Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Behind the Scenes Look at Woodville Plantation

July 28, 2009 FOR INFORMATION CONTACT: Rob Windhorst




Event: Above the Stairs: A Behind the Scenes Look At Woodville

Date: Sunday, August 2, 2009

Time: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Place: Woodville Plantation, 1375 Washington Pike, Bridgeville, PA 15017

Cost: $5.00 for Adults, $10.00 for Families


BRIDGEVILLE, PA (July 28, 2009) – Step back in time at Woodville Plantation as this living history museum treats visitors to a special tour of a rarely seen area of the plantation. On Sunday, August 2, 2009, the public is invited go above the stairs at the main house.

From 1 to 4 pm, visitors are invited to visit the second floor of Woodville Plantation. Tours will be given of the private rooms of the Neville and Cowan families. Of interest is an original painted checkerboard floor. Don’t miss this rare look into the private lives of Woodville’s residents.

Woodville Plantation, the home of John and Presley Neville, is Western Pennsylvania’s link to the late 18th century. Built in 1775, this living history museum interprets life during the period of 1780-1820, the era of the New Republic. Guided tours of the house are available every Sunday from 1 to 4 pm.

Just 7 miles and 15 minutes south of Pittsburgh, Woodville is conveniently located off of Exit 55 on Interstate 79. For further directions or for more information, please visit Woodville’s website at http://www.woodvilleplantation.org or call 412-221-0348.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

History Boys at Pittsburgh Irish Classical Theatre

Media Contact: Melissa Hill Grande

412.561.6000 x203



Rewriting “History” at PICT

Fantastic actors, multimedia elements inspire superb, life-enhancing play

Pittsburgh, PA – July 1, 2009. PICT artistic director Andrew S. Paul directs a cast of thirteen in the Pittsburgh professional premiere of Alan Bennett’s award-winning play The History Boys. Very funny and deeply moving, the play explores the anarchy of adolescence, the nature of history, and the methods and very purpose of education today. Featured in the production are Bernard Cuffling, Linda Kimbrough, Dave Droxler and Andy Lutz.

Bennett’s brilliant comedy follows the senior year of eight history students in the north of England as they try to crack admission to Oxford and Cambridge. Unruly, bright, talented and amusing, these boys are in natural pursuit of sex, sport and a place at a good university. They are guided in these pursuits by their overeager Headmaster (Martin Giles), a maverick, eccentric English teacher (Bernard Cuffling), and a new instructor (Sam Redford) whose mandate is to get the boys to think outside the box and get noticed.

The design team is comprised of Gianni Downs (set), Jim French (lighting), Pei-Chi Su (costumes), Jessi Sedon (projections) Elizabeth Atkinson (sound), and Cory Goddard (properties).

Canadian-based actor Bernard Cuffling makes his PICT debut as Hector in The History Boys. In addition to playing Hector to rave reviews for Arts Club Theatre in Vancouver in the play’s Canadian premiere, his stage credits include productions of Nicholas Nickelby, Dancing at Lughnasa, Sleuth, and Noises Off. Cuffling, who makes his American stage debut in PICT’s History Boys, is enshrined in the British Columbia Theatre Hall of Fame.

PICT regular and Pittsburgh favorite Martin Giles returns to PICT from his smashing success as Dr. Rance in PICT’s June production of What the Butler Saw. Giles’ other recent PICT productions include Rock ‘n’ Roll, Synge Cycle (as an actor and a director), and St. Nicholas. Other recent local appearances include Die Fledermaus with Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh and The Seafarer for City Theatre Company. His play Beautiful Dreamers, with the music of Stephen Foster, will receive its world premiere in a co-production between PICT and Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh in April of 2010.

British actor Sam Redford (Rock ‘n’ Roll) plays the young teacher brought in to give the boys polish and prepare them for college entrance examinations and interviews. Redford trained at London’s Guildhall School of Drama, and has been seen locally in City Theatre’s productions of The Seafarer and Mother Teresa is Dead.

