February 23, 2022 Press Releases

Two Unique Explorations of Multicultural Identity Close Out New Hazlett Theater’s 9th Season

Two Unique Explorations of Multicultural Identity Close Out New Hazlett Theater’s 9th Season of Community Supported Art

Pittsburgh, PA – The New Hazlett Theater wraps up the 9th season of Community Supported Art (CSA) with Disassembly, a sci-fi video game in concert, March 17–18 and Papa, a play celebrating Asian-American heritage, April 7–8. While these productions offer vastly different experiences, both center on exploring multicultural identity and American assimilation. The CSA Series provides emerging artists in Pittsburgh with the opportunity to develop new work for the New Hazlett stage.

“We’re proud to know that the work produced at the New Hazlett contributes to the rich cultural fabric of our city,” says Executive Director René Conrad. Director of Programming Kristin Helfrich added, “This season represents the dynamic range of work being created in Pittsburgh by a diverse cohort of artists.”

In Disassembly, an original soundtrack by Feralcat serves as the script for a sci-fi animated drama. This multimedia experience marries a synth-pop/progressive rock/jazz fusion concert with retro video game-influenced animations to tell a compelling new story about finding identity in the midst of oppression. Feralcat’s artistic inspiration and desire to shift away from traditional jazz roots is largely influenced by growing up in a bi-cultural environment (Latinx & American) as a biracial person. Disassembly premieres on Thursday, March 17 at 8 PM and Friday, March 18 at 11 AM & 8 PM.

Papa follows fifteen-year-old Hall Lee as he journeys from the farmlands of rural China to the hills of McKeesport, Pennsylvania. Actress, writer, and theatre-maker Bailey Lee employs drama, music, and puppetry to unpack her grandfather’s memories, fantasies, and heartaches. Through the multidisciplinary play, Lee explores her grandfather’s relationship with identity and assimilation as a mirror to her own experience as a third-generation Asian American. Papa premieres on Thursday, April 7 at 8 PM and Friday, April 8 at 11 AM & 8 PM.

Bailey Lee in an interview with David Bernabo

Each year the CSA Performance Series supports five emerging Pittsburgh artists as they develop a new work for the New Hazlett stage. The artists featured in the 2021/22 season range from up-and-coming playwrights to inventive musicians to a sassy Queen with a heart of gold. Past CSA contributors include recording artist Brittany Chantele, choreographer Kaylin Horgan, and director/playwright Tlaloc Rivas. Through the CSA program, the New Hazlett Theater provides opportunities for diverse voices to shape the future of theater and connect audiences with fresh productions that challenge their perceptions about the performing arts.

Disassembly and Papa are both premiering live onstage at the New Hazlett Theater. In order to ensure a safe experience for all audience members, masks, photo ID, and proof of vaccination are required. Prior to attending, please see the most updated health and safety guidelines. Accessible seating and assistive listening devices are available for all productions. Please email Phoebe Orr with any questions.

Tickets are available for purchase on the New Hazlett website and range from $15–$25. Allegheny County library card holders can claim $5 tickets to both Friday matinees through RadPasss.org.

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Roger Rafael Romero (Feralcat) – is an artist, saxophonist, composer, and producer who strives to shift away from the superficial cannon that currently exists for the saxophone. His compositions reflect his own multicultural background, blending Black American music (BAM) with hardcore punk, prog-metal, and synth-pop. He has performed with Hugo Cruz y Caminos, Afro Yaqui Music Collective, Gavas Beat, Beauty Slap and Sierra Sellers.

Bailey Lee is an actress, writer, and theatre-maker who is thrilled to be creating work for her family’s hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Recent credits include, Blue Marble, devised by her theater collective, The What Co., Prairie produced and performed at Lincoln Center Education, and The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues. Lee is a proud graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

For high-resolution photos or for more information about the artists and the CSA Performance Series, email Phoebe Orr.

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