City Theatre premiere of Speak American in May


City Theatre will present the world premiere of Speak American, written and directed by Eric Simonson, on the mainstage from May 7 – 31. The theatre commissioned Speak American in honor of the Pittsburgh 250.

Speak American is set in 1904 Pittsburgh where a group of newly immigrated Slovak, Bulgarian, and Polish steelworkers are enrolled in an English class taught by a plucky beginner. Through the teacher's dealings with the class and their boss, we are caught up in their indomitable will and dreams of a better life.

Daina Michelle Griffith (Metamorphoses at Pittsburgh Public Theatre) will play the role of Rebecca Eastman, David Whalen (Opus at City Theatre) will play Tom O'Reilly, Chase Newell (Heart of a Dog at CMU) will play Jakub Nicolella, John Shepard (Work Song at City Theatre) will play Ignak Wesnak, Mark Staley (Work Song at City Theatre) will play Vlad Batyi, Nick Ducassi (One Flea Spare at CMU) will play Janusz Warczynski, and Christopher McLinden (The Last of the Boys at Steppenwolf Theatre) will play Yasen Dimitrov.

Eric Simonson is an American writer and director in theatre, film and opera. He is the writer (with Jeffrey Hatcher) of Work Song: Three Views of Frank Lloyd Wright, which performed at City Theatre in 2004. His film A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin won the 2005 Academy Award for short subject documentary. He received a B.A. in Theatre from Lawrence University. He moved to Chicago in 1983, where he helped found Lifeline Theatre. He now lives in Los Angeles

Tickets are available at 412-431-CITY (2489) or


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