Black lives matter. Black voices matter. Black artists matter.

June, 2020

In solidarity with the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement and in keeping with our goals to help effect change, RealTime is adjusting our programming for 2020 in the following ways:

Our REALTIME TUESDAYS series presented through City of Asylum’s THE SHOW MUST GO ON(LINE) virtual channel has shifted dates to make way for an exciting series presented by acclaimed writer Damon Young: “How to Survive in America”.  

REALTIME TUESDAYS on THE SHOW MUST GO ON(LINE) is now the series “RealTime Presents…” and includes brand-new genre-defying shows like ASSOCIATE (watch Episode 1 here) and INSPIRE (watch here). Our next program, ASSOCIATE, Ep. 2, will appear on August 5th at 7pm EST. These shows, along with the rest of RealTime’s 2020 season, have all been developed in response to public feedback, using our shared need to connect as a creative aesthetic. 

In response to our goal to help create a greater diversity of voices in the arts, and specifically in solidarity with Black Americans whose safety and freedom has been obliterated by systemic oppression, bias and violence for generations, REALTIME’s 2020 programming is centered on Black American artists and inspirational leaders.

INSPIRE, July 1 2020 on City of Asylum’s “The Show Must Go On[line]”

For example, on July 1st we premiered INSPIRE. ‘Spir’ is the root word in SPIRIT, INSPIRATION, & RESPIRATION (breath). The show wove together all of these themes, in discourse between Black spiritual leaders Michelle King (Buddhist) and Leeann Younger (Christian, pastor & co-founder of Cityview Church), facilitated by Kahmeela Adams, photographer and founder of RuggedAngel Productions (home to four interview and pop-culture podcasts). In the show, these wise, funny and insightful leaders discussed works of art that inspire them in challenging times, exploring the link between the creative and the spiritual; and shared creative/spiritual practices meaningful to them in this complex cultural moment. Together, Younger and King also co-created a “secular blessing” for the audience. 

Our August 5th programming, ASSOCIATE Episode 2, will continue to prioritize Black voices from Pittsburgh and beyond, as will our remaining 2020 season.  RealTime always has been and will remain committed to amplifying diverse voices in Pittsburgh’s performing arts landscape.

TJ Young, Rusty Thelin/Molly Rice, Marcel L. Walker, Zell Miller III, and Aaron Johnson in rehearsal for ASSOCIATE: Episode 2 on August 5.

RealTime’s 2020-2021 season will also include:

  • SHARON, an original, online, community-sourced, episodic toy-theater dramedy about the trials of caring for others’ children.  Like our 2015 project A DOLL HOUSE (IN A DOLLHOUSE), SHARON is told through tiny 3-inch fuzzy figures and miniature props and sets, aesthetically echoing vintage 70’s-80’s sitcoms. Its episodes will follow a middle-aged worker in a run-down daycare on the edge of town, Sharon. We’ll commission stories from local childcare workers and miniatures from crafters unemployed due to Covid-19 to develop the piece. 
  • THE BIRTH OF PAPER, a play by Rice commissioned and produced in NYC in 2003 and at 2004’s Austin FronteraFest, winning Best of the Week and Best of the Fest. A solo show designed to be performed at great distance from the playwright, it hinges upon the exchange of postal mail that connects audience, performer, and playwright from afar. We expect to present this piece in the context of a festival of “postal plays” by artists from around the world, produced by RealTime.