Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Pearl Fishers Graces the Pittsburgh Opera Stage

For Immediate Release
October 28, 2011


Debra L. Bell, Director of Marketing and Communications

Office: (412) 281-0912 ext 214 or

Pittsburgh Opera continues 73rd season with splashy, exotic opera The Pearl Fishers

(above: the final scene of The Pearl Fishers. Photo © Ken Howard for San Diego Opera

What: Georges Bizet’s opera The Pearl Fishers (Les pêcheurs de perles)

Where: Benedum Center for the Performing Arts

7th Street and Penn Avenue, Downtown Pittsburgh

Saturday, November 12, 8:00 PM

Tuesday, November 15, 7:00 PM

Friday, November 18, 8:00 PM

Sunday, November 20, 2:00 PM

Run Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes, including 1 intermission

Language: Sung in French with English titles projected above the stage

Tickets: Start at $10 for all performances.

Call 412-456-6666 for more information or visit

Related FREE Opera Up Close, Brown Bag Concert, and Meet the Artists.

Pittsburgh, PA…After a long absence from the Pittsburgh Opera stage, Georges Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers (Les pêcheurs de perles) returns to the Benedum Center November 12, 15, 18, and 20 in a splashy production from San Diego Opera designed by fashion icon Zandra Rhodes. Audience members will be treated to a “visually stunning and sweet-sounding” [Voice of San Diego] production, with Ms. Rhodes’s colorful costumes and sets, along with dazzling vocals, impressive choruses, swirling orchestral music and exotic dance sequences. The Pearl Fishers, set in Ceylon (modern-day Sri Lanka), is a story of friendship and a forbidden love that ends in flames and flight.

Former Resident Artists Sean Panikkar (The Grapes of Wrath, 2008; Dialogues of the Carmelites, 2011) and Craig Verm (The Grapes of Wrath, 2008; The Rape of Lucretia, 2010; Turandot, 2011) take the male lead roles of Nadir and Zurga. They star alongside Leah Partridge as Leïla and Andrew Gangestad as Nourabad, both in their Pittsburgh Opera debuts. Music Director Antony Walker conducts; Andrew Sinclair from Royal Opera House Covent Garden originated this production in San Diego and debuts with Pittsburgh Opera as stage director. Once again Attack Theatre is featured in a Pittsburgh Opera production, as they work with renowned choreographer John Malashock for the exciting dances in Act III.

Pittsburgh Opera’s annual Student Matinee takes place this season during the run of The Pearl Fishers. On Thursday, November 17 at 10:30 AM at the Benedum Center, the Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artists will star in all four principal roles and engage more than 2400 students from public and private schools, grades 3-12. Before the Student Matinee, educators who wish to bring their students to this fully-staged performance with full orchestra are required to attend the Workshop for Educators on The Pearl Fishers and receive Act 48 hours along with numerous resources to integrate opera into existing lesson plans. Teachers and students receive $10 tickets to the Student Matinee. Resident Artists in The Pearl Fishers Student Matinee include Kyle Oliver as Zurga; Juan José de León as Nadir; Suzanne Vinnik as Leïla; and Adam Fry as Nourabad. Resident Artist stage director Stephanie Havey will direct the November 17 Student Matinee.

Tickets to The Pearl Fishers start at $10, with all performances at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts, 7th Street and Penn Avenue, Downtown Pittsburgh. For additional information or to purchase tickets call 412-456-6666 or visit

Facts about the opera

  • In 1863, The Pearl Fishers had its premiere (12 years before Carmen) at Théâtre-Lyrique du Châtelet in Paris, and had 18 performances, then titled Leïla. It was revived in 1886 (after Bizet’s death) and had its U.S. premiere at The Academy of Music in Philadelphia in 1893.

  • Pittsburgh Opera last presented The Pearl Fishers in 1978 at Heinz Hall with Evelyn Mandac as Leïla, John Walker as Nadir, and Dominic Cossa as Zurga.

  • Zandra Rhodes has designed opera productions regularly since her debut in 2001 with The Magic Flute for San Diego Opera. In addition to The Magic Flute and The Pearl Fishers, she has also designed a production of Aida. She has designed clothing for Debbie Harry, and Kate Moss, and Diana, Princess of Wales, among others.

