Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cell Phone Disco Installation Unveiled in the Cultural District


The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust unveils city’s first art+science interactive installation in the Cultural District


Tito and Exchange Ways

Cell Phone Disco by Informationlab (Auke Touwslager, Ursula Lavrenčič)

Engineering: Aleš Vrhovec, Janez Jazbar and Robert Unetich

PITTSBURGH, PA: This Tuesday, the Trust will unveil a large-scale light project that artfully visualizes the electromagnetic field of an active mobile phone. With funding from The Fine Foundation, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust commissioned the Netherlands-based artist collective, Informationlab, to create Cell Phone Disco, the city’s first art+science interactive installation.

“The notion of ‘Lighting’ the Cultural District is in our current five-year strategic plan and also our upcoming three-year plan," says Murray Horne, curator of the Trust’s Wood Street Galleries. “Cell Phone Disco will serve as an anchor for other potential installations that will illuminate the pedestrian pathways throughout the District.”

Cell Phone Disco joins a list of other notable lighting installations curated by The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust: Sign of Light (1999) designed by Robert Wilson and Richard Gluckman, Wall of Light (1999) by Robert Wilson and Flow (2004) by Erwin Redl.

In 2006, architect Ursula Lavrenčič and information designer Auke Touwslager created the first version of Cell Phone Disco, an installation which transforms a part of the electromagnetic spectrum into another frequency range - the range of visible light. Their fascination lies with the transmission quality of the mobile phone; its presence beyond the shell of the device.

Every single mobile phone transmits radio waves in order to connect to a network and everyday millions of people around the world are broadcasting their private conversations. Here we are witnessing a unique moment in history, when transmission is no longer exclusive domain of broadcasting companies. Mobile phone connectivity became just another layer of urban landscape and substantially changed the electromagnetic topography of the environment. Cell Phone Disco has been embraced by many art galleries and museums, but with the installation in Pittsburgh, it is finally positioned in the public space where it generates a glimpse at the dynamics of the omnipresent mobile phone traffic.

For this first outdoor, site-specific art installation of Cell Phone Disco, the intersection of Tito and Exchange ways was selected for its high-volume of pedestrian traffic and the very long sight line down Exchange Way. The artists note in a statement, “We find it very interesting that in this way you can observe from a great distance electromagnetic clouds that people passing by are (unintentionally) producing.”

In order to reach the sensitivity that corresponds the urban scale and situation, the artists and a team of engineers developed a concept where an advanced receiver continuously scans input from 16 antennas along the 16 by 16’ grid. The data of the electromagnetic radiation is fed to eight processors that are embedded in the digital display. The computed values at any given point are represented through 2,304 individually controlled LED lights. What was once invisible is now detectable through the visual senses:

“We wanted to present a visualization of the electromagnetic space and blend it with the physical environment. We have enveloped the display in a two-way mirror, so when there is cell phone activity in the vicinity the light cloud appears on the top of the reflected image of the alley. In this sense the installation is a fusion of the invisible digital reality represented by LEDs and the analog world as it appears in the mirror,” the artists note in an emailed statement.

“When people see the installation and make a phone call, after they are finished, they may see the phone no longer as an object in their hands but something that is larger, something part of a much bigger invisible architecture,” says Mr. Touwslager.

Ms. Lavrenčič adds, “I hope people will enjoy walking through the alley and that Cell Phone Disco will become a natural part of the alley. From an architectural perspective, it is very interesting to see how an intervention like Cell Phone Disco can change how people move through the city.”

Informationlab is a tag that identifies the collaborative efforts of an international group operating at the shifting intersection of art, science, technology & design. Since 2004 Informationlab founders Auke Touwslager (NL) and Ursula Lavrencic (SLO) seen their efforts being adopted by different fields and audiences. As a result their Cell Phone Disco (2006) concept found its way to an international art community and to museums and galleries around the world. Most of the group collaboration is based on curiosity driven research which subsequently lead to a variety of projects, exhibitions, workshops and lectures.

In addition to being members of Informationlab both Lavrencic, an architect, and Touwslager, an information architect, run their own design studios in Amsterdam. Visit for more information.

Media contact:

Veronica Corpuz

Director of Public Relations

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust


Monday, November 22, 2010

Local Arts Leader to Speak at Theatre Conference in Azerbaijan

Media Contact

Melissa Hill Grande

412.561.6000 x203

For Immediate Release

Local arts leader to speak at international conference in Baku, Azerbaijan

Pittsburgh, PA – November 1, 2010. PICT Artistic Director Andrew S. Paul has been invited to speak at the 1st Baku International Theatre Conference in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The conference, entitled ““THE WORLD THEATRE PROCESS IN XXI CENTURY”, will be held from November 8th through 10th. It is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Azerbaijan Republic in the framework of the State Program of Theatre Arts Development.

The conference is intended to provide a forum for well-known theatre performers and experts from all over the world to discuss the common challenges and opportunities facing the contemporary theatre.

The American delegation includes noted Actor/Director Peter Goldfarb (Vice President of the UNESCO International Theatre Institute), Director and Educator Daniel Banks, Director Roberta Levitow (founder of Theatre Without Borders), Costumer Irina Kruzhilina, Scenic Designer Joseph Yusupov, Performance Artist Ruth Margraff, and Director and Educator Roberto Gutierrez Varea.

Paul directed the first non-English language production of David Hare’s Stuff Happens at Slaski Teatr in Katowice, Poland in 2007 and a hugely successful 13 city tour of Brian Friel’s play Faith Healer in Ireland and Northern Ireland in 2002. PICT produced the complete plays of Nobel Prize-winning Playwright Samuel Beckett in 2006 and just completed a six-play celebration of the work of the recently deceased Nobel Prize-winning Playwright Harold Pinter. Both Festivals featured significant contributions from international artists. Paul’s speech “Collaborating across Borders in the new Global World” details PICT’s many collaborations with international actors, directors, designers and scholars and describes how these experiences have enhanced the artistry and world view of PICT artists and audiences here in Pittsburgh and across the United States.

Azerbaijan is located in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia, straddling Western Asia and Eastern Europe. The country borders Armenia, Iran, Georgia, Russia and Turkey. The capital city, Baku, sits on the Caspian Sea.
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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 Council. 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.

Meet Local Authors at History Center's Holiday Book Fair

Media Contacts:
Ned Schano

Brady Smith


History Center's Holiday Book Fair Features More Than 50 Local Authors

- Gridiron and Steel documentary by local filmmaker to be shown at sports-themed event -

WHAT: To help kick off the holiday season, the Senator John Heinz History Center will host its eighth annual Holiday Book Fair on Saturday, Dec. 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Visitors will have the chance to purchase signed copies of books and mingle with more than 50 local authors.

