Point Park University Unveils Plans For New Pittsburgh Playhouse

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Point Park University is unveiling its designs for the new Pittsburgh Playhouse, and a very special, award-winning actress returned home to help show off those plans.

It will be a brand new, state-of-the-art playhouse right in the center of downtown.

“It will have three theaters, there’s a very large soundstage, there’s a very large scene shop, costume shop, prop shop, so I think it’s going to be a 24/7 facility,” said Point Park University President Paul Hennigan.

The new building will be along Forbes Avenue. It’ll be connected to both the historic Point Park University center and the Stock Exchange building.

For students, it will be a place to learn theater and perform.

But, even people just passing by will be able to enjoy an intimate view of the art happening inside.

“People walking along the sidewalk will be able to see the students rehearsing on stage, they’ll be able to see set design and construction, lighting design and construction, so it’s a pretty cool concept and we’re not aware of anything like it in the country,” Hennigan says.

The new playhouse will replace the existing one in Oakland.

It’s a place near and dear to actress and singer Shirley Jones. The Pittsburgh native spent much of her high school years there.

Watch Shirley Jones on Pittsburgh Today Live:

“When I was at the playhouse, it wasn’t only acting, dancing and singing that I learned, I learned how to build sets, I learned how to open the curtains, I learned how to make costumes, I learned all of that,” said Jones.

Jones says the Playhouse helped to shape her career. She wants to be a part of the new project as much as she can.

“It’s very important, not only to Pittsburgh, it’s important to the country, it’s important for people who want to be in the business, it’s the perfect place to go, it’s the perfect place to be and I don’t say that because I’m a Pittsburgher, I say that because I’m an actress,” Jones said.

The Playhouse is set to open in 2017.

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