Rounding out the teachers is Linda Kimbrough (Pride & Prejudice). A veteran of the Chicago stage, Kimbrough is a five-time Joseph Jefferson nominee whose credits include productions at the Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Victory Gardens, and Chicago Shakespeare. Recent roles include Nora in the World Premiere of Better Late by Larry Gelbart at Northlight Theatre in Chicago and in Galway, Ireland, and Dottie in Noises Off at The Cleveland Play House. She has originated roles in five of David Mamet's plays: Edmond, Reunion, The Water Engine, Squirrels, and his adaptation of Chekov's The Cherry Orchard.

The boys are led by Dave Droxler (Dakin), a Point Park graduate who was recently featured in Mojo at The Rep. Other Pittsburgh credits include As You Like it (UnSeam’d Shakespeare), and The Normal Heart and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Pittsburgh Playhouse). Droxler is joined by Andy Lutz (Scripps) a graduate of Ohio University, whose credits include A Man for All Seasons on Broadway, and This Beautiful City at the Actors’ Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival. CMU graduate Jarid Faubel plays Rudge; he was recently featured in Quantum Theatre’s production of Yerma. Posner is played by John Wascavage, currently a third-year student at Point Park. The boys are rounded out by CMU students Eric Berryman, Ethan Saks, and Arya Shahi, and Allegheny College student Corey O’Connor.

The set is designed by PICT Resident Scenic Designer Gianni Downs. His previous PICT credits include:

Doubt, What the Butler Saw, Boston Marriage, Stuff Happens, Synge Cycle, and Salome, among others. Lighting is designed by Jim French (Rock ‘n’ Roll, Synge Cycle and The Lieutenant of Inishmore, among others), and sound by Elizabeth Atkinson (Rock ‘n’ Roll, Synge Cycle, BeckettFest, The Pillowman, Henry, and Copenhagen, among others).Long-time PICT costume designer Pei-Chi Su returns from New York for the production. Some of her many previous PICT designs include costumes for King Lear, Pride and Prejudice, Private Lives, and BeckettFest. Jessi Sedon (Rock ‘n’ Roll) returns to design projections, with multimedia elements including live and pre-recorded film.

WDUQ, 90.5 FM (www.wduq.org) is the media sponsor for the play. The History Boys plays August 6 through 22 in the Charity Randall Theatre, located at the Stephen Foster Memorial in Oakland.

In conjunction with the play, PICT is hosting a panel discussion, “The Nature and Purpose of Education” on August 6th at 6:30 p.m., at the Stephen Foster Memorial in Oakland. Featured panelists include Chip Burke,
Chairman of the Grable Foundation and President of the Fox Chapel School Board, Saleem Ghubril,
Executive Director of The Pittsburgh Promise, and Melanie Brown, Program Officer for the Heinz Endowments. . Panelists will share thoughts on some of the questions about education raised by Bennett in the play. The panel discussion is free of charge and open to the public.

PICT will also host a post-show talk-back with the company following the Sunday, August 9 matinee performance, as well as two pre-show discussions beginning at 7:00 on Wednesday, August 12 and Thursday, August 13. The pre-show discussions are free of charge and open to the public.

The Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre was founded in 1996 to diversify the region’s theatrical offerings by providing Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania audiences with high-quality, text-driven, affordable productions of classical theatre and the works of classical and contemporary Irish playwrights and to significantly improve employment opportunities for local talent in all facets of theatrical presentation and production. PICT is a Small Professional Theatre (SPT) affiliated with Actors’ Equity Association, and a constituent member of Theatre Communications Group (TCG) and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Alliance. PICT is the Professional Theatre in Residence at the University of Pittsburgh and PICT productions at the Charity Randall and Henry Heymann Theatres are presented in cooperation with the University of Pittsburgh – Department of Theatre Arts.

The History Boys FACT SHEET

The History Boys by Alan Bennett Joe Orton

Directed by Andrew S. Paul

The Charity Randall Theatre in the Stephen Foster Memorial, Oakland

4301 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh 15213eyHey

Cast: Eric Berryman, Bernard Cuffling, Dave Droxler, Jarid Faubel, James FitzGerald, Martin Giles, Linda Kimbrough, Andy Lutz, Corey O’Connor, Sam Redford, Ethan Saks, Arya Shahi, and John Wascavage

Design Team: Gianni Downs (scenic design), Jim French (lighting design), Pei-Chi Su (costume design), Elizabeth Atkinson (sound design), Cory F. Goddard (Properties), Natalie Baker Shirer (Dialects)

Performance Dates and Times:

First Week: Thursday – Friday, August 6, 7, Previews, 8 p.m.

