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Mezzulah, 1946 takes flight next at City Theatre


South Sider Gwendolyn Morton is featured in Mezzulah, 1946 at City Theatre.

Featuring a cast of 10 and directed by New York-based Erica Schmidt, City Theatre will present the world premiere of Mezzulah, 1946 by Michele Lowe. Mezzulah, 1946 runs on City Theatre's 272-seat mainstage from March 8 – April 1,

Michele Lowe is best known to City Theatre audiences for her radiant play String of Pearls, which world premiered at City Theatre in 2003. Since then String of Pearls has been produced in New York and in theatres across the country. In 2004, Michele Lowe received City Theatre's Frankel Award, which recognizes outstanding commitment to new play creation and support.

Mezzulah, 1946 is set in Monroe, Washington a year after the end of World War II. During the war the women “worked the line” at the Boeing airplane plant, but now the men have returned and want their jobs. At the center of the story is 19-year-old Mezzulah Steiner, who like her hero, Leonardo da Vinci, is ahead of her time and ready for flight.

Surrounding Mezzulah is a large cast of townspeople, each trying to give wing to new dreams. With expansive theatricality Lowe depicts an important period for women's rights and an exciting time in aviation design. Lowe also punctuates Mezzulah, 1946 with the chart-topping harmonies of the era, including songs such as Don't Fence Me In, Coming In on a Wing and a Prayer, and Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.

Pittsburgh-based actress Theo Allyn will play Mezzulah Steiner. Also featured are Jeffrey Carpenter, Johnny Giacalone, Rebecca Harris, Brett Mack, Sheila McKenna, Larry John Meyers, Gwendolyn Morton, Joel Ripka, and Jenny Wales. The dramaturg is Carlyn Aquiline. The design team is Tony Ferrieri (scenic), Michael Krass (costumes), and Andrew David Ostrowski (lighting). The music director is Thomas Wesley Douglas. The production stage manager is Patti Kelly.

Mezzulah, 1946 was read at City Theatre as part of 2006's MOMENTUM: new plays at different stages. It is the second production in City Theatre's New American Trio, an innovative series of three brand-new plays plus a constellation of activities being produced at City Theatre early this year. Sponsored by Eden Hall Foundation, The Pittsburgh Foundation, and Pittsburgh City Paper, the events surrounding the New American Trio are designed to give City Theatre's audience a unique behind-the-scenes look into the new play process. As part of the New American Trio, Lowe will lead a playwriting workshop at City Theatre on Wednesday, February 28 at 7 pm. Titled “Time:/Place:” the workshop will focus on a play's journey and how it relates to place.

Mezzulah, 1946 is sponsored by The Women and Girls Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania and UPMC. Tickets are available at 412-431-CITY (2489) or


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