Our History

Born on the eve of 1995, Attack Theatre descended on downtown Pittsburgh with five different performance experiences during the city’s inaugural First Night. From street corners, to cathedrals, to store fronts, this wide scale art attack featured a trio of dancers, live musicians, 1,000 kazoos, stretchable cloth bags, a kinesthetic sculpture, and the question: “Do mannequins dream in color?”

Since that auspicious December night, Co-founders and Artistic Directors Peter Kope and Michele de la Reza have continued producing passionate dance performance in traditional and non-traditional spaces throughout Pittsburgh, the United States, and around the world.

Peter Kope and Michele de la Reza met in 1991 when they began performing with Dance Alloy under the direction of Mark Taylor. In their nine years with Dance Alloy they performed works by diverse choreographers, including Elizabeth Streb, David Dorfman, Ann Carlson, and David Rousseve. In 1992, Kope and de la Reza also began performing and touring nationally with the New York-based PerksDanceMusicTheatre, directed by their frequent collaborator, Rebecca Stenn.

Together their love of passionate dancing fused with theatrical flavor led to the creation Attack Theatre, where Kope and de la Reza build community between artists and audiences in Pittsburgh through cutting-edge contemporary dance performance.

24 years later the company continues to create work at the intersection of art and community, resulting in productions that are personal, authentic, welcoming, and fearless. Attack Theatre now employs five company dancers, a full-time staff of seven, and countless collaborators under the leadership of Peter Kope, Michele de la Reza, and Executive Director, Rebecca Himberger.

Attack Theatre’s creative partnerships with artists, spaces, and communities have been an integral part of the artistic inspiration and vision since its inception. The company has made significant impact on audiences, reaching more than 30,000 people annually, through its four interdependent program areas: performances, commissions and collaborations, arts education, and community engagements.