Several authors who are experts on Pittsburgh sports will attend, including:

Art Rooney, Jr., son of Pittsburgh Steelers founder

Andy Russell, legendary Steelers linebacker

Kelly Mazeroski, daughter-in-law of Pirates legend Bill Mazeroski

Jim Rooker, former Pirates pitcher and broadcaster

Jim Wexell, Steelers beat writer,

Other notable authors attending include:

Dave Crawley, KDKA-TV personality

Rob Rogers, cartoonist, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Gwyn Cready, paranormal romance author

Brian O'Neill, lifestyle columnist, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

John Brewer, local African American historian

Eleanor Schano, broadcast media pioneer

Beth Caldwell, Executive Director of Pittsburgh Professional Women

Local filmmaker Jeff Sewald's award-winning documentary "Gridiron and Steel", which captures the connection between football and the region's industrial heritage, will be shown throughout the Book Fair.

The Holiday Book Fair is free and open to the public; regular admission prices apply for History Center exhibits.

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 4

10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

WHERE: Senator John Heinz History Center  5th floor

1212 Smallman Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15222

--More information can be found at

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Victorian Comedy Hobson's Choice at Stephen Foster

Media Contact: Melissa Hill Grande

Associate Artistic Director and Director of Marketing
412.561.6000 x203


PICT presents “Comic King Lear” for the holidays

Canadian legend Michael Ball makes his PICT debut alongside former Shaw Festival colleague Simon Bradbury, Derdriu Ring and first-rate ensemble in hilarious Victorian comedy Hobson’s Choice

Pittsburgh, PA – November 1, 2010. Henry Horatio Hobson’s three bossy daughters are driving him to drink, and the end result is comedy in the PICT production of Harold Brighouse’s 1914 classic, Hobson’s Choice. The production runs December 2nd through the 18th in the Charity Randall Theatre at the Stephen Foster Memorial in Oakland, and is sponsored by The Charity Randall Foundation and WDUQ-FM. First Niagara is the Opening Night Sponsor.

Under the direction of PICT Artistic Director Andrew Paul, Hobson’s Choice features Michael Ball, Simon Bradbury and Derdriu Ring, with scenic design by Gianni Downs, lighting design by Christopher Popowich and costume design by Joan Markert. Erik T. Lawson designs sound.

Set in 1880, the comedy is set in the industrial town of Salford, in the North of England. Hobson (Michael Ball) is a widowed boot-shop proprietor who is at his wit’s end raising three girls and keeping his business going. When he makes the mistake of telling his eldest daughter Maggie (Derdriu Ring) that she’s past marrying age, Maggie promptly retaliates by marrying Willie Mossop (Simon Bradbury), Hobson’s best boot-maker. A powerhouse of a woman, Maggie turns the shy, illiterate Mossop into a substantial business rival to Hobson and brokers marriages for her two younger sisters in the bargain. Hobson disowns the entire gaggle, but finds that living without them may be harder than living with them.

Harold Brighouse was a Salford native, born in 1882 to a manager of a cotton-spinning firm and a headmistress. He was a successful playwright and novelist, and wrote Hobson’s Choice in his spare time during World War I, as he served in the Royal Air Force’s Air Ministry Intelligence Staff. Although his other plays are relatively unknown, Brighouse was a leading member of the Manchester School, a literary movement of social realism that put the working class of Northern England on stage in central roles.

A film version of Hobson’s Choice directed by David Lean and starring Charles Laughton was released in 1954, and a 1983 made-for-television adaptation featured Richard Thomas, Jack Warden, Sharon Gless and (in her final role) the legendary Lillian Gish.

A long-time company member at the Shaw Festival, Michael Ball makes his PICT debut in Hobson’s Choice. Jamie Portman of CanWest News Service declared Ball “A national treasure,” and he has been hailed as one of the most experienced Shavian actors of the English-speaking theatre. His credits include more than forty productions for the Shaw Festival since 1976, including playing the role of Hobson alongside Bradbury in Shaw’s 1996 and 1997 productions of Hobson’s Choice. Other credits include productions at Canadian Stage Company, Tarragon Theatre, Vancouver Playhouse, and Manitoba Theatre Centre.

Simon Bradbury returns to PICT to reprise the role of Willie Mossop. Bradbury won Canada’s Stage Door Award for Best Actor in a Comedy for his portrayal of Mossop in the Shaw’s 1996 production of Hobson’s Choice. His previous PICT credits include Chaplin (also playwright), multiple productions in BeckettFest including Endgame, The Shaughraun, King Lear, and Rock ‘n’ Roll. He directed last season’s smash-hit production of What the Butler Saw. He was a long-standing member of the Shaw Festival Ensemble and spent four seasons at Stratford.

Returning to PICT for her seventh season is Derdriu Ring. Her previous PICT credits include The Cripple of Inishmaan, Major Barbara, Portia Coughlan, Boston Marriage, James Joyce’s The Dead, Playboy of the Western World and other plays in the Synge Cycle. She is a graduate of Joe Dowling’s Gaiety School of Acting, Dublin and University College Cork.

Also featured in Hobson’s Choice are Kiley Caughey, Joe Domencic, Jon Farris (Synge Cycle), Kathleen Huber (An Ideal Husband), Roger Jerome (Faith Healer, The School for Scandal), Mary Liz Meyer, Laurel Schroeder (Jane Eyre), David Tabish, and John Wascavage (The History Boys).

Scenery is designed by Gianni Downs (Othello, Crime & Punishment, The History Boys, and Boston Marriage, among others.), lighting by Christopher Popowich (BeckettFest, Julius Caesar, among others), and costumes by Joan Markert (The School for Scandal, An Ideal Husband, Othello). Sound designer Erik T. Lawson makes his PICT debut.

Hobson’s Choice is sponsored by the Charity Randall Foundation, with additional sponsorship by WDUQ 90.5 FM and First Niagara. The production plays December 2nd through the 18th in the Charity Randall Theatre, located at the Stephen Foster Memorial, 4301 Forbes Avenue on the University of Pittsburgh campus in Oakland. Tickets are $20 to $50 and are available by calling ProArtsTickets at 412.394.3353 or online at

Special student matinee performances are scheduled for December 1st and 7th at 10 a.m. Teachers who are interested in bringing student groups can call Michelle Belan at 412.561.6000 x208 or email

Free preshow discussions are scheduled for Wednesday December 8th and Thursday December 9th at 7 p.m., and a post-show talk-back with the company is scheduled for Sunday, December 5th.

