by Janet Jonus
Photo supplied by TrustArts.org
Rediscover Androcles and the Lion with a unique, immersive theater experience at the Trust Arts Education Center.
Androcles is a slave who escapes from his tyrannical master. As he stumbles across the desert, he encounters an injured Lion. Androcles bravely saves the Lion, forming a bond that will stand the test of time in this moral tale of the power of kindness and friendship.
The story first appeared in Ancient Rome, and it was told as a true story, with Androcles escaping from a former Roman Consul. In later versions, the story is attributed to Aesop as one of his fables. No matter the telling, the heart of the story is the same. An act of kindness between two natural enemies leads to a lasting bond that saves both of their lives.
Androcles and the Lion at the Trust Arts Education Center breathes new life into this ancient tale. The play is presented in the round, with the audience reclining in hammocks under an arching tent. Four actors move throughout the space as the story is told above, around, and in the audience. The performance is enhanced with special effects, sound, and lighting.
“The tent comes alive with colors and movement,” according to Pamela Komar, Director of Theater, Music, and Youth Programming for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. “The audience lies under the night sky as projections enhance the story. The audience is immersed in the story.”
The tent serves as a medium for projections of themes and colors with shadow puppets telling parts of the story. “It is very captivating,” Pamela says.
“The hammocks look like Fairy Tale beds,” according to Pamela. There are seventy hammocks throughout the space but if an audience member is uncomfortable or cannot transition to a hammock due to a disability, there are also benches and wheelchair accommodations. “Everyone can enjoy the performance.”
“Androcles is unlike anything you have ever seen,” Pamela explains. The performance is part of the Trust Arts EQT Bridge series, aimed at older kids, tweens, and teens. The EQT Bridge Series highlights interactive, multi-media plays with multiple layers of meaning and performances designed specifically to entertain in today’s busy world. The EQT Bridge series will continue with Moon Shot in January, Leo in March, and conclude with Murikamification during the EQT Children’s Theater Festival in May.
Androcles opens on November 2nd with a performance at 700PM. There are two performances on November 3rd at 200PM and 700PM and on Sunday November 4th at 1100AM and 200PM. There 700PM performances on Wednesday, November 7th, Thursday, November 8th, and Friday, November 9th. Androcles closes on Saturday, November 10th with two performances at 1100AM and 200PM.
Due to the intimate nature of the show, Androcles is for children seven and older. Children under the age of six will not be admitted. Late seating and mid-performance re-entry cannot be accommodated. The play runs 40 minutes with no intermissions. Tickets are $24.00 per person. Tickets can be purchased by calling 412-456-6666 or online at https://trustarts.org/production/59750/androcles-and-the-lion . Tickets can also be purchased at the Trust Arts Theater Square Box Office at 655 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh.
Trust Arts has implemented a new security protocol for their performances. The maximum size for bags is 16 X 16 X 8. All bags may be searched upon entry. Allow extra time for the enhanced security screening. For a list of prohibited items and more information, check here: https://trustarts.org/pct_home/visit/safety-security/security-screening-and-prohibited-items
Androcles and the Lion is presented by Teatre Gruppe 38 and Cart Blanche, Androcles and the Lion plays at the Trust Arts Education Center at 807 Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh. Parking is in public garages in the city and in the Theater District. For parking information check here: http://parkpgh.org/ Numerous buses run through the Theater District, and the T stops at the Wood Street Station in the heart of the Theater District. For more information check here: http://www.portauthority.org/paac/SchedulesMaps/TripPlanner.aspx
Trust Arts Education Center 807 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 / 412-456-6666 / https://trustarts.org/