Pittsburgh has a strong community of independent theater companies and troupes offering rich cultural experiences year round.
While there are plenty of opportunities to take in top notch theater productions at any of the larger theaters that make up the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s fleet of performance spaces, you’d be missing so much that Pittsburgh has to offer without exploring Pittsburgh’s world-class independent theater groups that all have their own unique special value.
We’ve compiled a list of the best independent small theater companies for your enjoyment.
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1300 Bingham Street
Specializing in new play development, New York Times dubbed City Theatre “Pittsburgh’s most innovative theater company.”
They are the largest theatre in the city dedicated to a full season of all new work. Their mission is to provide a home for the development and production of contemporary plays of substance by commissioning and producing plays by writers at the forefront of the industry.
“...The show itself was outstanding but given how intimate the theatre is they do a great job utilizing the space. The lounge is lovely for drinks before the show, very reasonably priced...Will definitely be back soon.” - Yelp Review
1211 Braddock Avenue
As their name implies, Barebones Productions aims to put on high quality, thought provoking plays, with minimal production elements, allowing for maximum impact for the performances.
They aim to appeal to a younger audience with challenging, risk taking plays, with topical themes. If you’re seeking an introspective theater experience get your Barebones tickets before their latest show sells out.
“...The shows they choose are unlike anything you’ll see anywhere else in the city- they’re raw, challenging, often dark, and always offer surprising insight into the deepest corners of the human condition. I could not more wholeheartedly recommend seeing their shows if I tried! Do yourself a true favor and see what they create. And jump on tickets as soon as you can- every single show sells out.” Google Review
937 Liberty Avenue
Bricolage is Pittsburgh’s leader of immersive theater productions, challenging audiences to engage in new ways.
“Bricolage” means “making artful use of what is at hand” and they artfully do so through heightened involvement from the artist and audience alike. Pushing theater experiences to its limits, by expressing the political, cultural and ethical issues we experience each day.
In addition to their unique immersive productions they’re also known for their Midnight Radio shows presented in the form of a 1940’s radio broadcast, filled with retro sound effects, they will transport you back to a simpler time.
“...It is the place I go to get a bit of NYC in PGH...I knew when I first visited Bricolage that it was something entirely different and special in our community...We're lucky to have Bricolage in Pittsburgh. It's a goldmine.” - Yelp Review
937 Liberty Avenue
Dedicated to developing and showcasing local playwrights, from accomplished masters to promising new talent, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company nurtures racially and culturally diverse talent.
The diverse talent from actors, technicians, directors, and writers provide a top notch theatrical experience in their comfortable and intimate new theater space Downtown.
Another novel theater company, Quantum Theatre is an incubator for artists to forge new theatrical ground.
Their intimate and sophisticated productions are performed in non-traditional settings, often within spaces in flux, transforming the environment with stunning production and raw performances.
They aim to explore themes of truth, beauty, and human relationships in unexpected ways.
“...They find unique locations around the Pittsburgh area that help tell their story. I've seen their productions in warehouses, parks, historic buildings, all very creative spaces...I have seen more than 25 of their productions, they have all been memorable and experiential.” - Yelp Review
350 Forbes Avenue
The New Pittsburgh Playhouse is home to two theatrical performance companies: The Rep, a professional theatre company, and Conservatory Theatre Company, comprised of students Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts school.
Their new state of the art theater offers a pleasurable experience, though many recall the great memories of their former Oakland space.
6601 Hamilton Avenue
This theatrical ensemble is comprised of young, driven, urban voices, creating bold works offering a fresh perspective on their experiences and community.
More than half of the ensemble members are students in grades 6-12.
Each production offers a constructive, uplifting, and moving experience.