For more information, visit the PICT website at

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 Council. 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.

Hobson’s Choice FACT SHEET

Hobson’s Choice by Harold Brighouse

Directed by Andrew S. Paul

The Charity Randall Theatre in the Stephen Foster Memorial, Oakland

4301 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Cast: Michael Ball, Simon Bradbury, Kiley Caughey, Joe Domencic, Jon Farris, Roger Jerome, Susan McGregor-Laine, Mary Liz Meyer, Derdriu Ring, Laurel Schroeder, David Tabish, and John Wascavage.

Design Team: Gianni Downs (scenic design); Christopher Popowich (lighting design); Joan Markert costume design); Erik T. Lawson (sound design), Cory Goddard(properties)

Performance Dates and Times:

First Week:

Thursday and Friday, December 2 and 3 – 8 p.m. previews

Saturday, December 4 – 8 p.m. opening night, followed by reception

Sunday, December 5 – 2 p.m. matinee, followed by talk-back

Second Week:

Wednesday – Saturday, December 8 - 11 – 8 p.m. performances*

Sunday, December 12 – 2 p.m. matinee

*pre-performance discussion at 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday

Third Week:

Tuesday, December 14 – 7 p.m. Professional Tuesday performance

Wednesday – Friday, December 15 – 17 – 8 p.m. performances

Saturday, December 18 – 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. performances

Student Matinees:

Wednesday, December 1 – 10 a.m.

Tuesday, December 7 – 10 a.m.

Ticket Prices:

Saturday nights: $50, Seniors $47

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday nights: $46, Seniors $43

Professional Tuesdays, Saturday & Sunday matinees: $42, Seniors $40

Preview Thursday and Friday: $34 for all seats

$20 tickets available for youth under 25, with valid ID

Call ProArtsTickets at 412.394.3353 or visit

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

Melissa Hill Grande
Associate Artistic Director and Director of Marketing
Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre
PO Box 23607
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
412.561.6000 x203

First Night Sing-Off Seeks Talented Students


November 15, 2010

Student Stars Sought for First Night Pittsburgh Sing-Off

(Pittsburgh, PA) – As part of its staunch commitment to opening opportunities for young people in its service territory, Equitable Gas Company is searching for musically talented students to audition for the company’s vocal competition. The Equitable Gas Sing-Off is part of the upcoming 2010 First Night® Pittsburgh, a project of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, with generous support from lead sponsor Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Similar to a number of talent shows currently popular on television, students from grades six through 12 who are affiliated with a middle or high school in Southwestern Pennsylvania may submit a video audition performance of a song that conveys the spirit of the New Year. Individual students and groups of 20 or fewer should upload a video up to 5 minutes in length to YouTube, then submit it to the contest. Additional contest information and the entry form are available on the First Night® Pittsburgh website, The application deadline is December 6, 2010.

“Equitable Gas is pleased to once again sponsor some of the key family-friendly activities of First Night Pittsburgh and support The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust in its annual presentation of this premier holiday event,” said Bill Lucas, Executive Vice President of Equitable Gas. “We are proud to offer the Equitable Gas Sing-Off, a new activity for young people to showcase their musical talents on New Year’s Eve.”

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Equitable Gas will select up to five finalists, and the community will be invited to vote on these five submissions. The popular vote will help to determine the winner. Award winners will perform live as the opening act for the three Equitable Gas Marquee Performances at the Byham Theater during First Night® Pittsburgh. In addition, winners will have a private cast session with members of a cappella group Straight, No Chaser in mid-December. Finally, winners will receive complimentary First Night® Pittsburgh admission buttons to enjoy the numerous activities that night.

“We are excited to give Pittsburgh youth an opportunity to share their interpretation of what the New Year means to them,” said Kathryn Heidemann, Director of First Night Pittsburgh and Senior Manager of Education & Community Engagement for The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. “The Equitable Gas Sing-Off is a perfect addition to First Night Pittsburgh, powerfully depicting celebration, resolution, community and hope through song.”

First Night® Pittsburgh is a joyous celebration of the arts, featuring everything from children’s activities to performances by nationally-known musicians to installations by local artists and a spectacular fireworks finale. First Night® Pittsburgh is a licensee of First Night® USA, the national association of community-based New Year’s Eve arts festivals.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit organization whose mission is the cultural and economic development of Pittsburgh’s 14-block Cultural District through public and private support. The Trust presents and encourages diverse performing and visual arts programs within the District, and is an impetus for additional development in downtown Pittsburgh.

Equitable Gas Company is a provider of safe and dependable natural gas service to approximately 275,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers located mainly in the city of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. Its customer base also includes more than 200 municipalities in nine other counties in western Pennsylvania, 12 counties in central and northern West Virginia, and nine counties in eastern Kentucky. Additional information about Equitable Gas can be obtained through its Web site at
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Media Contacts:
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Veronica Corpuz, (412) 471-6082
Equitable Gas, Scott Waitlevertch (412) 395-2314

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Debra Dion Krischke Book Signing in December

Nationally Known Women’s Advocate Spearheads a Collective Book Featuring Successful Women Entrepreneurs

“Many business owners are living their passion. This can include plenty of obstacles, but when we inspire one another, and stick with will be lifted to unimaginable heights”--Debra Dion Krischke, Advocate for Women and Children, Founder Foodie Fundraising.

Just Released!

Inspired Entrepreneurs: A Collection of Female Triumphs in Business and Life

A collection of 22 inspirational stories about women who have stepped out of their

comfort zones to follow their dreams.

“Starting a business can be scary, intimidating and overwhelming. These stories inspire other women by showing them that success is possible!”--Debra Dion Krischke

Friday, December 3rd – 4:00 to 7PM Treasure House Fashion Happy Hour - Wine and Taste Treats! Bring a bag of clothes to donate and give back to women! 8035 McKnight Rd. #G2

Saturday, December 4th – 11AM to 1PM – Beckoning of Booklovers - Penguin Bookshop – Sewickley – Support local authors at this discussion and book signing!

This book is a collection of stories about regular women who felt trapped in their careers. Each of them dared to step out in courage to follow her passion, and ventured to change her world. The driving force behind the project, Debra Dion Krischke, is an advocate for women and children.

