The Pittsburgh Coliseum
October 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10
Kicking off its 20th anniversary season, Pittsburgh-based Attack Theatre presents the premiere of Are You Still There?
Running for six select evenings in October, Are You Still There? underscores the local company’s dedication to producing collaborative and thematic site-specific works, while also showcasing an important local landmark and the surrounding neighborhood of Homewood.
Featuring original choreography by Attack’s co-founders and co-artistic directors, Peter Kope and Michele de la Reza, the unique evening-length work will be performed by five dancers. Providing the work’s accompaniment with recorded and original music are Ian Green, Hutch of HutchSimonProject and saxophonist Derek Bendel.
Theater-goers will enter a performance space comprised of mobile set pieces and shifting perspectives, including corded phones from decades past circling overhead, as dancers are lifted off the ground and hang unanswered. Exploring the multitude of barriers that strain or strengthen connections, including bonds that are intimate, distant or even held only in the heart, the new theatrical work finds dancers moving through barriers that are both visible and invisible, holding on to a fading line that ties them all together. Separated by streets, ideas and lifetimes, dancers—and ultimately viewers—meet through dropped calls that ring off walls and reach for clear connections.
The world premiere performance features a seasoned cast of Attack Theatre company dancers, including Kaitlin Dann, Dane Toney and Ashley Williams. Joining the company for the show are guest dancers James Johnson and Brittanie Brown, both graduates of The Juilliard School. Fresh off the heels of performing in Sweden, Johnson and Brown are in Pittsburgh for the first time through this creative process with Attack.
Both figuratively and literally, Are You Still There? also emphasizes its unique sense of place, inviting audiences to explore a neighborhood and a performance space that many Pittsburghers may not be familiar with. Originally built as a trolley repair station and operating for years as a local roller rink, The Pittsburgh Coliseum has undergone a transformation into a modern event space that also houses the Trolley Station Oral History Center and a lobby featuring photos of famed graduates of Homewood’s Westinghouse High School. During the 1980s, Pittsburgh Coliseum owners John and Tina Williams Brewer led the revitalization of the space, which has been designated as a historic local landmark, event space and a vibrant hub of neighborhood culture along Homewood’s Frankstown Avenue.