This play reading and community dialogue will focus on the challenges of “gentrification” and examine the issues of “Old” v. “New” Pittsburgh through a humanities lens. Using theatre arts as a tool for community dialogue on the changing nature of Pittsburgh and its neighborhoods will provide a timely opportunity to engage campus community, the theatre community, and, particularly, the larger community in exploring the dynamic of Pittsburgh in transition. The School of Social Work has engaged the Department of Theatre Arts in this “Year of Humanities” project that will host two evenings of theatre on November 4 and 5, 2015 with an anticipated audience of 100 each evening.
Distinguished social work alumnus, Michael Eichler, founder of the Consensus Organizing Institute and former social work faculty at San Diego State University, now recognized as San Diego’s “emerging playwright” in his retirement, is supporting the School of Social Work to present a reading of his latest work, Repulsing the Monkey, which relates the story of siblings who inherit their parents Southside Slopes bar and are in a quandary over selling it to a local resident, a couple from California, or a New York couple with competing plans.
The play reading will be November 4 and 5, 2015 in the Schenley Room at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association that features a bar backdrop. The first evening will include a community reception to the launch the Jim Cunningham Community Practice Fellowship that would engage the community and alumni networks that have shared in Dr. Cunningham neighborhood and community organizing. The second evening will focus more on the campus community to engage students and faculty across disciplines to explore these transitional issues that are also occurring in Oakland. Playwright Eichler will be available at the end of each reading to discuss with the audience the nature of the play and the issues it entails in hopes of promoting ongoing dialogue and garnering Pittsburgh input to refine his play.
This event is also sponsored by the Humanities Center, the School of Social Work, and alumni contributions. Tickets are available through the School of Social Work website, or by clicking here. Please note: students can be reimbursed for the price of admission. For more information, contact Carly Cottone or Dr. Mary Ohmer or read here.