for which she received a 2015 Indie Series Award for Best Supporting Actress – Drama.
Tickets are available at the City Theatre Box Office, 1300 Bingham Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203; by calling 412.431.CITY (2489); or at citytheatrecompany.org.