Prime Stage Theatre, a Pittsburgh-based organization that presents professionally produced plays based on literary works, will bring three classic works of literature to life on stage at The New Hazlett Theater Center for the Performing Arts on the Northside.

Prime Stage’s 21st season opens in November 2017 with the U.S. premiere of “All Quiet On the Western Front,” adapted from Erich Maria Remarque’s 1929 novel. The season continues with productions of the regional premiere of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” adapted from Dr. Maya Angelou’s 1969 autobiography and “The Diary of Anne Frank” will be produced during 2017-2018.

The new season follows on the heels of a highly successful landmark 20th anniversary season, which concluded this past May.

“The three works reflect the season’s theme, Humanity in the face of adversity,” said Prime Stage Artistic Producing Director Wayne Brinda, who founded the organization in 1996 with wife Connie, the organization’s operations director. “Each of these stories feature protagonists who demonstrate grace and humanity while dealing with extraordinarily adverse, life-altering situations.”

 

Play details:

“All Quiet On the Western Front” (November 3-12, 2017)

By Erich Maria Remarque. Adapted for the stage by Robin Kingsland.

First performed at Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company, February 11, 2006.

The U.S. premiere of the adaptation of this classic novel will be directed by Scott P. Calhoon,

who helmed last season’s Prime Stage production of “To Kill a Mockingbird. This play takes the

audience back to World War I and the extreme mental and physical stress suffered by German

soldiers on the battlefield and the detachment many experienced after returning home. The

novel, published in 1929 was made into an Academy Award-winning film in 1930 as well as a

1979 television movie starring Richard Thomas and Ernest Borgnin

 

“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” (March 9-18, 2018)

By Maya Angelou. Adapted for the stage by Myra Platt.

Prime Stage will present the regional premiere of the adaptation of this 1969 autobiography of American writer and poet Maya Angelou. The book and play cover her early childhood years–including the racism and inferiority complex she experienced after she and her brother were sent to live with their grandparents in Stamps, Arkansas–and the self-confidence and dignity she developed that enabled her to respond to prejudice. The play will be directed by Point Park University graduate and Pittsburgh theater veteran Monteze Freeland, artistic director of The LAB Project.

“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” Copyright ©1969 by Maya Angelou,

Copyright renewed ©1997 by Maya Angelou

Used with permission of Caged Bird Legacy, LLC

“The Diary of Anne Frank” (May 4-13, 2018)

By Anne Frank

Directed by last season’s “1984” director, Richard Keitel, this play is adapted from the Dutch language diary kept by the adolescent girl whose family hid in an attic for two years during World War II in an attempt to escape the Nazis’ persecution of the Jewish people. The book, published in 1947, has been adapted several times over the years for the stage and screen; in 1997, a Broadway production starred a 16-year-old Natalie Portman in the title role.

A number of special events are being planned to complement these productions and will be announced as details are finalized.

Tickets for next season’s productions are now available at www.primestage.com.

About Prime Stage Theatre

Prime Stage Theatre is committed to entertaining, inspiring and enriching the lives of Pittsburghers by bringing literature to life through a proprietary combination of professional theater productions and a wide and diverse range of educational programs. Since the organization was founded in 1996, the work produced by Prime Stage has been essential to the cultural life in Pittsburgh and surrounding regions, reaching more than 12,000 people each year and measurably improving literacy among audiences and participants.