(New! PICT PANEL DISCUSSIONS-, “The Nature and Purpose of Education Today” August 6 at 6:30 before the 8 p.m. preview, FREE!)

Saturday, August 8, Opening Night 8 p.m. (followed by reception)

Sunday, August 9, 2 p.m. (followed by talk-back with the company)

Second Week:
Tuesday, August 11, 7 p.m. (Professional Tuesdays performance)
Wednesday – Saturday, August 12 - 15, 8 p.m. *

Sunday, August 16, 2 p.m.
*Preshow lecture series

· Artistically Speaking – Wednesday, August 12, 7:00 p.m.

· Behind the Scenes – Thursday, August 13, 7:00 p.m.

Third Week:
Wednesday – Friday, August 19 - 21, 8 p.m.

Saturday, August 22, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Ticket Prices

Opening Night: $48 Adults, $45 Seniors
Fri. & Sat. Nights: $46 Adults, $42 Seniors

Wed. & Thurs. Nights, and Sun. Mats: $42 Adults, $40 Seniors
Tues. Nights & Sat. Mats: $42 Adults, $40 Senior
Preview Thurs. & Fri: $36 (all seats, no Senior discounts)
Youth under 25: $17 all performances, w/valid ID

For tickets, call ProArtsTickets at 412.394.3353 or visit http://www.picttheatre.org

Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre. Great Stories. Well Told.

Melissa Hill Grande

Director of Marketing and Artistic Associate

Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre

PO Box 23607

Pittsburgh, PA 15222


412.561.6000 x203

Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre.

Great Stories. Well Told.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pittsburgh Author Wins Self-Publishing Best Books Award

June 24, 2009

Independent Publishers Annual Report:

Economy is Down - Books and Reading are Up

June 24, 2009 - New York, NY -- Organizers of the 13th annual Independent Publisher Book Awards, conducted to honor the year's best independently published books, have announced the results for the 2009 competition. While much of the world economy is in a slump, books and reading are gaining ground on more expensive forms of entertainment, and the annual list of "IPPY" award winners represents the kind of alternative viewpoints today's readers crave.

This year's awards attracted 4,090 entries from throughout the U.S. and Canada, plus most English-speaking countries worldwide. Medal-winning books came from 44 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia, eight Canadian provinces, and six countries overseas. The Independent Publisher Book Awards were conceived in 1996 as a broad-based, unaffiliated awards program open to all members of the independent publishing industry. The awards are intended to bring increased recognition to the thousands of exemplary independent, university, and self-published titles produced each year, and reward those who exhibit the courage, innovation, and creativity to bring about change in the world of publishing. Winners receive gold, silver and bronze medals and can place foil seals of the medal image on their book covers.

Peace, Love and Lemonade: A Recipe to Make Your Life Sweeter written by Nancy Stampahar, Pittsburgh, PA, won the bronze medal in the self-help category.

"Today's readers are seeking diverse perspectives on hot-button issues," said awards director Jim Barnes. "This year's list represents a mix of established independents and bold new voices, and their messages echo the call for change and a straightforward approach to dealing with the world's social, political and economic problems."

The IPPY Awards are presented by IndependentPublisher.com, the online "voice of independent publishing" operated by publishing services firm Jenkins Group of Traverse City, Michigan.

For more details about the IPPY Awards, please contact:

Jim Barnes, Managing Editor & Awards Director
Independent Publisher Online/Jenkins Group
Ph: 1.231.933.4954 x1011

Find Nancy Stampahar on the web at Peace Love and Lemonade.

