October 27, 2022 Press Releases

Comedy? Tragedy? You Decide. Nathan Wagner Premieres Modern Shakespeare at New Hazlett Theater

(Pittsburgh, PA) October 27, 2022— New Hazlett Theater is thrilled to premiere Pittsburgh playwright Nathan Wagner’s Perdita on December 1. Directed by Tru Verret-Fleming and with dramaturgy by Carnegie Mellon University’s Kristi Good, the play follows Ethan Cole, a high school student struggling to navigate his senior year while being constantly interrupted by the ghost of a certain famous playwright. This production is part of the Theater’s 2022/23 Community Supported Art Performance Series (CSA), which provides emerging artists with the opportunity to develop new work for the New Hazlett stage.

“Nathan Wagner’s Perdita is a CSA production not to miss,” says Director of Programming Kristin Helfrich. “His inclusion of ‘The Bard’, whose witty commentary disrupts the ordinary in a high school classroom, is sure to delight audiences. At the same time, the play captures the emotional struggle of defining oneself against the pressures of the crowd during our teenage years.” 

Perdita has three showings only: Thursday, December 1st at 8 PM and Friday, December 2nd at 11 AM & 8 PM. Tickets are available for purchase on the New Hazlett website. Tickets range from $20–$30. Allegheny Library cardholders can claim $10 tickets through RadPass.  
Pittsburgh-based theater artist Nathan Wagner writes plays that push audiences outside of their comfort zone. He firmly believes that this is where change happens. Perdita provides the audience with that very opportunity as protagonist Ethan walks through personal tragedy at a young age.

“The play is about growing up too fast in a world that is still treating you like a child,” says Wagner. “The biggest thing is that I lost my mom in April. That experience has definitely informed the editing process and deepened the elements of loss in the show.”

While Perdita may grapple with heavy and thought-provoking themes, at its core, it is an anthem to friendship, loyalty, and being true to yourself. It seamlessly blends tragedy and comedy in a manner worthy of “The Bard” himself.

“It’s a very fun show with a lot of comedic elements,” continues Wagner. “And there are a lot of Easter eggs for the Shakespeare nerds out there!”

Perdita premieres Thursday, December 1, live onstage at the New Hazlett Theater. Read the most updated safety guidelines on the New Hazlett website.  Accessible seating and assistive listening devices are available for all productions. Please email Phoebe Orr with any questions.

Content Disclosure: Perdita uses strong language, has depictions of bullying and violence, and has allusions to self-harm and suicide.

Perdita is presented as a part of the New Hazlett Theater’s 10th Season of CSA, brought to you by Green Light Wireless.


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Meet the Team



Nathan Wagner (Playwright) is a Pittsburgh-based theatre artist and long-time lover of stories. He holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Youngstown State University and writes “weird stuff that is funny, important, or both” with the end goal of fostering empathy, promoting change, and challenging people to think outside the box.



Tru Verret-Fleming (Director) is recognized locally as an actor/singer, adjunct acting professor at Point Park University, and the Program & Events Manager at New Hazlett Theater. Tru is a proud Actor’s Equity Association member with two decades of professional theatre experience locally, regionally, and internationally. Previous directing credits include 2022 Young Playwrights Festival – Spark in the Cave, Neighbors, Deus Ex Machina, Stereotyping, Souls of River Yewa, and The Old Therebefore (City Theater), Rapunzel (Pittsburgh Festival Opera), A New Brain (Pitt Stages), Kalopsia (AD – New Hazlett Theater), Little Children Dream of God (AD – Pittsburgh Playhouse).
IG: iamblade_deveroux


Kristi Good (Dramaturg) is a freelance dramaturg and dramaturgy faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama. They earned a Master’s in Dramaturgy at Villanova Theatre and a PhD in Theatre & Performance Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Their scholarship and interests lean toward theater of trauma and uncovering suppressed narratives, particularly in regards to new play development.



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