Pittsburgh Quarterly Contributors
Stuart Sheppard

Stuart Sheppard

Stuart Sheppard is a novelist, critic, and management consultant. Follow him: @HamletsMachine

Rich Performances Buoy City Theatre’s “Ironbound”

Imagine “Waiting for Godot” set in a New Jersey bus stop. It’s hardly a rarefied trope, as I’m sure many of us have thought we might as well be waiting for Godot while marooned in some cold, lonely place, praying for a bus to appear. Playwright Martyna Majok has taken this conceit and…

Quantum Strikes Again with “Collaborators”

Just as Colette could say, “There are no ordinary cats,” one could say that there are no ordinary productions from Quantum Theatre. “Collaborators,” the 2011 play by John Hodge (who also wrote the adaptation of the film, “Trainspotting”) is violently alive in a way so few new plays are these days, merging comedy…

PICT Classic Theatre Triumphs with Fresh, Exhilarating Treatment of Oedipus Rex

Although thirteen ancient Greek poets wrote Oedipus tragedies, only Sophocles’ play, “Oedipus Rex,” has survived. The Roman philosopher Seneca wrote a version, as did Julius Caesar. So did the 17th century poet John Dryden, as well as the 18th century philosopher Voltaire.

Reflections on “1984” in 2017

Critics have argued that we cannot evade Shakespeare’s influence on our conception of human nature, nor Freud’s influence on our understanding of psychology, and I would suggest, as a corollary, that we cannot escape George Orwell’s influence on our notion of the political. The Orwellian ethos, manifested in works such as his final…

CMU Brings Vivid Life to Marlowe’s Great Work

Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama manages to combine some of the strongest and rarest elements of great theatre in their production of Christopher Marlowe’s “Edward II”: rawness, mystery, risk and precision. This is the kind of performance of a classic play that eschews the pitfalls of tired masterpieces, and instead, evokes its…

Seeing the World Through Music

Nietzsche famously castigated Euripides for killing the tradition of the chorus in Greek tragedy, because the audience no longer had music to inform its comprehension. He even felt that Euripides caused the death of tragedy itself by trying to make it too Socratic, too rational.

Quantum’s Surreal “The River” Transfixes

In Richard Brautigan’s classic surrealist novel, Trout Fishing In America, the narrator visits a store selling trout streams by the foot. They are stacked in piles like pieces of lumber, each length corresponding to a different price.
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