Health Care System Is Setting for Love Story in Pyretown, a World Premiere at NY's Geva

News   Health Care System Is Setting for Love Story in Pyretown, a World Premiere at NY's Geva
John Belluso's new play, Pyretown, continues its world premiere run at Geva Theatre Center's Nextstage in Rochester, to Dec. 7.
A scene from Pyretown
A scene from Pyretown Photo by Ken A. Huth

Performances at the resident professional company began Nov. 12. The Geva-commissioned play was first featured in Hibernatus Interruptus: A Winter Festival of New Plays in 2002. Tim Farrell, who directed that workshop, again directs the play in its first full production.

"Pyretown introduces three characters whose lives and daily challenges are not far from many people's reality," according to production. "A single mom with three children is frustrated by the interminable wait at the hospital emergency room, just to get her daughter's ear infection treated. A young man in a wheelchair becomes her confidant – then more – as they attempt to navigate a tangled health care system together. A young physician attempts to navigate that system herself, struggling to strike a balance between compassion and professional responsibility. Pyretown is a contemporary love story that forces its characters to break through barriers, look a stranger in the eyes and learn the art of mercy."

The cast includes Jan Leslie Harding, Sue-Anne Morrow and Christopher Thornton.

Designers are Rob Koharchik (scenic), Meghan E. Healey (costume), Andrew Hill (lighting), Dan Roach(sound).

"John's voice as a playwright is unique in American theatre at present," Geva's acting artistic director Marge Betley said in a statement. "He writes in a manner that is feeling yet unflinching and unsentimental about the lives of the disabled and the disenfranchised in our society. This is a play that is moving and engaging, but it's also an important play that speaks to how we live now." For ticket information, call (585) 232-GEVA or visit


Now in its 31st season, Geva Theatre Center is Rochester's leading professional theatre and the most attended regional theatre in New York state, according to the troupe. All productions are created for Rochester, drawing upon talented actors, designers, writers and directors from around the country. Over 150,000 people – including more than 16,000 students – attend Geva Theatre Center each season.

A scene from <i>Pyretown</i>
A scene from Pyretown Photo by Ken A. Huth
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