×

Point Park University, RWS Collaborating on New Plays and Musicals (EXCLUSIVE)

Point Park University’s Pittsburgh Playhouse is collaborating with the entertainment production company RWS Entertainment Group to identify and put on new theatrical productions.

The shows will debut in the university’s new, 90,411-square-foot, state-of-the-art teaching and entertainment center, with the hopes that these plays and musicals will eventually make their way to New York City or other major metropolitan areas. The first show borne out of this alliance will be “The Old Man and the Sea,” an adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s Nobel Prize-winning novella about an aging Cuban fisherman. It’s the work of A.E. Hotchner, a friend of the novelist and his official biographer, who is also 102 years old. The play will have just three actors and will also rely heavily on video.

“It’s immersive storytelling about the struggle that Hemingway had to write the novel,” said RWS CEO and founder Ryan Stana. “It’s also a major vehicle for a Cuban or Hispanic actor.”

Stana received a bachelor of fine arts in theater arts from Point Park and serves as a current university trustee. After visiting the new space, he became convinced it could be a major launching pad for shows that would have a tougher time getting a venue without the benefit of a conservatory or repertory run.

“There’s such a craving for new work, but it’s harder to do them commercially,” Stana said.

There’s an educational component to the collaboration as well.

“Our students will be involved in every aspect of this production — from the creation of the stage sets to the lighting,” said Point Park University president Paul Hennigan. “It gives them invaluable hands-on experience.”

“The Old Man and the Sea” will be staged by Point Park’s Conservatory of Performing Arts and Playhouse artistic director Ronald Allan-Lindblom. Principal casting will be handled by Binder Casting, a subsidiary of RWS Entertainment Group, which has cast the Broadway productions of “The Lion King,” “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,” and “Gypsy,” as well as the film adaptations of “Dreamgirls” and “Hairspray.”

Founded in 2003, RWS has worked with resorts, theme parks, and special events, as well as such clients as Holland America Line, NBCUniversal, and Six Flags.

“The Old Man and the Sea” runs from Jan. 31 to Feb. 17. The hope is that Point Park University and RWS will mount at least one production a year together.

Popular on Variety

More Legit

  • Ben McKenzie

    'Gotham' Star Ben McKenzie to Make Broadway Debut in 'Grand Horizons'

    “Gotham” star Ben McKenzie will make his Broadway debut in Bess Wohl’s “Grand Horizons.” He joins a cast that includes Oscar nominees Jane Alexander (“Kramer vs. Kramer,” “The Great White Hope”) and James Cromwell (“Babe,” “L.A. Confidential”). The show has a strictly limited 10-week run and begins previews on Dec. 23, 2019, before officially opening [...]

  • The Great Society review

    Listen: Brian Cox on 'Succession,' Shakespeare, and the Crisis We're In

    Brian Cox is having a pop-culture moment with “Succession,” the buzzy HBO series in which he stars. But he’s also an accomplished theater actor with plenty of experience doing Shakespeare — and it serves him well in both “Succession” and in his current Broadway show, “The Great Society.” Listen to this week’s podcast below: Cox [...]

  • Scooby Doo Ella Louise Allaire Martin

    Scooby-Doo Live Theater Tour Is Goofy Dane's Latest Adventure

    From its 1969 start as a Saturday morning kids mystery cartoon series “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” starring its titular, talking Great Dane and his four teenaged friends, has made adventure its staple. Once Hanna-Barbera’s successor, Warner Bros. Animation, took the leash, Scooby and company became a comic book, a board game, a series of video [...]

  • Tootsie Santino Fontana

    'Tootsie' Ending Broadway Run in January

    “Tootsie,” the critically acclaimed musical adaptation of the 1982 classic film comedy, will play its final Broadway performance on Jan. 5, 2020. When it wraps up its run, the show will have logged 293 regular and 25 preview performances at the cavernous Marquis Theatre, where it sometimes labored to draw big crowds. Last week, “Tootsie” [...]

  • Laurel Griggs

    Laurel Griggs, Broadway and 'SNL' Actress, Dies at 13

    Laurel Griggs, who starred in Broadway’s “ONCE the Musical” as Ivanka, has died. She was 13. An obituary posted to Dignity Memorial indicates she died on Nov. 5, and Griggs’ grandfather wrote on Facebook that her death was due to a massive asthma attack. Griggs made her Broadway debut when she was six years old [...]

  • West End celling collapse

    Ceiling Collapse at 'Death of a Salesman' Leads to Theater Closure, Boycott Threats

    The West End revival of “Death of a Salesman” has moved into a temporary space after parts of the ceiling of Piccadilly Theatre collapsed during a Wednesday night performance. Five audience members sustained minor injuries and were taken to area hospitals. The theater will remain closed for the rest of the week. In the meantime, [...]

  • Tina review

    Broadway Review: 'Tina'

    “Now, that’s what I call a Broadway show!” That’s what the stranger sitting next to me at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater yelled into my ear at the roof-raising finale of “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.” I’d say he nailed it. Call “Tina” a jukebox musical or a bio-musical or anything you want to call it, but [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content