The story, in brief

Zurga is named chief of villagers; he and his friend Nadir recall how they once competed for the love of Leïla, and then swore on their friendship never to see her again. When a veiled priestess comes to the island to pray for a successful pearl harvest, Zurga promises her a valuable pearl if her prayers work; if not, she will die. That night, Nadir hears the priestess’s voice and recognizes it as Leïla’s: she is still in love with Nadir. The high priest Nourabad warns Leïla that the consequence of breaking her vows is death, and she recalls that she once saved a fugitive, and was given a necklace in thanks. Despite Nourabad’s warning, Leïla and Nadir consummate their love during a raging storm. Nourabad exposes their affair to everyone, and Zurga sentences them both to death. Leïla pleads with Zurga to spare Nadir’s life, but Zurga expresses his love for her and his jealousy of Nadir. Before the execution, she gives him her necklace, and he recognizes it as the one he gave the girl who protected him when he was a fugitive. Zurga distracts the others by setting the camp on fire, and sets Leïla and Nadir free. Nourabad reveals Zurga’s deeds, and Zurga is put to death while the lovers escape.

The Pearl Fishers opens Saturday, November 12 and continues November 15, 18, and 20, 2011. Tickets start at $10. Call 412-456-6666 or visit .

The Pittsburgh Opera 2011-2012 season is generously sponsored by PNC Foundation.

Cast and Artistic Team (cast is listed in order of vocal appearance)

Zurga Craig Verm ** baritone

Nadir Sean Panikkar ** tenor

Leïla Leah Partridge + soprano

Nourabad Andrew Gangestad + bass

Conductor Antony Walker

Stage Director Andrew Sinclair +

Production Sets and costumes from San Diego Opera

Set and Costume Designer Zandra Rhodes +

Lighting Designer Ron Vodicka +

Choreographer John Malashock +

Assistant Choreographer Michael Mizerany +

Hair & Makeup Designer James Geier

Stage Manager Tara E. Kovach

+ Pittsburgh Opera Debut

* Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist

** Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist alumni

Tickets and Group Discounts

Tickets for all performances of The Pearl Fishers start at $10. Group discounts are available. For tickets, call (412) 456-6666 or visit For discounted group tickets (6 or more), contact Randy Adams at 412-281-0912, x 213.

Related Events

Opera Up Close: The Pearl Fishers

Sunday, October 30 – 2:00 PM

The George Rowland White Opera Studio at Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters

Opera Up Close is an entertaining and insightful program held on Sunday, October 30, at the George Rowland White Opera Studio in Pittsburgh Opera’s headquarters (2425 Liberty Avenue) in the Strip. Opera Up Close includes an in-depth musical analysis of the opera The Pearl Fishers with Music Director Antony Walker, and a panel discussion featuring stage director Andrew Sinclair and singer Craig Verm (“Zurga”). A reception follows, hosted by the Pittsburgh Opera Guilds. For more information, call (412) 281-0912 or visit

The Pearl Fishers Previews on WQED-FM 89.3 and WQED.ORG/FM

Saturday, November 5 – 1:00 PM; Friday, November 11 – 7:00 PM

Hosted by WQED’s Stephen Baum, and broadcast on radio as well as the WQED website, this The Pearl Fishers preview gives listeners an in-depth introduction to the singers, music and production of the opera. For more information, call (412) 281-0912 or visit

Brown Bag Concert

Saturday, November 12, 2011 – 12:00 PM

The George Rowland White Opera Studio at Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters

(2425 Liberty Avenue)

This one-hour concert begins at 12:00 PM and features the Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artists in the music of Bizet. The Brown Bag concerts provide an informal introduction to opera, and guests can meet the performers after the concert. Guests are encouraged to bring a lunch. Pittsburgh Opera is grateful to Eden Hall Foundation for sponsoring Brown Bag Concerts.

The Pearl Fishers Student Matinee

Thursday, November 17, 2011 – 10:30 AM

Benedum Center for the Performing Arts

Students in grades 3-12 from public and private schools all over the region are treated to a fully-staged production of The Pearl Fishers with Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artists starring in the lead roles, and full orchestra. Teachers earn Act 48 credits and tickets to the Student Matinee are $10. For more information, contact Marilyn Egan at 412-281-0912 x 242.

