Eric Arthur Blair, the British author known as George Orwell and writer of the novel “1984,” about a dystopian future society, will be honoured by the City of Pittsburgh in early March. Concurrent with the March 3 opening of Prime Stage Theatre’s stage production of “1984” and the visit of Orwell’s adopted son, Richard Blair, to Pittsburgh to take part in a variety of opening weekend events, Mayor Bill Peduto has proclaimed Sunday March 5 “George Orwell Day” in the City of Pittsburgh.


The proclamation, which notes Orwell’s contributions to literature, will be formally announced at an afternoon tea in Blair’s honour held by the British-American Connections Pittsburgh (Britsburgh) prior to the March 5 matinee performance of “1984” at the New Hazlett Theatre Center for the Performing Arts. The public is invited to attend the tea, performance and Blair’s post-show discussion. Ticket information. Britsburgh Performing Arts Society members offer - $10 off.


“We are grateful that Mayor Peduto is honoring our esteemed guest by honoring his father,” said Wayne Brinda, Prime Stage co-founder and artistic director. “George Orwell’s novel resonates as loudly today as when it was first published in 1949. Coincidentally, we’d planned three years ago to produce the stage version as part of our 20th season lineup. While its significance as a literary work is, of course, very well known, we never expected the resurgence of popularity that has surrounded it in recent months." 


Previously, Britsburgh partnered with Prime Stage to formally launch its new British Performing Arts Society at a special event at the Industry Public House in Lawrenceville. The evening featured an Orwell panel discussion with Carnegie Mellon University English professor Jeffrey Williams, Point Park University Theatre Professor Richard Keitel (director of Prime Stage’s “1984”) and the actors playing the lead roles in the Prime Stage production.


Blair, Orwell’s son is a retired farmer living in his native England near Stratford-upon-Avon, not far from the birthplace of another notable writer, William Shakespeare. He is very active with the Orwell Society, a worldwide organization that works to preserve his father’s legacy.  


During his March 2-5 visit to Pittsburgh, Blair will host a free public discussion about his father’s work at the Cranberry Barnes & Noble (March 4 at noon) and meet theatergoers before and after performances of “1984” at the New Hazlitt Theatre.


More information is available at http://www.primestage.com.


Prime Stage Theatre, established in 1996, enriches the lives of Pittsburghers by presenting professionally produced plays based on works of classic and contemporary literature and related education programs for participants of all ages.

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