About the Book:
Peace, Love and Lemonade: A Recipe to Make Your Life Sweeter (November 2007, ISBN: 9780980092707, $14.95) is distributed by Baker & Taylor, New-Leaf Distributing and is available online at Amazon.com, BN.com, Borders.com, and Peaceloveandlemonade.com.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Mon River Communities Cruise

Press Release
July 6, 2009
Contact: Paula Johnston, AmeriCorps OSM/VISTA, member, BARC, 724-785-9331
Subject: BARC’s August events
Purpose: To announce upcoming BARC events

Mon River Communities Cruise on the Mon: Brownsville Area Revitalization Corporation will hold its’ first annual Gateway Clipper Fleet Cruise on the Monongahela River, Tuesday, August 4. Boarding at the Monongahela Aquatorium at 6:00pm, the Clipper will cruise down the Mon River. A buffet dinner and a cash bar will be provided. Advance tickets may be purchased before July 20 for $60 and from July 21 through July 30 for $65. In upcoming years, the cruise will depart from various communities on the Mon River in an effort to promote tourism in the Mon Valley. FMI call BARC at 724-785-9331.

Sojourn on the Mon: Brownsville Area Revitalization Corporation will hold the second annual “Sojourn on the Mon” this August 7 at 11:00am. Expert staff at the PA Fish and Boat Commission will lead the 2 mile round trip, which starts at the Brownsville Riverside Wharf. There is a $ 15 registration fee and each participant will receive a $5 off a commemorative t-shirt. Families with children and beginners are welcome. Canoes, life jackets and oars are provided, but you can bring your own equipment if you prefer. All participants must register in advance. The registration deadline is August 1 so that t-shirts can be ordered in time for the event. Space is limited.

For more info or to register call Paula Johnston at 724-785-9331.

Quote: Paula Johnston, OSM/VISTA, BARC, “This event is BARC’s second public effort at promoting the new Mid Mon River Water Trail Project. We want to get people out on the river, appreciating its recreational uses and natural beauty. Everyone is welcome, even if you’ve never stepped foot in a canoe before. The Fish and Boat Commission will bring experienced staff to guide us and give safety instructions. It’s a just a few miles round trip and nothing too strenuous. And we can pair you up with someone if you don’t have anyone to share a canoe with. Come out and enjoy the Mon.”
Quote: Norma Ryan, BARC, “This is a day to bring the community together for a day of fun on the Mon River.”
PFBC contact info: (for both sojourn and water trail)
Miranda Smith
Aquatic Resources Program Specialist, Southwest Region
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
Bureau of Policy, Planning and Communications
236 Lake Road
Somerset, PA 15501-1644
Phone: 814-443-9841
Cell: 814-442-0722
Fax: 814-445-3497
e-mail: www.fish.state.pa.us

Healthy Steps Historic Walk: Historical architectural walk starting at Nemacolin Castle and proceeding to downtown Brownsville on Wednesday, August 5, 2009 at 6:30pm. The tour will look at various historical buildings in the area with a focus on their architectural details. There will be an extended walk to the Thompson House on Water Street for those interested. BARC is co-sponsoring the event. FMI call 724-785-9331.

Book Signing with local writer Richard Wells: Local resident and author Richard Wells will sign copies of an updated version of his book Over the Side. Meet author Wells at the Heritage Museum in the Flatiron Building at 69 Market St. in Brownsville for the signing from 11:00—1:00. Wells was a photographer with both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marines and photographed airplane crashes and other scenes which are featured in his book. He is currently a member of the National Assn. of Photographers and the Marine Corps League.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Shanley's Award Winnning Play "Doubt" in Pittsburgh

Media Contact: Melissa Hill Grande

412.561.6000 x203



No “doubt” about it

Kate Young & David Whalen star in Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre’s searing production of John Patrick Shanley’s Tony + Pulitzer Prize-winning play

Pittsburgh, PA – July 1, 2009. PICT brings John Patrick Shanley’s searing drama Doubt, winner of the 2005 Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize, to the intimate Henry Heymann Theatre. The production is directed by Jeffrey M. Cordell, and features Pittsburgh favorites David Whalen as Father Flynn and Kate Young as Sister Aloysius, with Meghan Heimbecker as Sister James and Maria Becoates-Bey as Mrs. Muller.

