City Theatre, Pittsburgh Playhouse Stream ‘Homegrown Stories’ (Thurs., 8/6/20)

Zuzu (Hope Anthony) channels the bold and brassy Spirit of Gandhi, out to liberate India and smash the competition at the Boogie Down Grand Prix. (photo: Jeff Swensen)

Hope Anthony, shown here in last year’s ‘Dance Nation’ at barebones productions, acts in two of the short online pieces that comprise ‘Homegrown Stories’ (photo: Jeff Swensen)

This year has spurred the growth of a hybrid art form, online live theater. We’re talking about plays done by professional playwrights, directors, actors, and theater techs, who create the pieces expressly to be livestreamed—usually via Zoom, but sometimes otherwise. Two top-line Pittsburgh theater groups now present an evening of new online short plays. The event, called Homegrown Stories, is co-produced by City Theatre and Pittsburgh Playhouse. Each of the five plays runs about 10 minutes in a live reading; there’s an audience talkback at the end, and the whole thing is free to view but please register in advance. And while you’re there, also click to see the schedule of other shows streamed free by City of Asylum, the nonprofit that’s behind the ongoing series titled The Show Must Go On(line) Pittsburgh. As for Homegrown Stories, its five short plays are: “I Wanna Say” by Ngozi Anyanwu, “When Things Get Bad, At Least We Have Each Other” by Matt Pelfrey, “Helicopters” by Tammy Ryan, “Under” by Mark Clayton Southers, and “In the Macro” by Marcus Stevens. The casts are drawn from an impressive lineup of Pittsburgh-based actors. One night only, 7:30 p.m.