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Pittsburgh plays host to world during ‘Festival of Firsts’

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Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
The U.S. premiere of TAGO: Korean Drum II – AtoBiza Ltd. from South Korea will be 8 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Byham Theater as part of the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts.
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Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
The U.S. premiere of “Karoo Moose” by Baxter Theatre Centre at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, will be part of the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts Oct. 25-28 at the Trust Arts Education Center.

Pittsburgh’s arts community is one of the major players in the 2018 Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts, a prestigious lineup of theater, dance, music, visual arts and immersive experiences representing 30 international companies and artists from 20 countries.

The city’s Cultural District will be buzzing with U.S., North American and world premieres as part of the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts, which runs from Sept. 21 through Nov. 11.

The monumental undertaking, the fourth Festival of Firsts presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust since 2004 – and the first since 2013 – has involved nearly two years of planning and preparing for a curatorial team headed by Scott Shiller, vice president of artistic planning for the Cultural Trust and festival producer.

Universal language

Shiller said there’s something universal in telling stories that have special meaning from different lands and the festival showcases the realization that “art is what unites us, regardless of the language we speak.”

“Our goal with this edition of the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts is to reflect the world through these unique artists’ voices,” he said. “In 2018, incredible work is being done across the globe.”

In addition to international performing and visual artists represented, this year’s Festival features more locally based premieres and collaborative works by Pittsburgh presenting arts organizations; among them are Quantum Theatre and Bricolage Production Company.

Cirque Éloize ‘Hotel’

Hailing from Montreal, Canada, Cirque Éloize will lead off the parade of premieres with its world premiere of “Hotel” Sept. 25-30 at Benedum Center.

Described as “the story of a place and the travelers who come passing through it, a stopover where lives intersect, collide and juxtapose for a brief time to generate tales and memories,” the production features acrobatics, theater, dance and live music.

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