Front Porch Theatricals debuted in 2009 with its production of the locally written and composed musical Only Me at East Liberty’s Kelly Strayhorn Theater. In less than a decade Front Porch Theatricals has established itself as one of the brightest stars in Pittsburgh’s theater scene.
Bruce E. G. Smith, an area businessman, and Leon S. Zionts, an attorney and actor, collaborated to produce Only Me to critical acclaim and financial success. While continuing to act, Leon performed in two of Carnivale Theatric’s productions in 2010 and 2011. When an opportunity arose in 2012 for Bruce and Leon to co-produce once again and to mentor Carnivale’s founders, Justin Fortunato and Bob Neumeyer, they joined their creative forces to bring Next to Normal to the stage and then In The Heights the following year.
In 2014, Nancy Zionts joined Front Porch Theatricals as a co-producer, and together the trio assumed all production responsibility, which included hiring the director, music director, choreographer, and designers, to produce the musical Parade. Once again, Front Porch Theatricals worked its magic, and Parade received stellar reviews.
With hit after hit under its belt, Front Porch Theatricals has added marketing and production staff and expanded its performance season to two productions in 2015: The Last Five Years and The Light in the Piazza. The 2016 season brought to life The Spitfire Grill and Floyd Collins. Two more musicals are slated for the 2017 season: Voilet runs from May 19-28, and Big Fish runs August 18-27. Performances are held at the New Hazlett Theater on Pittsburgh’s North Side.
In addition to its string of hit performances, two other things distinguish Front Porch Theatricals. The first is its commitment to featuring Pittsburgh’s broad actor, artistic, and technical talent base. Front Porch Theatricals is committed to mentoring young talent by placing them in positions of leadership and by providing internship opportunities.
Another distinguishing feature is that Front Porch Theatricals focuses on producing high-quality musicals that have a depth to them, those that emphasizing social, cultural, and moral issues.