This hybrid storytelling sensation has been growing in popularity since its co-producer, Alan Olifson, brought it to Pittsburgh over 4 years ago. With its steadily growing audience and frequent media buzz, WordPlay has become a staple of Pittsburgh’s literary and theater scene.
Happy Half-Hour: 7:30pm-8:00pm (free drinks!)
Come for WordPlay’s free Happy Half-Hour! You never know what surprises we’ll have in store, but they’ll always be original and interactive (don’t worry, participation is optional). Will you get the chance to record your own story in our “mini-studio” or a take part in an epic audience party game? You have to show up if you want to find out!
The Show: 8:00pm
With brazen honesty and creativity, actors, comedy writers, and everyday people read their own stories while our DJ spins a real-time soundtrack using anything from Brahms to Beyoncé. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll get an extremely intimate look into the life of a total stranger.
What is WordPlay and why is it so special?
It’s simply real people, sharing real stories with a real live soundtrack.
Please Note: WordPlay presents stories about real people in real situations. We value all true stories and showcase a range of experiences and adventures in our programming. Due to the real nature of our stories, WordPlay is not always suitable for very young people and sensitive listeners. Please be advised when considering attendance.
The Friday performances of WordPlay feature ASL interpretation. Large print and Braille programs are available for all shows.
Bricolage’s space at 937 Liberty Avenue is designed for wheelchair access, featuring accessible all-gender restrooms and wheelchair seating. Companion seating is also available with advance notice. Bricolage is committed to providing an environment that is inclusive and welcoming to all patrons. We encourage patrons to identify any specific accommodations that would make their experience more enjoyable in the comments section when purchasing tickets or by calling our offices at 412.471.0999 or by emailing Fred at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submit your story!
Here at Bricolage, we love stories. Funny stories, sad stories, dramatic stories, adventure stories, even stories about the everyday. Although all stories are valid, they might not be a WordPlay story. So what makes a good WordPlay story, you ask?
A good WordPlay story should:
- Be honest, true and about you
- Include some conflict or tension
- Have scenes like a movie that move the action forward
- Feature a little commentary and reflection (without going overboard)
- Include a sense of humility and vulnerability
- Have a beginning, middle, and end
- Be 1,500 to 2,000 words long
A good WordPlay story should NOT:
- Take itself too seriously – you need to be able to laugh at yourself!
- Be the simple recounting of a memory or list of events
- Be maudlin and overly sentimental
- Be a work of fiction or a story about someone else
- Be an essay or an opinion piece
To submit your story for consideration email it to email@example.com. We read all submissions and look forward to reading yours! Performers are paid a $100 stipend for 1 rehearsal and 2 performances in downtown Pittsburgh theater.
See What Everyone Else Is Saying
"WordPlay returns with an especially intriguing group of talents who’ll tell their personal stories while a DJ creates a real-time soundtrack"– CP Staff, Pittsburgh City Paper
"Get ready to experience an extremely intimate, imaginative, brazen, and frank glimpse into the lives of total strangers"– Jennifer Barron, NEXTpittsburgh
“The tradition of storytelling is on display in “WordPlay,” the Bricolage series that blends the sharing of personal true stories with a live music mash-up. Actors, comedy writers and others with a story to tell read their stories while a DJ spins a real-time soundtrack, using anything from Bruno Mars to Bach.”– Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Meet the Cast & Crew
Creator & Co-producer
- Alan Olifson
- Hannah Brizzi
- Steve Cooper
- Jane Graille
- Kelsey Robinson
- Melanie Dione
- Ali Hoefnagel
- Ehrrin Keenan
- Denis Repp