In-Store Discussion and Cocktail Party with Zandra Rhodes

Monday, November 7 – 6:00 PM

Larrimor’s, Downtown Location

Members of the local design community and students from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh will meet Zandra Rhodes at Larrimor’s and hear from her what it takes to make it as an international fashion designer. A cocktail party follows, where Pittsburgh Opera patrons and members of the Warhol Museum Inner Circle will have the opportunity to meet Ms. Rhodes, the set and costume designer for Pittsburgh Opera’s The Pearl Fishers.

Pre-Opera Talks

Benedum Center Main Floor

Ticketholders are invited to attend a Pre-Opera Talk on The Pearl Fishers one hour before each performance’s curtain in the Orchestra Section (Main Floor) of the Benedum Center. Learn about the composer and the story of the opera. These talks are free to all ticketholders.

Meet the Artists

Tuesday, November 15

Immediately following the opera in the Benedum Lower Lobby

Ticketholders for the Tuesday, November 15 performance of The Pearl Fishers are invited to gather in the Benedum Lower Lobby immediately following the performance for interviews with General Director Christopher Hahn and the stars of the opera. This event is free to all Tuesday performance ticketholders.

Pittsburgh Opera’s 2011-2012 season continues a 73-year tradition of excellence in opera. As part of the Company’s continued efforts to make opera accessible to all members of the community, single tickets for the 2011-2012 season will again start at just $10, with subscriptions starting at just $43 for four operas. Subscriptions and single tickets are on sale now.

2011-2012 Season

La traviata October 15, 18, 21, 23, 2011

The Pearl Fishers November 12, 15, 18, 20, 2011

Hansel & Gretel January 28, 31; February 3, 5, 2012

Tosca March 24, 27, 30; April 1, 2012

The Abduction from the Seraglio April 28; May 1, 4, 6, 2012

Single tickets on sale now, starting at $10

Season subscriptions for as little as $43

For ticket information visit our website or call (412) 281-0912

Find us on Facebook and Twitter

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Business Technology Conference Highlights Trends and Tools

Keynote Speaker - David Yunghans

Technology That Will Rock Your World

Listen to David Yunghans discuss the latest technologies guaranteed to stop you in your tracks. From emails to smart phones to social media, the way your company engages current customers and seeks new business today is about to change for good. Get on board and be the first to adopt these tools.

Conference Workshops

E-Commerce Fill the Cart: Tips for Increasing Online Sales

Mobile Applications 15 Mobile Apps Every Business Owner Should Know About

International Global Customers: Developing an Internationally Friendly Website

Social Media What’s New in Social Media?

E-Mail Grab Their Attention: The Anatomy of a Powerful E-Mail Marketing Campaign

Search Engine Optimization 15 Ways to Get Top Search Engine Rankings

Mobile How to Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly and Why You Need to Do It

Marketing PR 2.0 Tools, Trends and Tricks for Getting Free Publicity

Software Software and Google Tools for Managing Your Business Effectively

*workshops subject to change

Tech Conference Agenda


Registration in the Power Center

7:30am - 8:30am

Exhibitor Set-Up

8:30am - 9:20am

Breakfast and Roundtable Discussion

9:30am - 10:45am

Workshop Session I

11am - 12:15pm

Workshop Session II

12:15pm - 3:00pm

Lunch and Technology Demonstration & Showcase Tradeshow

3:15pm - 4:30pm


Entrepreneurial Leadership Series Features Marilyn Landis

PICT Celebrates 15 Years with Fall Gala

Media Contact:
Melissa Hill Grande

Associate Artistic Director &
Director of Marketing
412.561.6000 x203


PICT gala celebrates 15 powerful years

November 10 event at LeMont honors local arts supporters, features food and drink, silent auction and great company

Pittsburgh, Pa. -- October 25, 2011. PICT celebrates fifteen years and 63 productions at the annual PICT Fall Gala. The event will be held on Thursday, November 10th at the elegant LeMont on Mount Washington.

In addition to a spectacular view of Pittsburgh, the gala will offer hors d’oeuvrres, drinks and dinner, along with the chance to win exciting silent auction items. Guests will have the chance to mingle with PICT artists from the past, present and future, including Gala Chairperson Alan Stanford and Gala Host Committee members Bingo O’Malley and David Whalen. Other artists in attendance include Tami Dixon and Jeffrey Carpenter, Martin Giles, and James FitzGerald.

Margie and Alan Baum are serving as gala co-chairs. Special guests for the evening will be Robert Levin, representing corporate honoree Levin Furniture, and John Sotirakis, the 2011 gala’s individual honoree.

