‘Grist from the Mill: 1902’ Streams at Pittsburgh Playwrights (Tues., 2/9/21)

GRIST FROM THE MILL: 1902 (one-person show) by Lissa Brennan, with on-location filming by PJ Gaynard. Pittsburgh Playwrights, streams now through Feb. 28. 

If you are a fan of the fiery theater artist Lissa Brennan, or a fan of Pittsburgh history, this month you can watch a unique online production combining the two. Brennan’s Grist from the Mill: 1902 is a solo storytelling show about a fictional murder, embedded in historic fact. It tells of a neighborhood where 196 men died from work-related accidents at the steel mill during 1902—and one died another way. Brennan first performed the show early last year at the avant-garde venue Carnegie Stage. Now there’s a new version, told by Brennan and filmed by media artist PJ Gaynard at locations across the Pittsburgh area where the eerie tale might have once unfolded. The settings range from spooky local byways and abandoned barge-docking stations to the immense Carrie Furnaces industrial site. This new, enhanced Grist from the Mill: 1902 is presented by Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company as part of its pandemic-adjusted current season. Online viewing is free through February but donations are more than welcome. (M.V.)

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Mike Vargo

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