To interview Debra, contact: Team Effort Events 724-935-6100 or

Meet The Inspired Entrepreneurs:

Chapter 1: Finding Your Passion while Paying the Bills

Debra Dion Krischke, Wexford, PA: When her business was rocked by 9/11, this serial entrepreneur found a new passion in raising money for women’s initiatives. Her company now raises money for women and girls worldwide.

Chapter 2: Anything but Ordinary

Kamana Mathur, Reston, VA: As a foreign officer for President Bush, Kamana worked with heads of state from around the world. This international trend setter was born ahead of her time. She now specializes in immigration law.

Chapter 6: Renaissance Woman

Armaiti Shahidi-Fitzgerald, Dallas, Texas: Mrs. International 2010 came to the US from Iran at age 20 and learned that in the United States the sky is the limit for opportunities.

Chapter 17: Change is the Essence of Life

Cathy Jennings, Harrisburg, PA: A stubborn and independent red-head, Cathy tried a lot of traditional jobs before finding her passion--she calls herself a “Chief Conversation Starter”. Cathy coaches professionals to network and grow their businesses.

Chapter 19: Sista for the Soul

Rhonda Willingham, Flint, Michigan: After being laid off from her job as a therapeutic recreational specialist, working with people in a psychiatric home, this resourceful entrepreneur created an empire out of her hobby-afro-centric greeting cards!

Five Facts about Women-Owned Businesses*:

Nearly 10.4 million businesses are owned by women (50% or more), employing more than 12.8 million people, and generating $1.9 trillion in sales

Seventy-five percent of all businesses do not have employees; similarly, 81% of women-owned businesses are without employees, for a total of 5.4 million businesses.

Sales revenue increased 66% for women-owned businesses without employees from 1997-2004, compared to 42% for all such businesses.

Women business owners are prepared to face risk, 66% are willing to take above average or substantial risks for business investments.

Women and men business owners have different management styles. Women emphasize relationship building as well as fact gathering and are more likely to consult with experts, employees, and fellow business owners.

*Center for Women’s Business Research, 2010

For media interviews, speaking or expertise requests, or receive a complimentary review copy of the book, contact:

Team Effort Events 724-935-6100 or


Friday, November 12, 2010

Welcome to the Fearless Women Revolution!

For Immediate Release:

Welcome to the Fearless Women Revolution!

In her extraordinary photography book, Fearless Women, Fearless Wisdom, internationally acclaimed author and photographer Mary Ann Halpin has brought together 40 female entrepreneurs from across the country to celebrate their courage and strength in having worked through their fears to achieve great personal and professional success. With the release date of June 29, 2010 the launch of Fearless Women, Fearless Wisdom will be celebrated throughout summer to culminate in a national, “Fearless Women Day” events in major cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago, Toronto and many more.

Pittsburgher Debra Dion Krischke, a Fearless Women’s Advocate and special event producer, is one of the featured portraits in the book but chose to have a woman under Burka as her portrait. “ Women enduring this kind of oppression are some of the most fearless women in the world, “ says Dion Krischke, “ fighting for the right to work so they can feed their children, to walk about in public without a mail escort, to choose their own spouse, to live without fear! “

Following each story is a Fearless Wisdom quote that imparts a heartfelt belief and a soul-inspiring gift. The back of the book holds a dedication page for a fearless friend, sister or mother to place their picture and share their own fearless experience.

The women adorned on the pages of this book will use its promotion as a vehicle to raise awareness and support for their most impassioned cause and beloved charities. A local Fearless Womens Day conference is scheduled for 2011.

Contact: Debra Dion Krischke

Holiday Toy Drive by the Brownsville Area Revitalization Corp

Contact: Blake Fisher Phone: 724.785.9331

Watershed Development Coordinator Fax: 724.785.8626


BARC Toy Drive

The Brownsville Area Revitalization Corporation is continuing the tradition of collecting and distributing toys to children (12 years old and under) within the Brownsville School District.

Parents/Guardians wishing to receive gifts for their children must provide a valid Photo Identification Card to verify their address and a birth certificate for each child (12 years old and under). Information must be brought to the Flatiron Building from Tuesday, November 16, 2009 to November 30, 2010 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM (Tuesdays and Wednesdays ONLY).

Distribution of the toys will be on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

For more information on the event contact Blake Fisher at 724.785.9331 or

Pittsburgh Premiere of "runt"


Media Contact:
Veronica Corpuz

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Education and Community Engagement Department presents the Pittsburgh premiere of


The Trust Arts Education Center

December 2-12, 2010

Pittsburgh, PA: The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Education and Community Engagement Departmis presenting “runt,” a one-man play by award-winning, Canadian/Jamaican writer/actor, Michael Phillip Edwards, December 2-12, 2010 at the Trust Arts Education Center at 805 Liberty Avenue. “runt” is a powerful autobiographical story of one man’s journey from cowering child to an autonomous man.

As the “runt,” the writer details his relationship with his very charismatic father; a domineering man of “self-made fortune--and cursed to the bone.” Set in the male-dominated society of Jamaica, Michael Phillip Edwards shares stories of his life that have guided him to his self awareness, independence from the projections of others, and the ability to stand on his own.

Edward’s meticulous characterization, powerful writing, and mighty performance have garnered numerous accolades for “runt. According to the LA Times, “runt confronts fear in taut, moving dialogue.” The show won the Fringe First award at the international Edinburgh Theater Festival in Scotland, the Sony Gold Award for Best Radio Drama when it was broadcasted on the BBC.

Janis Burley Wilson, VP for Education/Community Engagement says, “It’s a fantastic project and we’re very proud to have an opportunity to bring this show to Pittsburgh. It’s a very important theatre piece, acclaimed internationally, and now Pittsburgh will be among the fortunate cities to have witnessed ‘runt.’”

Michael Phillip Edward will be here in Pittsburgh for an extended stay, conducting acting/writing workshops on what he calls “The runt Method,” and engaging with Pittsburgh’s rich theatre community. One workshop in particular, will be hosted by Mark Clayton Southers of Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre and Patrick Jordan of Barebones Theatre Company on Monday, November 29, at 7:00 pm at the Trust Education Center. The cost of this workshop is $25 and includes a post-workshop reception. To register, call 412-471-6079.



A Play written by and starring

Michael Phillip Edwards

Thursday-Saturday, December 2-4 and December 9-11, at 8PM

Sunday, December 5 and December 12 at 2PM

A “raw, comic, electric ride”, Runt is an autobiographical account of the struggles between himself “the Runt” and his Jamaican father.