The event has been generously underwritten by Anna & Ed Dunlap, Culinary Concepts of Pittsburgh.

Tickets are $175 per person, $1,750 for a table of 10. Corporate tables start at $2,000. Cocktail or evening attire requested; valet parking available.

To purchase tickets, or for more information, contact Gale McGloin at 412.561.6000 x204.
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Taste of Italy Awards Eight Winemakers

For Immediate Release
October 24, 2011
Eight Winemakers Win Coveted Awards

At BARC's 10th Annual Taste of Italy

BROWNSVILLE, Pa. – Drawing a sell-out crowd to its 10th anniversary Taste of Italy, the Brownsville Area Revitalization Corp. awarded 17 trophies to eight regional vintners for their private labels of sweet and dry wines.

Richard Quarzo of Brownsville won the crowd's favor with a red zinfandel to earn the "Last Box Charlie Award," named for the late Charles Britvich, who along with this year's winner was in the Taste of Italy's inaugural group of five winemakers. As part of the anniversary celebration, Quarzo and the remaining original participants – Dr. Alan Sally of Brownsville, Richard Dascenzo of Hiller and John Chan of Grindstone – were presented with a custom T-shirt featuring their winemaker's caricature.

Tom Hultz Jr. of Monongahela did a sweep of sweet juice category, with his "Port" wine, winning the judges' favor for first place. Hultz's "Fredonia" wine drew second place and his "Concord" earned third place.

In the sweet-other fruits category, Hultz took first place with "Chocolate Covered Cherry." Ervin Cross of West Brownsville was the second-place winner with "Peach" while George Kopsack of Richeyville came in third with his "Strawberry" wine.

The dry-crushed grapes category resulted in first and second place going to Quarzo for Old Vine Zinfandel 2009 and Cabernet Sauvignon, respectively. Third place was accorded to Joanne Bailey of Greensburg, Britvich's niece, for her zinfandel entry.

The dry-juice category was won by Dascenzo, with his "Niagara" wine. Quarzo took second place with "Amarone" and Sally placed third with "Montepulciano."

In the dry-other fruits category, Tom Roberts of Claysville won first place for "Yellow Plum" wine. Christian Ruby of California earned a second-place award for "Pina Colada" and Kopsack's "Strawberry" took third place.

The 10th anniversary Taste of Italy attracted more than 220 guests and 15 winemakers to the celebration, held at the Brownville Sons of Italy, Frank Ricco Lodge 731, at 16 Race St. Among the evening's highlights was the auction of a basketful of the participating winemakers' private labels. The winning bidder was Phil Giannetti, owner of Phil Giannetti Motors Inc., 656 National Pike East, Brownsville. BARC's raffle for an overnight stay at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort was won by Bernadette Frazier of Brownsville.


Photo Credit: Herbert Mitchell III

From Left, Caroline Fecek, Richard Quarzo


Brownsville Area Revitalization Corp. (BARC) is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Its mission is to achieve economic development through historic preservation, heritage tourism, outdoor recreation, community stewardship, education, youth advancements and the arts. Contact the BARC office, 724.785.9331, for additional information about programs and upcoming events.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pgh Opera Director Hahn Contract Extended, New Season Schedule Announced

Embargo date/time: October 20, 2011, 6:30 PM


Debra L. Bell, Director of Marketing and Communications
Office: (412) 281-0912 ext 214

Pittsburgh Opera General Director Christopher Hahn’s contract extended through 2015-16 season

Pittsburgh, PA… Pittsburgh Opera’s Board of Directors today announced that General Director Christopher Hahn’s contract has been extended through June 30, 2016. Board Chair Michele Fabrizi, President and CEO of MARC USA, said, “We are delighted that we will continue to have Christopher’s leadership at the helm of Pittsburgh Opera. Under his tenure as both Artistic and General Director, the company has flourished and grown exponentially. His vision and flair have put an indelible stamp on the company, and the future looks bright. We especially look forward to our 75th anniversary season [2013-14].”

Mr. Hahn’s tenure as General Director began in 2008, when he was unanimously approved by the Board after serving as Artistic Director since 2000. Mr. Hahn’s artistic and administrative leadership at Pittsburgh Opera has been marked by an expansion of the repertoire to include landmark productions of contemporary operas such Dead Man Walking (2004), Billy Budd (2007), The Grapes of Wrath (2008), and lauded productions of Madama Butterfly (2007) and Turandot (2011), among others. He has developed important partnerships with Carnegie Mellon’s School of Drama for the Company’s annual Resident Artist production, and with Chatham Baroque and Attack Theatre.

