Last night, the lights of Point Park University's Pittsburgh Playhouse were turned off for the last time as the heart of Point Park's theatre moves to a more modern space downtown. It's a needed move for Point Park, but a bittersweet one for all who cut our teeth on its stages.
The Playhouse sheltered and protected our memories for so many years. It took our singular voices, lovingly inhaled them into the chorus of the Playhouse past and steadily pumped that whispering song throughout its labyrinthine system of hallways, up to the costume shop where the song filtered through the muffling rows and rows of costumes that we once inhabited, through the prop shop and the set shop and classrooms and dance rooms and those rooms whose purpose changed as the years passed by, even down to the basement where mannequin body parts were haphazardly strewn about in unintentionally terrifying ways, through the dressing rooms with their lightbulbed mirrors, into the wings of the stages, up into the fly lofts and out onto the stages where the next generation of Playhouse denizens inhaled our song down into their diaphragms, then added their voices to our ever-growing chorus.
I am forever grateful that I got to add my voice to the Playhouse chorus. And I am sure that our song will somehow find its way into the new theatre building. It's going to sound different and it's going to keep changing. And I suppose that's the nature of life and art. But, I know I will always carry the song as I know it and I'm sure you will, too. And we'll sing it in the way we know to all we know and, in that way, the Playhouse will live on.