Winner of the Fringe First award at the Edinburgh Festival in 2001

Winner of the BBC Sony Gold Award for best Radio Drama, 2003

Nov. 29, “RUNT” method acting/writing workshop, conducted by Michael Phillip Edwards, post-workshop reception hosted by Patrick Jordan (Barebones Productions) and Mark Clayton Southers (Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company)

December 4, Meet the Playwright and Post-Show Talk

December 11, Jamaica Night Post-Show Party with DJ Soy Sos

Tickets: $25.75

Outlets: Box Office at Theater Square,, 412-456-6666

Free Reading of The Tulip Brothers

Media Contacts:

Melissa Hill Grande – 412.561.6000 x203 or



New Classics presents free reading of The Tulip Brothers by Jason Hall on Sunday, November 14th

Pittsburgh, PA -- November 8, 2010. The New Classics series begins its second season on Sunday, November 14th at 7 p.m. with Jason Hall’s play The Tulip Brothers, directed by Melissa Hill Grande. New Classics is a cooperative program presented by the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Theatre Arts and Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre. The series is intended to highlight new works and showcase up-and-coming early-career playwrights.

The reading is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a talk-back with the cast and audience. The moderators will be series coordinators Grande and David Peterson, a graduate student in the Ph.D. program of the Department of Theatre Arts.

The reading will feature actors from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Theatre Arts, including Aric Hudson, Brendan Schatzki, Andrew Sours, Kristi Good, Erin Collopy and John Michnya.

The Tulip Brothers is about a family in conflict in 17th century Holland. The tulip bulb market is on the rise, and Nils DeGroot believes this is his opportunity to make his fortune and gain independence from the stench of the bleaching mill. He needs help, but brother Pieter knows that life offers up no assurances beyond the sin of mankind. With one brother betting on the future and another cynical of the past, Nils wagers more than he can afford while Pieter must pay a price he did not expect.

Jason Hall is a third-year M.F.A. student in Ohio University's playwriting program and the recipient of the 2010 Scott McPherson Playwriting Award. He has recently received the Anthony Trisolini Fellowship to write a play about active mountain-top removal coal mining occurring near a West Virginia elementary school. A Student Enhancement Award (SEA) will fund a second public reading of The Tulip Brothers at Chicago's Tony Award-winning Victory Gardens Theater this spring. Jason's short plays have been performed at the Minnesota Fringe Festival, Chicago's n.u.f.a.n Ensemble, and presented at the Mid-America Theater Conference. In 2009 a feature film Jason wrote and directed, The Ballad of Faith Divine, won the Best Feature award at Ohio's Colony Film Festival. He is preparing Kate and Comet, a darkly comic play about women fighting to hold their own in the workplace of 1950s live television, for production in this spring's Seabury Quinn, Jr., Playwrights Festival.

Melissa Hill Grande is the associate artistic director and director of marketing for Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre. A three-time graduate of Ohio University, she holds a BFA in Production Design and Technology with an emphasis on Costume Design, an MA in Theater History and Criticism, and an MFA in Directing. Local directing credits include productions for PICT, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company, Phase 3 Productions, Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks, No Name Players’ SWAN Day, and Pittsburgh Pride Theatre Festival.

Persons who are unable to attend the reading in person will be able to view it online via LIPLO™ (Live and in Person, Live and Online), a new internet technology pioneered by PICT Operations Director Stephanie Riso and Alex Geis. Geis of 21 Productions and videographer Randy Griffith of RLG Creations will live-broadcast the readings, and viewers will be able to respond via live chat as they watch the performances on the LIPLO™ website,

For more information about “New Classics,” contact Melissa Grande at 412.561.6000 x203 or
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The University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Theatre Arts (founded in 1982) offers the BA, MA, MFA and PhD degrees in Theatre Arts. All faculty members are active in both teaching and artistic / research activities. The department shares a philosophy of theatre education, the chief feature of which is the firm conviction that theory and practice, academic and creative work, and educational and professional theatre must be integrated for a successful program of theatre education. The University of Pittsburgh Repertory Theatre is the department’s flagship theatre company with performance spaces in the landmark Stephen Foster Memorial and the Cathedral of Learning.

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 Council. 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.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mary Poppins Comes to The Benedum in January


Media Contact:

Veronica Corpuz

Diana Roth

Electronic images are available upon request.

PNC Broadway Across America-Pittsburgh

Announces on-sale ticket information for


Performing at the Benedum Center, January 5-23, 2011

Tickets for this production go on sale Friday, November 12, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. (EST)

Pittsburgh, PA: The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and producers Thomas Schumacher of Disney Theatrical Productions and Cameron Mackintosh announce today that tickets to the Broadway touring production of MARY POPPINS will go on sale to the public on Friday, November 12 at 9:00 a.m. (EST). This production of MARY POPPINS will perform at the Benedum Center, Pittsburgh, PA, from January 5 through 23, 2011. The opening night is Friday, January 7 at 8:00pm.

The entire original creative team has reunited to bring this magical story of the world’s most famous nanny to audiences around North America. The MARY POPPINS North American Tour celebrated its first anniversary on March 25, 2010 and announced that it had achieved the milestone of being the most successful touring theatrical event in 2009.

Tickets start as low as $22 and are now on sale for all performances at the Box Office at Theater Square, 655 Penn Avenue, by phone at (412) 456-6666 or online at For group ticket sales (15 or more), please call 412-471-6930. PNC Broadway Across America - Pittsburgh series is a presentation of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Symphony and Broadway Across America.

MARY POPPINS, a co-production of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh, opened on Broadway on November 16, 2006. Based on P.L. Travers' cherished stories and the classic 1964 Walt Disney film, MARY POPPINS the stage play features the Academy Award®-winning music and lyrics of Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. The stage production has been created, in collaboration with Cameron Mackintosh, by Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes, who has written the book, and the Olivier Award-winning team of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, who have composed new songs and additional music and lyrics.

Olivier Award-winning director Richard Eyre leads the award-winning creative team, with co-direction and choreography by Tony® and Olivier Award winner Matthew Bourne. MARY POPPINS features set and costume design by TonyÒ Award winner Bob Crowley, co-choreography by Olivier Award winner Stephen Mear, lighting design by Howard Harrison, orchestrations by William David Brohn, and music supervision by David Caddick. The tour’s creative team includes Tour Director Anthony Lyn, Associate Choreographer Geoffrey Garrett, and Music Director James Dodgson.


With four productions currently running on three continents, MARY POPPINS is one of the biggest stage musical successes to emerge from London or New York in recent years. Worldwide to date, the show has grossed over $457 million and welcomed 6.4 million guests.

