17 Aug 2018

On the road with We Built This City!

Ever wondered what it’s like behind the scenes on one of our international tours? Polyglot spoke to our fabulous Tour Manager Sharyn about the Polyglot tour to Pittsburgh, USA where we performed We Built This City in the EQT Children’s Theater Festival.

What’s your background and your role with Polyglot?
For Polyglot, I work as production/tour/stage manager. Outside of Polyglot, I’m a sound artist and interested in understanding culture through a focus of sound-based urban ethnography. Currently, my work is investigating the notion of the sound bite. My partner and I recently renovated a 1983 Millard caravan and turned it into “The Grand Caravan” — a portable purpose-built sound installation and arts venue.

Tell us about the We Built This City tour to the USA
The tour was eight fantastic days in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA, doing a four-day run of Polyglot’s We Built This City. We worked alongside some amazing children’s theatre makers from the USA, Mexico, Finland, Denmark and Ireland, as part of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s EQT Children’s Theater Festival. Over those four days of performance, the Polyglot team worked with the wonderful people of Pittsburgh to transform a parking lot into a cardboard wonderland!

Who was there with you?
The exceptional team of performers on this tour were Mischa Long, Tirese Ballard, Christian Bagin and Miami-based Bree-Anna Obst.

Tell us about the highlights and any fun moments!
Pittsburgh is a very easy city to be in! Both the festival venue and our hotel were in the downtown cultural district with plenty of wonderful local food options like the famous Primanti Brothers sandwiches. Here you were given a pastrami sandwich on thick soft Italian bread, with tomatoes and a big handful of ‘slaw and hand cut fries — all smooshed together! Delicious.

Pittsburgh is at the junction of three rivers and is known as the ‘City of Bridges’. On our day off, we hired bikes from the lovely guys at Golden Triangle Bikes, and took off exploring. There are 446 bridges — we didn’t get across them all!

The performances during the festival were very well attended, and the Saturday was our biggest show with 258 builders working together. It was amazing. We all agree, the highlight was the very last session. The weather was unpredictable, with rain predicted everyday but it never came. That was until the last day and the last show! But the people of Pittsburgh were not deterred, they lined up and gave us the best build of the Festival. Tunnels, arches and leaning towers of soggy boxes filled the site, they used every box and smiles were everywhere. Thanks Pittsburgh, we loved it!

  • Polyglot Theatre Admin
    Pittsburgh Cultural District

Acknowledgment of country

Polyglot acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live and create, and we pay our respects to Elders past and present. For more than 65,000 years, children and families have created and played here, and we are grateful to make our art on this country too.