WordPlay: A new spin on storytelling

WordPlay is a new spin on the age-old tradition of storytelling. 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.

This hybrid storytelling sensation has been growing in popularity since its co-producer, Alan Olifson, brought it to Pittsburgh over 5 years ago. With frequent media buzz, WordPlay almost always sells out weeks in advance! So what is WordPlay and why should you get a ticket?

The Breakdown

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 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.

We are accepting submissions for Wordplay!

WordPlay stories don’t have a specific theme, but a good story is:
• True and about you.
• 1,500 to 2,000 words.
• A story!  Meaning, it has a beginning, middle, and end. There should be some conflict or tension in addition to scenes that move the action forward. Commentary and reflection on the story are also key.
• WordPlay loves funny stories and poignant stories and all combinations thereof. However, we try to steer clear of the maudlin and overly sentimental.

Stories are accepted on a rolling basis and should be sent to submissions@wordplayshow.com. We read all submissions and look forward to reading yours! Performers are paid a $100 stipend for 1 rehearsal and 2 performances in Pittsburgh.

See What Everyone Else Is Saying

  • “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
  • "Get ready to experience an extremely intimate, imaginative, brazen, and frank glimpse into the lives of total strangers"

    – Jennifer Barron, NEXTpittsburgh
  • VIDEO: Bricolage stops by to talk about the upcoming “WordPlay” show!

    – CBS Pittsburgh
More Here

Meet the Cast & Crew

  • November 2019

    • Charley Devany
    • Alan Olifson
    • Stephen Santa
    • Chenoa Shields
    • Sarah Wood
  • July 2019

    • Jamie Agnello
    • Billy Jenkins
    • Alan Olifson
    • Maria Simbra
    • TJ Young
  • March 2019

    • Julianne Avolio
    • Bob Dvorchak
    • Alan Olifson
    • Drew Praskovich
    • Cory Siri
  • November 2018

    • Brian Broome
    • Tami Dixon
    • Parag S. Gohel
    • Alan Olifson
    • Kelly Trumbull
  • July 2018

    • Ehrrin Keenan
    • Denis Repp
    • Ali Hoefnagel
    • Melanie Dione
    • Alan Olifson
  • April 2018

    • Hannah Brizzi
    • Jane Graille
    • Stephen Cooper
    • Kelsey Robinson
    • Alan Olifson
  • November 2017

    • Samantha Bennett
    • Joel Brady
    • Billy Jenkins
    • Alan Olifson
    • Deesha Philyaw
  • September 2017

    • Hannah Eko
    • Alan Olifson
    • Drew Praskovich
    • Tristan Reid
    • Cynthia Shaffer
  • June 2017

    • Nyri Bakkalian
    • Brian Broome
    • Cindy Howes
    • Kelly E Parker
    • Ciora Thomas
  • March 2017

    • Samantha Bennett
    • Abby Goldstein
    • Brendan Griffin
    • Alan Olifson
    • Mary Parker
  • November 2016

    • Kirsten Ervin
    • Alyssa Herron
    • Jonathan Krsul
    • Alan Olifson
    • Sarah Rashmee Souri
  • August 2016

    • Ginny Cunningham
    • Brian Broome
    • Rob Rayshich
    • Shawn P. O’Brien
    • Alan Olifson
  • April 2016

    • Nathan Rosswog
    • James Kincaid
    • Shannon Reed
    • La’Tasha D. Mayes
    • Alan Olifson
  • August 2015

    • Siovhan Christensen
    • Tami Dixon
    • Parag S. Gohel
    • Alan Olifson
    • Adam Tobias
  • April 2015

    • Elvyra Eichley
    • Dave Malehorn
    • David Montgomery
    • Alan Olifson
    • Joey Spehar
  • November 2015

    • Isaac Crow
    • Nicole Peeler
    • Delilah Picart
    • Alan Olifson
    • Tara Sherry-Torres
  • November 2014

    • Gab Cody
    • Paul Guggenheimer
    • David Montgomery
    • Alan Olifson
    • Stephanie Reiss
  • July 2014

    • James Kincaid
    • Lisa Kirchner
    • Jason McCune
    • Alan Olifson
    • Todd Shaffer
  • April 2014

    • Joel Ambrose
    • Hannah Nielsen-Jones
    • Alan Olifson
    • Brian Siewiorek
    • Stacey Vespaziani
  • November 2013

    • Matt Bower
    • Tami Dixon
    • Cindy Jackson
    • Beulah Mougianis
    • Alan Olifson
  • September 2013

    • Dave Malehorn
    • Alan Olifson
    • Brittany Story
    • Kelly Trumbull
    • John Dick Winters