Under Mr. Hahn’s guidance, the Company moved to its new headquarters in the former Westinghouse Air Brake factory with administrative, rehearsal, and performance space all on site. The building subsequently received LEED® Silver certification in Operations and Maintenance by the U.S. Green Building Council, making Pittsburgh Opera the first U.S. opera company to achieve certification in that category. Mr. Hahn has also led an expansion of audience development initiatives, including the popular Brown Bag Concerts.

“The Board of Directors has been impressed by the way in which Christopher has led the company in these difficult economic times, and we are so pleased that he has agreed to extend his contract. We have stayed true to our mission of producing excellent opera even as budgets became tighter and resources became slimmer. More than ever, we need strong leadership and continuity, and now we have ensured that,” said Pittsburgh Opera Board President John E. Traina.

Pittsburgh Opera’s 2011-2012 season continues a 73-year tradition of excellence in opera and is the first green opera company in the U.S.* As part of the Company’s continued efforts to make opera accessible to all members of the community, single tickets for the 2011-2012 season will again start at $10, with subscriptions starting at just $43 for four mainstage operas.

*U.S. Green Building Council awarded LEED® Silver certification in June 2011 in the Operations and Maintenance category.

2011-2012 Season

La traviata October 15, 18, 21, 23

The Pearl Fishers November 12, 15, 18, 20

Hansel & Gretel January 28, 31; February 3, 5

Tosca March 24, 27, 30; April 1, 3

The Abduction from the Seraglio April 28; May 1, 4, 6

For ticket information visit our website or call (412) 281-0912

Friday, October 21, 2011

Two Community Clean Up Projects Lend a Hand


Contact: Heather Konyk

Two Community Cleanup Projects

Celebrate Dignity & Respect Month

Volunteers Come Together to Practice Tip 29 “Lend a Hand”

(PITTSBURGH, PA) October 17, 2011 – The Dignity & Respect Campaign recognizes October, Dignity & Respect Month, by practicing Tip 29 “Lend a Hand”, with two community projects on Saturday, October 22 – Lawrenceville Community Cleanup, and the Saturday Beautification Project.

The Dignity & Respect Campaign is a not-for-profit national grassroots initiative that encourages each of us to honor and appreciate the people in our lives, and to take the Dignity & Respect Pledge: I will treat everyone with dignity & respect. The Campaign provides 30 quick and simple tips, such as Tip #5 Say “Thank You”, which can be incorporated in our everyday lives to help us treat each other with dignity and respect. Since 2009, October has been celebrated as Dignity & Respect month in the Greater Pittsburgh area. This year, ten South Western Pennsylvania counties issued proclamations recognizing October as Dignity & Respect month. These counties include: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington, and Westmoreland.

“We are very excited to sponsor these two events. By lending a hand, we can help make the community a better place one step at a time. We hope by showing respect to the community, more residents will get involved and spark a change,” says Melanie Harrington, chair, Dignity & Campaign counsel.

The first project, Lawrenceville Community Cleanup, will be held from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and is intended to make Lawrenceville a clean, safe, and attractive neighborhood. Volunteers will be provided with gloves, garbage bags, and various tools and will travel throughout the community to clean up priority sites.

The second project is the Saturday Beautification Project, which will be held from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The goal is to complete various projects that will impact the entire community. Each project is different and can include tasks such as, weeding, painting, and removing rubble. Volunteers will be provided with all necessary material.

To sign up as a volunteer, visit

October is Dignity & Respect Month. For more information and to take the Dignity & Respect pledge, visit:
# # #

Teen Girls Take Over Harrisburg

Teens take over Harrisburg!

October 18, 2011

100 High School Students to shadow State Legislators in Harrisburg Tuesday as part of Women and Girls Foundation’s GirlGov program.

Harrisburg, PA – October 18, 2011 – One hundred high school students from Southwestern Pennsylvania will have the opportunity to walk a day in a State Legislator’s shoes on Tuesday October 18th as part of the Women and Girls Foundation’s GirlGov program.

