Friday, November 12, 2010

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.

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