The Broadway production of MARY POPPINS officially opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre on November 16, 2006 and has been seen by over 2.5 million theatergoers and grossed $202 million to date. According to figures released by The Broadway League, MARY POPPINS placed on the Top Ten lists for both highest-grossing and best-attended shows of the 2009-10 Broadway season, an indicator of its remarkable success.

MARY POPPINS received its worldwide premiere at the Prince Edward Theatre in the West End in December 2004. Following its successful three-year London run, the production launched an acclaimed U.K. tour. The MARY POPPINS North American tour has also garnered continuous critical praise and achieved box office success since its launch in Chicago in March 2009. In addition to Broadway and North America, MARY POPPINS can also be seen at the Circus Theatre in Scheveningen, Holland, outside of Amsterdam, and in Melbourne, Australia at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Later this year, MARY POPPINS opens in Sweden, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Hungary, with plans underway for future productions in Israel, Spain, Italy, Mexico, Korea, Canada and Japan.


East Lansing – Wharton Center for Performing Arts
November 4 – 21, 2010

Des Moines – Civic Center of Greater Des Moines
November 26 – December 12, 2010

Detroit – Opera House
December 16, 2010 – January 2, 2011

Pittsburgh – Benedum Center
January 5 – 23, 2011

Omaha – Orpheum Theatre
January 27 – February 13, 2011

Boston – Opera House
February 17 – March 20, 2011

Philadelphia – Academy of Music
March 23 – April 17, 2011

Columbus – Ohio Theatre
April 20 – May 8, 2011

Seattle – Paramount Theatre
May 12 – 29, 2011

Sacramento – Community Center Theatre
June 2 – 19, 2011

Portland – Keller Auditorium
June 22 – July 10, 2011

Costa Mesa – Orange County Performing Arts Center
July 14 – 31, 2011

For more information, please visit

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

YWCA opens Landmark Nathan's Famous Franchise



Laura Harwin

YWCA Greater Pittsburgh


YWCA opens Pittsburgh’s first Nathan’s Famous franchise

Grand Opening set for November 15, 2010

PITTSBURGH, PA (November 8, 2010): The YWCA Greater Pittsburgh is proud to announce the Grand Opening of Pittsburgh’s first Nathan’s Famous franchise at its 305 Wood Street location downtown on November 15, 2010. The collaboration between the YWCA and Nathan’s Famous is a unique partnership. Operating the Nathan’s Famous restaurant through a subsidiary for-profit corporation, the YWCA Restaurant Franchise Inc., income will be generated for YWCA social service programs. For Nathan’s Famous, the franchise agreement marks the first time the company has worked with a non-profit corporation.

Nathan's Famous offers a menu of quality and variety anchored by its world famous beef hot dogs and crinkle cut French Fries. In addition to breakfast options, the YWCA franchise will offer a variety of Nathan’s menu items such as Hamburgers, Cheesesteaks, Nathan’s Chicken Classics, and Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips. Hours of operation will be Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

This new downtown business offers convenient new meal options for downtown employees and students at schools such as Point Park University, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and C.A.P.A. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served.

“We are pleased to offer downtown Pittsburgh new, affordable meal options while at the same time raising funds to support our programs and services that help women and families in our community,” said Magdeline E. Jensen, Chief Executive Officer, YWCA Greater Pittsburgh. The structure of the new company as a for-profit corporation also benefits the City of Pittsburgh by paying taxes on profits as well as real estate tax on the space it occupies.

Founded 141 years ago in 1869, the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. The YWCA champions social progress through housing programs, child care and child care training, asset development; workforce and microenterprise development; teen services; women’s counseling; and breast health education.

Nathan’s Famous, an international company with a long history, was founded by a Polish immigrant, Nathan Handwerker, in 1916. He started his business with a small hot dog stand in Coney Island, New York. He sold hot dogs that were manufactured based on a recipe developed by his wife, Ida. In the over 90 years that have passed since opening day, Nathan’s has gained worldwide recognition for the unequaled quality and taste of its product. Today, Nathan’s has a reputation for being among the highest quality hot dogs in the world. Nathan’s is sold and enjoyed in all 50 States in 257 restaurants and its products are sold at over 20,000 food service and retail outlets. Now Pittsburghers can enjoy Nathan’s food and know that their purchase will assist women and families in need.

Festivities for the Grand Opening begin at 10:30 a.m. on November 15 with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Special guests will include Wayne Norbitz, Nathan’s Famous President and Chief Operating Officer and Pittsburgh City Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle. The public is invited to join the celebration. The restaurant will open at high Noon. Everyone can enjoy a hot dog at the original 1916 price of five cents (limit two per person) until 2 p.m. For more information about the Pittsburgh Nathan’s Famous call 412-246-0876 and for information about YWCA programs and services, visit or call 412-391-5100.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

DWTS Mark Ballas in National Tour of Burn the Floor







The producers of BURN THE FLOOR, Broadway’s Latin and Ballroom dance spectacular, announced today that Mark Ballas of TV’s “Dancing with the Stars” will join the touring company of BURN THE FLOOR for a limited engagement. Mark Ballas will perform in Pittsburgh, December 28-January 2, 2011, at Heinz Hall as a special presentation of the PNC Broadway Across America – Pittsburgh series. In addition to Pittsburgh, Ballas will perform with dance partner Giselle Peacock in only two other cities: Raleigh, NC (November 30-December 5) and Houston, TX (December 14-19).

Single tickets to BURN THE FLOOR ($21-$57) are available by calling (412)392-4900, visiting the Box Office at Theater Square (655 Penn Avenue) or online at For more information about the PNC Broadway Across America-Pittsburgh subscription series, please call (412) 456-1390. Groups of 10 or more may call 412-392-4819. PNC Broadway Across America – Pittsburgh is a presentation of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittburgh Symphony and Broadway Across America.

Mark Ballas is a lifelong performer, born in Houston and raised in England. As the only child of 8-time undefeated World Latin Ballroom Champions Shirley and Corky Ballas, he was raised in the ballroom world. He's held every major championship in ballroom, from Junior Olympic Gold Medallist to twice winning the International Open to the World. He's currently competing on his seventh season of America's Number 1 TV show, "Dancing With The Stars," having already won the competition twice in past seasons. Mark is currently in the studio recording his debut solo CD, The HurtLoveBox, which will be distributed exclusively through WalMart later this month.

“We are thrilled that Mark will be appearing in the US Tour. His star-power attraction is well deserved, and we look forward to bringing his amazing talents to the stage for audiences in these three cities,” says Harley Medcalf, BURN THE FLOOR creator and producer.

