Quantum Theatre was gracious enough to set up a time for me to chat with Karla Boos, artistic director and founder of Quantum about their latest production, The Electric Baby. The play centers around the influence a child has on the adults in his life, bringing together those in Pittsburgh with his Romanian mother and Nigerian father.
Once again, Quantum returns with a world-premier, and this one has a special connection, being set in Pittsburgh, written after playwright Stephanie Zadravec’s time in the city. Zadravec was on set for the first and last weeks of rehearsal, and she will be in town for most (if not all) of the run of the show. The cast and crew, as always, includes a slew of locals, including those with Point Park and Carnegie Mellon filling out their resumes.
What I’ve always liked about Quantum is their dedication to the local community, and the East End in particular, the area they call home. Like prior performances, Electric Baby continues their neighborhood initiative, this time heading to the Friendship neighborhood. Quantum travels to the Waldorf School, in the shadow of the new Children’s Hospital, adding poignancy to the show.
The Waldorf School is described as a “bright space, with an old fashioned quality,” said Boos. While they had originally thought to try to stage the play in Children’s Hospital, the logistics, as well as I can only assume, the additional stress placed on the patients and staff, moved the production to the nearby school. The Waldorf, being an old convent
Boos mentioned that when you first walk into the school, you smell apples, as the students make applesauce each day. I think that’s pretty awesome, and I wonder what kind of memories that is going to conjure in theater-goers throughout the run of the show.
Next season, I am happy to report, Quantum will continue their neighborhood initiative and will hopefully be premiering more plays. Although I asked, Boos can’t disclose the shows or locations yet, and I completely understand, but I am eagerly anticipating the announcement to see what they’ll be doing next.
In the meantime though, make sure to check out The Electric Baby, which runs through April 22, and of course, take advantage of the nearby food partnerships, either Verde or Cafe Sam.
Note: I wrote this up two weeks ago, and apparently hit the wrong button, my apologies for the delay in getting this online.