DATE: Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

TIME: 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

WHERE: State Capitol Building, Harrisburg, PA

“I was truly shocked to discover that less than 17% of our State Legislators are female and that of the 50 states ours ranks 42nd for women’s political participation,” said Chareeni Kurukulasuriya, GirlGov participant (2010). “This really sparked the idea in my mind that it is up to young girls currently in high school, like myself, to take an interest in politics and break into this male dominated field.”

GirlGov (, a program created in 2009 by the Women and Girls Foundation (WGF), provides teenage women in SWPA the opportunity to experience what it is like to be a State Legislator for the day. 100 students were invited to participate this year. Fifty legislators will each be assigned two teen “shadows” for the day. Participants in the program shadow a Pennsylvania State House or Senate Representative for an entire day at the Capitol Building in Harrisburg, PA attending committee meetings, constituent and staff meetings, and legislative sessions as well as lunch with their Representative or Senator.

“The goal of the program is to engage teen girls to become more informed, engaged, and interested in the political process.” Said Heather Arnet, CEO of the Women and Girls Foundation. “The program idea was created by our teen group, the Regional Change Agents. Their first year (2010) was such a success we decided to make it an annual WGF program.”

Participating legislators include Senator Wayne Fontana, Rep. Marc Gergely, Rep. Randy Vulakovich, Senator Jay Costa, Rep. Mike Turzai, Senator Jane Orie, Rep. Matthew Smith, Rep. Chelsa Wagner, Rep. Dan Frankel, Senator Joseph Preston, Rep. Daniel Deasy, Rep. Robert Matzie, Rep. Frank Dermody, Rep. Jake Wheatley, Senator Tim Solobay, Rep. Brandon Neuman, Rep. Deberah Kula, Rep. Jesse White and Senator John Pippy.

GirlGov is an initiative of the Women and Girls Foundation. For more information about WGF, Regional Change Agents or GirlGov, visit To interview a GirlGov participant or WGF representative, please contact Heather Arnet 412-720-4280.

Lynn Cullen Joins 4802 Panel

4802 welcomes well-known Pittsburgh television, radio and web personality Lynn Cullen to its panel in the second season of WQED’s lively discussion program hosted by Chris Moore.

Season two premieres with a “special edition” on Friday, October 28 at 7:30 p.m. on WQED-TV with an Allegheny County Chief Executive Candidates’ Forum.

For full details on the special season two premiere of 4802 and the show's panel go to:

For questions or to schedule interviews please contact George Hazimanolis at 412-622-1366 or

It's Pittsburgh like you've never seen it before!

WQED's production of Pittsburgh From the Air premieres October 27 at 8 pm.

DVDs are available at

Pittsburgh From The Air Debuts on WQED


October 18, 2011


George Hazimanolis
Senior Director of Corporate Communications

It’s Pittsburgh like you’ve never seen it before!






Available on DVD and Blu-ray from for the holidays

PITTSBURGH – WQED Pittsburgh presents the premiere of its new all-aerial production Pittsburgh From the Air in partnership with United States Steel Corporation on Thursday, October 27 at 8 p.m. on WQED-TV.

For full details regarding this program and the premiere go to:


Interviews with Darryl Ford Williams, WQED Vice President of Content and Director/Producer/Writer Stephen Stept may be scheduled by contacting George Hazimanolis at 412-622-1366 or

Full press-kits including a full-length DVD screener, press release, photos with captions, location list, wholesale and retail purchasing information, and related bios may also be obtained by contacting George Hazimanolis.

It's Pittsburgh like you've never seen it before!

WQED's production of Pittsburgh From the Air premieres October 27 at 8 pm.

DVDs are available at

Friday, October 14, 2011

PICT's Electrifying 2012 Season Announced

Contact: Melissa Hill Grande

Associate Artistic Director & Director of Marketing
412.561.6000 x203

Get turned on by PICT’s electrifying 2012 season!

American playwrights, Friel and Chekhov bring five Pittsburgh

premieres – and new lower ticket prices! – to town this season

Pittsburgh, PA – October 12, 2011. Flip the switch and watch the sparks fly as PICT raises the voltage with their hot 2012 season! Pittsburgh audiences will get a charge out of a titillating new play by a leading American female playwright, a true story, an exploration of the comedic facets of a Russian master (and the great Irishman who was inspired by him), and a zany holiday farce! The 2012 season features FIVE Pittsburgh premieres and a U.S. premiere, and runs April through August, with a special December production in time for the holidays. Great stories, well told, and new lower prices (with special recession-busting seating options for all productions) will leave audiences tingling all over and guarantee a happy ending!

