Director reflects on Playhouse memories

Written By Lauren Ortego, Co-Opinions Editor

Most people wake up Christmas morning with their family surrounding a decorated tree with presents scattered beneath it – Kim Martin, however, remembers spending one December 25th morning a little differently from that oh-so traditional scene.

Instead of a tree and gifts, Martin woke up in Point Park’s very own Pittsburgh Playhouse Theater, a structure that has been a part of the university’s arsenal of buildings since the 70s.

“I have so many memories filled into every nook and cranny of that building,” Martin, producing director at the Playhouse, said. “I spent so many Sundays there, so beautiful outside you couldn’t believe it, and I’d walk out and go, ‘I want to go back into the dark theater.’”

Martin is also the director of the last professional show being staged at the Playhouse. “A Devil Inside,” which runs from Feb. 2 – 18, will be the final show for the REP, a professional theater company that performs in the Playhouse.

Martin has worked up the ladder of theater at Point Park, starting as a student in the 80s and moving all the way through to her current spot as director.

“When I graduated, there were 12 students in my class,” Martin said in a phone interview. “Now, we’re graduating hundreds of students each year and it’s amazing how many students have a life in theater, and make theater their life in one way or another.”

The university unveiled the plan to move the Playhouse from its home in Oakland to a spot much closer to the main campus as early as July 2013. The Playhouse has metaphorically lived a full life, seeing hundreds of shows and productions on its stage.

With its last few shows on the horizon, alumni and students alike share both fond memories of the theater and positive outlooks for the future Playhouse.

“I think the [new Playhouse] is going to be better for Point Park because it’ll be closer and Downtown, where our university is located,” Davion Herron, a senior musical theatre major, said. “I look forward to seeing the new shows there.”

Herron has participated as a student in two shows at the Playhouse, and recognizes that while he may not have many memories there, it’s an important landmark for thousands of Point Park alumni.

The Playhouse still has a few months left, but as its stage lights dim, students and faculty will continue to create memories and productions as they always have. The Playhouse has created a section on its website dedicated to people from all walks of life sharing photos and stories from their time spent in that old, rickety theater, ranging from the early 70s to present day, from alumni to stage crew.

“I’ve been in the [new Playhouse] a bunch of times over the past year,” Martin said. “It is simply breathtaking. I’d call it a modern-day cathedral, it is so beautiful, it is so gorgeous, it is so pristine – we can’t wait to get in there and make theater.”