There are plenty of local productions in the Steel City — too many to count, frankly — but each area has a handful of directors who have stood both the test of time and show business. Read on to learn more about what makes these select few directors the best at what they do, and to find out where their next tour de force is playing. Each director adds his or her own flair to productions, and theater-goers can definitely see why they are doing so well. This creates great attention for each of their respective theaters, and the crowds and people that they work with agree that these directors truly know what they are doing.
Stephen Santa – The Grand Theater
207 S. 2nd Ave.
Elizabeth, PA 15037
The upcoming production of Godspell is directed by none other than Pittsburgh’s own born-and-bred wunderkind, Stephen Santa. This shockingly baby-faced (sincerely — the kid is 25!) maestro of the director’s chair has recently been taking the city by storm with his voraciously talented, thoroughly detailed style of direction. Many of Santa’s productions have seen Pittsburgh area theaters, including Little Lake, South Park, Stage 62 and The Theatre Factory. Most recently, he worked with the North American premiere of “POP!”, a new musical starring Anthony Rapp, at the CITY Theatre in Pittsburgh. Stephen also made his New York City directing debut with “UNCHARTED: The Music of Anna K. Jacobs” at the Ars Nova Theatre. Up next he will direct “Godspell” at The Grand Theatre in Elizabeth this April. Visit Santa’s website or Monriverworks.org for times and ticket info.
Tracey Bridgen – City Theatre Artistic Director
1300 Bingham St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Twelve seasons under her belt certainly makes Ms. Brigden a skillful director — just ask the hundreds of actors she’s imparted her wisdom to over the years. Fresh off her latest production, “Monsters in the Hall,” Bridgen is gearing up for the forthcoming “Abigail/1702,” a gripping tale set ten long years after the treacherous accuser Abigail Williams cried “Witch” in “The Crucible.” Abigail/1702 examines new life, redemption and corruption in this re-imagining of what Arthur Miller’s sequel might have looked like a decade after the Elizabeth Proctor trial. Read: this brilliantly constructed production was based off a mere footnote in the original play. For more information about this production, future events or how to become a donor, visit the City Theatre’s website.
Ted Pappas – Pittsburgh Public Theater Artistic Director
621 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Ted Pappas has done it all: dedicated over a decade to the Pittsburgh Public Theater as Artistic Director and close to two decades as an associate director, showcased 34 productions and has worked all over North America in a dazzling array of functions, including offering his choreography expertise to the unparalleled talents behind Saturday Night Live. If working off Broadway, at the Cannes Festival, in Las Vegas and on television is any indication of this man’s supreme talent, you know you’re getting the real deal at one of his productions. Don’t miss Pappas’ latest endeavor, Thurgood — his 35th stage play and story of America’s first African American Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall, opening March 7t at the Public. For tickets, times and upcoming events, check out the Public Theater’s website or call the box office.
Nikki Tiani-Moroney is a full time mum of two boys, wife of a professional poker player/photographer/amateur pencil-sharpening competitor and writer from Pittsburgh, PA. When she isn’t studiously neglecting her housework in favor of a good book, she’s out simultaneously fighting crime and picking up sidewalk litter while savoring an occasional cigarette. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.