Ballas will be partnered with Giselle Peacock, known to US audiences from her appearances on “Dancing with the Stars,” “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Superstars of Dance.” She began dancing at the age of 10, studying ballet, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary and modern dance. As a competitive dancer, Giselle has captured both US and British Youth Championship titles.

Also appearing as featured dancers in these three cities will be “So You Think You Can Dance” alums Robbie Kmetoni, Janette Manrara and Karen Hauer. All three have been seen on TV’s “So You Think You Can Dance,” in the US (Janette Manrara and Karen Hauer, Top 10 Finalists) and in Australia (Robbie Kmetoni, 2010 Winner).

Years before “Dancing with the Stars”and“So You Think You Can Dance” turned Ballroom Dancing into must-see TV, BURN THE FLOOR was blazing a new dance trail and igniting stages around the globe. In BURN THE FLOOR, Ballroom Dance is totally reinvented. All the dance styles are refreshed and invigorated and leave audiences grinning with delight and screaming for more. You see and feel, live on stage, all the passion, drama and sizzling excitement of 20 gorgeous world champion dancers in a true theatrical experience, a performance with a grace and athleticism that The New York Times calls, "Dazzling!" and The Times (London) calls “the summer’s hottest ticket”!

BURN THE FLOOR is directed and choreographed by Jason Gilkison. The national tour of BURN THE FLOOR launched in Portland, OR, on September 7, 2010, and continues through spring of 2011. For a full list of tour cities, please visit
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Press Contact for interviews, photos and press tickets: Veronica Corpuz, 412-471-6082 /

Monday, November 8, 2010

Rock of Ages Rocks Pittsburgh


Media Contact:
Veronica Corpuz
(412) 471-6082

Electronic images are available upon request.





November 23-28, 2010

Benedum Center

PITTSBURGH, PA− Five-time Tony Award® nominated smash-hit musical ROCK OF AGES comes to Pittsburgh’s Benedum Center, November 23-28, 2010. This tour is part of the PNC Broadway Across America – Pittsburgh series, presented by The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Symphony and Broadway Across America.

Tickets ($21-$74) are available at the Box Office at Theater Square (655 Penn Avenue), by phone (412) 456-6666 or online at For group discounts, please call 412-471-6930. ROCK OF AGES will play Tuesday-Thursday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Parental advisory: some of the costumes, dancing and language performed in ROCK OF AGES may not be appropriate for kids under the age of 14.

In 1987 on the Sunset Strip, a small-town girl met a big-city dreamer – and in L.A.’s most legendary rock club, they fell in love to the greatest songs of the ‘80’s. It’s ROCK OF AGES, a hilarious, feel-good love story told through the hit songs of iconic rockers Journey, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Foreigner, Pat Benatar, Whitesnake, and many more. Don’t miss this awesomely good time where big hair meets big dreams and the result totally wails.

Coming to you, direct from Broadway, Tony Award® Nominee Constantine Maroulis of “American Idol” fame, will reprise his acclaimed performance as Drew in the First National Tour of the five-time Tony Award® nominated smash-hit musical ROCK OF AGES. Rolling Stone says, “Rock of Ages has found a perfect lead in Maroulis,”andso like Bartles & James, big hair and Dep, some things are just meant for each other.

ROCK OF AGES is directed by Tony Award Nominee Kristin Hanggi (Bare, Pussycat Dolls on the Sunset Strip) and choreographed by Kelly Devine (Jersey Boys – Associate Choreographer). The book is by Chris D’Arienzo (writer and director of the film Barry Munday), the original arrangements are by David Gibbs(Counting Crows, Film: That Thing You Do) and the Music Supervision, Arrangements & Orchestrations are by Ethan Popp (Tarzan; Europe: We Will Rock You, Mamma Mia).

Scenic design is by Beowulf Boritt (Spelling Bee, LoveMusik), costume design is by Tony Nominee Gregory Gale (Cyrano, The Wedding Singer), lighting design is by Jason Lyons (The Threepenny Opera), sound design is by Tony Nominee Peter Hylenski (Shrek), and projection design is by Zachary Borovay (A Catered Affair). ROCK OF AGES is produced by Matthew Weaver, Carl Levin, Jeff Davis, Barry Habib, Scott Prisand, Janet Billig Rich, Hillary Weaver, Relativity Media and The Araca Group.

ROCK OF AGES opened on April 7, 2009 at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre to critical acclaim, following an off Broadway engagement in the fall of 2008. The Broadway production was nominated for five 2009 Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, and New Line Records released the Original Broadway Cast Recording in July, 2009, featuring 28 songs from the show. A New Line Cinema/Warner Bros. film of the musical, directed by Adam Shankman (Hairspray), is scheduled to be released in 2011. ROCK OF AGES opened to rave reviews at the legendary Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, Canada in May, 2010 and premiered at the Comedy Theatre, Melbourne, Australia in April, 2011.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit organization whose mission is the cultural and economic development of Pittsburgh’s 14-block Cultural District through public and private support. The Trust presents and encourages diverse performing and visual arts programs within the District, and is an impetus for additional development in downtown Pittsburgh. In addition to the PNC Broadway Across America-Pittsburgh series, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presents Pittsburgh Dance Council, Trust Presents, Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater and Children’s Festival, CD Live, JazzLive, First Night Pittsburgh, Gallery Crawl, and Three Rivers Arts Festival, among other Cultural District and arts events. The Trust owns Theater Square and the Cabaret at Theater Square; James E. Rohr Building & Arts Education Center; the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts; Byham, O’Reilly, and Harris Theaters; visual arts galleries: Wood Street Galleries,.at 601 Wood Street; SPACE, at 812 Liberty Avenue and 937 Liberty, a multipurpose performance and exhibit space, among other downtown arts facilities.

Mannheim Steamroller Rolls into the Benedum


Press Contacts:

Veronica Corpuz
(412) 471-6082

Diana Roth
(412) 471-8717

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presents

25th Anniversary Tour

The Christmas Music of

Mannheim Steamroller

by Chip Davis

Tuesday, December 3 & Wednesday, December 4, 2010, at 8:00 p.m.

Benedum Center

Pittsburgh, PA: The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presents The Christmas Music of Mannheim Steamroller by Chip Davis, at 8:00 p.m., on Tuesday, December 3 and Wednesday, December 4, 2010, at the Benedum Center. Mannheim Steamroller’s performances will feature the band’s innovative arrangements and extravagant multi-media show of images, synchronized lighting and special effects. Mannheim Steamroller celebrates their 25th year touring the holiday concert across the United States this year. This performance is part of the Cohen & Grigsby Trust Presents series.

