Theater company brings Shakespeare to steel

Theater company brings Shakespeare to steel
In this Saturday, May 18, 2019, photo actors portraying characters in Shakespeare's tragedy "King Lear", wear industrial aprons and heat shields over their faces as they perform in the the Quantum Theatre production of the play at the site of the old Carrie steel producing blast furnace in Swissvale, Pa. Karla Boos, the artistic director said using this backdrop gives a sense of the enormity of the steel industry and the enormity of its collapse and those are wonderful metaphors for "King Lear." (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

A Pittsburgh theater company is bringing Shakespeare to the site of a once mighty steel company’s blast furnace.

Quantum Theatre is using the backdrop of the Carrie Furnace for its production of “King Lear,” the bard’s darkest tragedy. It tells of grief and madness, family values gone wrong and a powerful king brought low.

The theater company’s artistic director and founder says being at the site gives a sense of the enormity of the steel industry and the enormity of its collapse. Karla Boos says those are wonderful metaphors for “King Lear.”

The Carrie Furnaces are the last remaining structures of what was once the thrumming heart of the Homestead Steel Works. The company produced steel used in the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge and other iconic structures.

The play runs through June 2.