After a successful run at City Theatre last year, RealTime’s “People of Pittsburgh: The Alchemist of Sharpsburg,” is revived at Atithi Studios in Sharpsburg– blocks away from the family home of its subject.

The Alchemist of Sharpsburg explores the life of Candra, a Hindu-practicing, black-metal-listening game enthusiast with multigenerational roots in Sharpsburg, through a live, interactive* theatrical experience like you’ve never seen before.

A PITTSBURGH MAGAZINE TOP PICK! “During the show, audience members are polled on which route to take at various points in Candra’s life, from big choices to little ones; popular vote will determine which aspects of his rather interesting life story will be shared and which will remain in mystery. [This] brings the viewer into the story, considering not how it impacted its subject but rather feeling how it must’ve felt to be there. It’s an interesting, personal approach to on-stage biography, and I hope to see it grow.”

-Sean Collier, Pittsburgh Magazine

“So I was a little hesitant when I first saw the description of The Alchemist of Sharpsburg; I worried that it would be too “insider” to gamers, and that I wouldn’t be the audience for this show. I’m happy to say that I was wrong. Indeed, even my theatre-going partner – who I would venture to say actively dislikes most games – was thoroughly engaged and charmed by this unique evening of theater. RealTime’s alchemical experimentation with theatrical form is, in the end, not only about Candra’s extraodinary ordinary life; it’s also about the transformative power of story.”

-Wendy Arons, The Pittsburgh Tatler

“The Alchemist of Sharpsburg is a study of transformation. By the end of the 2-hour show, you become part of Candra’s life by imitating it– by knowing and telling one’s story, your own story is interwoven among the people of Pittsburgh.”

-No Proscenium

“With each show, [RealTime’s leaders] bring people from different walks of life together to tell stories that matter… [Their] goal is to create compelling, complex theater while helping audiences feel more connected with each other and with people or groups they may have felt different from in the past. That’s why [their] tagline is “Real People. Real Stories. RealTime.”

-Colin Williams, The Incline

Check out the playbill, with a secret Gaming Map of Sharpsburg– and THANK YOU to our sponsors!!


Check out what audiences said about the show!

Places of sharpsburg

Our subject Candra was born and raised in Sharpsburg PA, a borough nestled below the rolling slopes of North Hills on the banks of the Allegheny River. It’s the place where H.J. Heinz started his business, making his first projects in the kitchen of his Sharpsburg home, and the place where the formidable Seneca chieftain Guyasuta settled in his last days.

Here are some views of Sharpsburg in 2021. You’ll see many more in the show.

Photo credits: Molly Rice.