Program Notes: Pitt Rep’s City of Asylum

April 10, 2013
Written by: Bill O'Driscoll
Published by: Pittsburgh City Paper

City of Asylum/Pittsburgh, which shelters writers persecuted in their home countries, has done a pretty good job over the years representing itself and its guests. Since its founding, in 2004, its several guests from around the world have participated in numerous public readings and other events, and at least one went on to teach at Pitt.

Still, especially if you don’t know about COAP, the representative sampling of guest writers in this new stage work is worth a look before it closes Sunday.

The energetic student cast, directed by playwright and Pitt faculty member Cynthia Croot, are not for the most part close physical matches for the four writers, and, probably wisely, they don’t attempt impersonations.


In fact, current writer-in-residence Israel Centeno, of Venezuela, is portrayed by a woman, Lucy Clabby. Weiqi Li, however, captures a good deal of the signature wild energy of Chinese dissident poet Huang Xiang, the first COAP guest. Connor Shioshita Pickett evokes Salvadoran novelist Horacio Castellenos Moya’s acerbic wit, and Melissa Italiano and Chelsea Faber share the role of Burmese writer Khet Mar...


Read the Full Article on The Pittsburgh City Paper