Known for their classic arrangements of Silent Night, Deck the Halls, and Angels We Have Heard on High, the concert will feature the group’s distinctive Christmas music from many of their multi-platinum award holiday albums heard over the past 25 years. Mannheim founder and composer Chip Davis comments, “The music, along with our state of the art multimedia production, is meant to make this an experience for the whole family.”

Chip Davis began piano lessons at age four and had composed his first piece of music at age six. He graduated from the University of Michigan, School of Music− specializing in bassoon and percussion. Before founding Mannheim Steamroller, Davis’ early musical career included touring with the Norman Luboff Choir and later working for a Nebraska advertising agency writing jingles. These included spots for a local bakery featuring the fictional trucker C. W. McCall. The spots were co-written with advertising writer William Fries, who became the voice of McCall. The spots were so popular Davis and Fries were persuaded to begin writing non-advertising songs featuring McCall. The most famous of these is the 1975 "Convoy". The duo released a total of five albums between 1974 and 1979. Davis was named ASCAP Country Music Writer of the Year in 1976.

Founded by Chip Davis, Mannheim Steamroller’s music is best described as 18th Century classical rock with a musical fusion of acoustic, analog, digital and electronic sounds. Named after an 18th Century musical term that now translates as “crescendo,” the group’s popularity began in the 1990s with their album “Fresh Aire.” The seventh recording in the Fresh Aire series received a Grammy Award for Best New Age Recording. Billboard calls the ensemble one of “the pioneers of neo-Classical electronic music” and “one of the driving forces behind the New Age phenomenon.”

Tickets ($34.50 - $79.50) may be purchased at the Box Office at Theater Square, at 655 Penn Avenue, online at, or by calling (412) 456-6666. To purchase 10 or more tickets at special discounted rates, please call (412) 471-6930.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit organization whose mission is the cultural and economic development of Pittsburgh’s 14-block Cultural District through public and private support. The Trust presents and encourages diverse performing and visual arts programs within the District, and is an impetus for additional development in downtown Pittsburgh. In addition to the Trust Presents series, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presents the PNC Broadway Across America-Pittsburgh series, Pittsburgh Dance Council, Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater and Children’s Festival, CD Live, JazzLive, First Night Pittsburgh, Gallery Crawl, and Three Rivers Arts Festival, among other Cultural District and arts events. The Trust owns Theater Square and the Cabaret at Theater Square; James E Rohr Building & Arts Education Center; the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts; Byham, O’Reilly, and Harris Theaters; visual arts galleries: Wood Street Galleries, at 601 Wood Street; SPACE, at 812 Liberty Avenue and 937 Liberty: a multipurpose performance and exhibit space, among other downtown arts facilities.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Join NuRelm's Movember Fight Against Prostate Cancer

NuRelm Joins the Movember Fight Against Prostate Cancer

For Immediate Release

Heather Jewell


NuRelm, local Web development firm, joins the “Movember” fight against Prostate Cancer by developing something a little hairier than Websites this month.

Pittsburgh, PA- November is officially the month of growing mustaches to support the fight against prostate cancer. The international charity event called Movember raised $40 million dollars across the globe for prostate cancer research last year alone. November 1, 2010 marked the eighth annual charity event and now the “Move”ment has come to Pittsburgh.

NuRelm, local Website development firm launched a donation drive through the official Movember Website, on Monday. As the company organizer of the project, Jordan Knox, NuRelm's chief SEO strategist and blog writer, was the driving force behind our staff involvement. All of NuRelm's male staff members shaved the stubble and prepared for a month long mustache-fest on Monday. NuRelm staff decided that if there were mustaches to be grown and cancer to be thwarted we were the men (and encouraging women) to do so.

From the CEO to interns, NuRelm's staff is committed and excited to participate in such a meaningful and fun event. The company will be documenting the daily “stache” status with our Flikr account and blog,

To donate to NuRelm's team page or to start growing your own mustache, please visit our page at NuRelm's Movember Donation page or call NuRelm for more information on participating at 724-430-0490 Ext. 204.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Sweet Poppa Lou" Performs at the Cabaret


Contact: Veronica Corpuz, 412-471-6082

Jazz Legend “Sweet Poppa Lou”


performs with his quartet at the Cabaret at Theater Square

Tuesday, November 23, 2010, at 8 p.m.

Pittsburgh, PA: The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s JazzLive series presents the legendary Lou Donaldson and his quartet on Tuesday, November 23, 2010, at 8:00 pm at the Cabaret Theater. Tickets ($25-$30) are on sale at the Theater Square Box Office, via phone at 412-456-6666, and online at JazzLive is sponsored by Bank of New York Mellon, DUQ 90.5 FM, the New Pittsburgh Courier, and Pittsburgh Jazz Society.

Jazz critics agree that “Sweet Poppa Lou” Donaldson is one of the greatest alto saxophonists of all time. He began his career as a bandleader with Blue Note Records in 1952 and, at the age of 25, he found his sound, though it would continue to sweeten over the years -- earning him his famed nickname --“Sweet Poppa Lou.”

He cut a series of classic records for Blue Note in the 50’s that showcased many musicians who made their first records as sidemen for him: Horace Silver, Clifford Brown, Grant Green, Blue Mitchell, Donald Byrd, Horace Parlan, and others. After also making some excellent recordings for Cadet and Argo Records in the early 60s, Lou’s return to Blue Note in 1967 was marked by one of his most famous recordings, Alligator Bogaloo. Lou was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters by North Carolina A & T University and a scholarship was established in his name that is awarded to the most gifted jazz musician at North Carolina A & T University each year. He was inducted into the International Jazz Hall of Fame and is the recipient of countless other honors and awards for his outstanding contributions to jazz, America’s “classical music.”

At 83, he is one of the truly great active figures in hard bop. He continues to tour nationally, playing in New York at the Village Vanguard and twice a year and the Birdland Club. He also attends many jazz festivals and concerts around the world. He still plays with the same power and dexterity of his youth, while bringing a hearty sense of humor to the bandstand. “Blues Walk,” Donaldson’s theme song, as well as “Alligator Boogaloo,” his first big hit in the funk era of the late 1960’s, are always the highlight of every session.

His current quartet features the musical excellence of Randy Johnston on guitar, Pat Bianchi on organ and Fukushi Tainaka on drums.