Pop Filter Hot Pick: Quantum Theatre's Q Ball at Bakery Square
Spring forward on Saturday, March 9th, at Quantum Theatre's
annual fundraiser, dubbed the Q Ball
. You won't even miss the hour of sleep lost after a dramatic evening of live music, performance, auction action, dancing, and the chance to support cutting-edge locally produced theater.
Fresh off the heels of presenting Henrik Ibsen's play John Gabriel Borkman
in East Liberty's Hart Building, Quantum is now setting up shop in nearby Bakery Square
, and is ready to rewrite the book on the benefit bash with the latest installment of the Q Ball.
Expect the unexpected from the fearless arts company known for producing work everywhere but stages. For 22 years and counting, Quantum has been redefining the live theater experience, producing provocative spite-specific productions within some of the city’s most enchanted and storied settings—from cemeteries and steel mills, to empty pools and even a former porn theater.
Marking Quantum Theatre's 22nd season and the 10th anniversary of their annual benefit, this year's Q Ball is bigger than ever, with expanded programming and a larger venue. Equal parts pagan merrymaking and arts fundraiser, the eclectic event boasts three giant labyrinths, a lineup of local musical and performance artists, and impressive arts-centric auction items.
Theater without borders
True to its adventurous spirit and artistic mission, the Quantum team is currently putting the finishing touches on the open glass enclosed first floor space of Bakery Square, which will function as an immersive showcase of the company's work. A thoughtfully curated progression of live entertainment will feature blues music by The Olga Watkins Band, drum ensemble Timbeleza, expressive movement by kNOTDance, and synth-punk trio Shockwave Riderz--all capped off with PANDEMIC--the dance worthy Balkan beats of DJ Pete Spynda.
"It's a beautiful convergence. We have been making our work in the broadly defined Penn Avenue corridor for three years, and we have so many good friends in terms of the CDCs, real estate world, nonprofits, and businesses, that we feel like it's our neighborhood," says Karla Boos, Quantum's founder and artistic director. "The gala has been growing. We have never had this many musical acts. It's our largest event ever, and in a higher profile venue."
Take an amazeing journey
Quantum excels on creating adventurous experiences for its audiences, and the Q Ball is no exception.
Setting the scene for a night of epic fun will be a series of three labyrinths--created specifically for the Q Ball--that highlight Quantum's innovative work in theater, and Pittsburgh's local art talent. Gala-goers will step through physical objects and imagined ruins, will dance amidst labyrinthian projections and will take an individual journey throughout built environments.
The party architecture features labyrinths created by Dorit Brauer, a Pittsburgh-based artist, writer, poet, and owner of the holistic medicine business Live Your Best Life, and Tony Ferrrari, who is Quantum's set designer. Dramatic lighting by Scott Nelson will help enhance the various sights, sounds and spaces.
Party-goers will also embark on a "unique little one-on-one journey" though a maze that features photographs by Carolina Loyola-Garcia and Colter Harper that depict seven prominent local artists: Olivia Kissel, Adrienne Wehr, James Simon, Ben Opie, Sarah Humphrey, Thad Mosley, Phat Man Dee, and Quantum's very own Karla Boos.
Ready to bid? Among the Q-Ball's impressive auction items
are an insider’s art weekend in NYC, a private in-home concert with acclaimed trumpeter Sean Jones, dinner with the cast of Quantum's Dream of Autumn
, a sculpture by award-winning Pittsburgh artist Thaddeus Mosely, wine from the collections of Pittsburgh’s leading oenophiles, and much more. Q Ball's silent auction will take place between 7 and 10 p.m.
Wanna be a VIP?
The early revelry kicks off at 7 p.m. with a VIP reception. Catered by E2, the pre-party will feature a live auction at 8:30 p.m., live music by The Olga Watkins Band and drum ensemble Timbeleza, and movement performance by kNOTDance.
Ready to dance? The doors to Q Ball will swing open to all fans and friends of Quantum at 9 p.m., for an evening of dancing, drinks and desserts. The energy will be notched up via performances by Shockwave Riderz and tunes spun by Pandemic.
In between bidding and dancing, Q Ballers will be treated to tasty fare from Vanilla Pastry Studio, E2, Big Burrito Restaurant Group, Kribel's Bakery, Boyd & Blair, Wishing Tree Wine, and more.
Photographs by Colter Harper and Carolina Loyola-Garcia
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