Set in 1964 in a Catholic school in the Bronx, a hard-edged nun (Kate Young) grows suspicious when a young priest (David Whalen) seems to take a special interest in a new student. Convinced that something improper is occurring and that church hierarchy will blindly protect the man, she sets out to confront him. But are her fears based upon moral certainty or stubborn prejudice? One of the most acclaimed plays of the past decade, Doubt stimulates thought-provoking questions, but leaves the answers to the audience to decide.

Director Jeffrey M. Cordell leads a design team comprised of Gianni Downs (set), Andrew David Ostrowski (lighting), Jane M. Wilder-O’Connor (costumes), Zachary Brown (sound), and Cory Goddard (properties).

Former Pittsburgher Kate Young comes home from Chicago to play Sister Aloysius Beauvier. Young’s most recent PICT appearances were in last season’s Synge Cycle (Riders to the Sea, The Well of the Saints) and Salome. Other PICT appearances include Endgame, James Joyce’s The Dead, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Major Barbara, and Faith Healer.

PICT regular and Pittsburgh favorite David Whalen plays Father Flynn. Some of Whalen’s many PICT appearances include Salome, An Ideal Husband, King Lear, Pride & Prejudice, The Lieutenant of Inishmore and Stuff Happens. Most recently, he was seen locally in the City Theatre production of Speak American, and in Washington, D.C. in the Folger Theatre’s production of A Winter’s Tale.

Point Park graduates Meghan Heimbecker and Maria Becoates-Bey make their PICT debuts in Doubt. Heimbecker’s Point Park credits include Our Country’s Good and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Her Philadelphia credits include My Children! My Africa! (Wilma Theatre, Barrymore Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress) and the Walnut Street Theatre production of Enchanted April.

Becoates-Bey’s credits include The Full Monty with Pittsburgh CLO, as well as appearances in City Theatre’s productions of Intimate Apparel, Crowns and Constant Star.

Jeffrey Cordell (Boston Marriage, Private Lives) returns to PICT to direct Doubt. Other Pittsburgh directing credits include bash: latterday plays (barebones productions) and Everything in the Garden (Pitt Rep). Cordell is an assistant professor in the theatre department at Marietta College, where he earned his B.A. in theatre and English.

The set is designed by PICT Resident Scenic Designer Gianni Downs. His previous PICT credits include:

What the Butler Saw, Boston Marriage, Stuff Happens, Synge Cycle, and Salome, among others. Lighting is designed by Andrew David Ostrowski (PICT’s What the Butler Saw, King Lear, Private Lives and Hedda Gabler, among others), costumes by Jane M. Wilder-O’Conner (PICT debut), and sound by Zachary Brown (Dublin Carol, Private Lives, and An Ideal Husband, among others). Doubt plays July 9 through August 1 in the Henry Heymann Theatre, located at the Stephen Foster Memorial in Oakland.

In conjunction with the play, PICT is hosting a panel discussion, “Issues of Doubt and Faith” on July 19th at 3:45 p.m (following the matinee performance), at the Stephen Foster Memorial in Oakland. The panel discussion will discuss the play within the historical context straddling pre-Vatican II to Vatican II within the Roman Catholic tradition. The panelists will examine the momentousness of the change and its impact on that generation of American Catholics. The panel will also consider the playwright’s engagement with issues of veracity and doubts of the nun and priest, as well as questions of gender, race and power issues as they are brought to the fore in the play. This panel discussion is free of charge and open to the general public. The featured panelists will be Paula M. Kane, John and Lucine O’Brien Marous Associate Professor of Contemporary Catholic Studies, Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pittsburgh; Marianne Novy, Professor of English and Women’s Studies at the University of Pittsburgh; and Jeffrey M. Cordell, director of Doubt, Assistant Professor of Theatre at Marietta College (Ohio), and PICT Artistic Associate.

PICT will also host a post-show talk-back with the company following the Sunday, July 11 matinee performance, as well as two pre-show discussions beginning at 7:00 on Wednesday, July 15 and Thursday, July 16. The pre-show discussions are free of charge and open to the public.