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What to do in Pittsburgh this weekend: June 21-23

A group of people sit in chairs in a circle on a stage.
Jeff Swensen
barebones productions
"The Animal Kingdom" is onstage at barebones productions through June 30.

Go behind-the-scenes of Downtown buildings with Doors Open Pittsburgh, enjoy the tunes at the Four Chord Music Festival, or watch "The Color Purple" — here's what to do in Pittsburgh this weekend.

Queerness, family dynamics and mental health intersect with group therapy in "The Animal Kingdom," British playwright Ruby Thomas’s new work making its Pittsburgh premiere courtesy of barebones productions. The ensemble cast of five includes Greyson Taylor as Sam, whose suicide attempt has led to the therapy sessions. Performances at the Barebones Black Box, in Braddock, continue through June 30.

The Carnegie Museum of Art’s free outdoor summer series Inside Out has begun. Every Thursday night through Aug. 17 (except July 4), visit the Sculpture Court for an evening of DJs, live music and dance; on June 20, it’s hosted by The Equity Impact Center. And daytime Saturdays through Aug. 23, the Court features immersive programs including art-making, relaxation, play and performances. The Sat., June 22, activities include meditation for families and local nonprofit Assemble’s interactive Pillow Fort Wonderland.

Doors Open Pittsburgh, the nonprofit that hosts immersive tours of otherwise inaccessible local spaces in neighborhoods around the city, returns Downtown for its signature event. On Sat., June 22, and Sun., June 23, guests are welcome open-house-style to explore the architecture and history of any combination of 32 Downtown buildings, including the Koppers Building, Dollar Bank (the one with the lions), the Drury Plaza Hotel, and the Allegheny HYP Club.

Outdoor music season continues ramping up as Pittsburgh’s own Four Chord Music Festival returns for its 10th year. The two-day showcase of national and local punk, pop-punk and indie bands, which in recent years has occupied Wild Things Park, moves to Carrie Furnaces. On Sat., June 22, the headliners are A Day to Remember and The Story So Far; on Sun., June 23, the top names include The All-American Rejects and Something Corporate.

Two acclaimed novelists — both Booker Prize finalists — visit City of Asylum Pittsburgh to discuss their new work. American author Claire Messud’s “This Strange Eventful History” follows one family over seven decades and around the world. Scottish novelist Andrew O’Hagan’s “Caledonian Road” tracks five interconnected families in England. The Mon., June 24, discussion at Alphabet City is moderated by City of Asylum’s Anderson Tepper.

Broadway stars Kayla Davion and Tamyra Gray are featured, respectively, as Celie and Shug in Pittsburgh CLO’s new production of the musical “The Color Purple.” Alice Walker’s Pulitzer-winning novel about an oppressed woman’s personal awakening comes to the stage to the tune of jazz, gospel and blues. The Benedum Center hosts seven performances starting Tue., June 25.

Bill is a long-time Pittsburgh-based journalist specializing in the arts and the environment. Previous to working at WESA, he spent 21 years at the weekly Pittsburgh City Paper, the last 14 as Arts & Entertainment editor. He is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and in 30-plus years as a journalist has freelanced for publications including In Pittsburgh, The Nation, E: The Environmental Magazine, American Theatre, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Bill has earned numerous Golden Quill awards from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania. He lives in the neighborhood of Manchester, and he once milked a goat. Email: