Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Co.

Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA

Labor Day heralds the start of the fall arts season in Pittsburgh. And in any other year, theater companies, dance troupes and other performing-arts groups would be preparing to pack indoor stages with performers, and fill seats with patrons.

But as with nearly everything else in public life, it’s all rather different in 2020.

Courtesy of Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Co.

Mark Clayton Southers owes much of the inspiration for his theater career to an unimpeachable source: August Wilson. It was listening to the Pittsburgh-born Pulitzer Prize winner lecture in South Africa in 1998 that led Southers – then a thirtysomething steel-mill worker and stage actor – to try his hand at writing.