PICT plugs into the 2012 season in April with Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room or the vibrator play, a smash-hit across the country receiving its first production in the Pittsburgh region. Next up, Pittsburgh audiences will be inspired and delighted by The Pitmen Painters, the Evening Standard Award-winning new play by British playwright Lee Hall (Billy Elliot). The heart of the summer is devoted to celebrating the greatest Russian playwright of all time, Anton Chekhov, as seen through the eyes of two contemporary authors who are geniuses in their own right -- Tom Stoppard and Brian Friel. The festival includes the American premiere of Stoppard’s brilliant new version of Ivanov, and Brian Friel’s stunning newly-revised adaptation of Three Sisters. Irish master Friel’s long fascination with Chekhov is also evidenced in After Chekhov, a special program of featuring The Yalta Game and Afterplay. A second program of shorts, Funny Chekhov, features Chekhov’s early comic vaudevilles. And speaking of comedy, the super-charged season ends on a dazzling note of verbal virtuosity with the December production of David Ives’ absolutely hilarious new adaptation of Moliere’s The Misanthrope, The School for Lies.

This season features new lower prices on single tickets and subscriptions, and a special recession-busting program to make PICT tickets affordable for everyone. Full-priced tickets for premium seats are reduced, and a special program making $25 seats available for ALL PICT performances is being implemented.

PICT starts the season with the most stimulating play in American theatre today, Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room or the vibrator play. The play centers on Dr. Givings, a physician who treats “female hysteria” patients with a new electric invention, while in the adjoining room his own wife yearns for what is missing in their marriage. Pulitzer prize finalist Sarah Ruhl’s Tony-nominated hit has generated a buzz of excitement from East Coast to West since its Broadway run in 2009. In the Next Room or the vibrator play runs April 19th through May 5th in the Charity Randall Theatre.

May and June herald the regional premiere of a play that celebrates the very notion of community, Lee Hall’s The Pitmen Painters. Winner of London’s 2009 Olivier Award for Best Play, this true story about an inspiring group of miners touched the hearts of audiences around the world. In 1934, a group of Ashington miners and a dental mechanic hired a professor from Newcastle University to teach an evening Art Appreciation class. Unable to understand each other at first, they embarked on one of the most unusual experiments in British art, as the pitmen learned to become painters. Within a few years the most avant-garde artists became their friends, their work was taken for prestigious collections and they were celebrated throughout the British art world; but every day they worked, as before, down the mine. PICT producing artistic director Andrew Paul helms this Pittsburgh premiere, running May 31st through June 23 in the intimate Henry Heymann Theatre.

PICT amps it up in July and August, continuing its tradition of internationally-recognized festivals with Tragedian in Spite of Himself: A Celebration of the Life and Theatre of Anton Chekhov. In Chekhov’s scenes of provincial life, comic mayhem arises from quarrels over land and money, strategic alliances (usually marriages), and a sense of personal failure that lies, as one character has it, “beyond self ruin”. The festival opens with what is perhaps Chekhov’s best-loved play, Three Sisters, featuring a newly-revised adaptation by beloved Irish playwright Brian Friel. Three Sisters poignantly conveys the struggles, loves and secret desires of Masha, Olga, and Irina and their somewhat ineffectual brother Andrey. Set in a mythological provincial town in late 19th century Russia, we see their lives unfold before our eyes. Three Sisters plays July 19th through August 26th in the Henry Heymann Theatre.

The U.S. premiere of Tom Stoppard’s new English language version of Ivanov blends the comic and the tragic elements of this early work by the great Russian master. A sort of comic Hamlet, Ivanov is overcome with inertia and self-disgust. His wife is dying and he feels nothing. He is drowning in debt and despair, and he does nothing. Is it him? Is it Russia? Ivanov was the twenty-seven-year-old Chekhov’s shot at dispatching the ‘superfluous man’ of Russian literature; in surrounding him with a brilliantly-drawn set of provincial types, he created some of the finest comedy he ever wrote. Ivanov, directed by Andrew Paul, plays August 2nd through 25th in the Charity Randall Theatre.

The Chekhov Festival also features two programs of short plays. After Chekhov features Brian Friel’s The Yalta Game and Afterplay. The Yalta Game is inspired by a theme in Chekhov’s famous short story “The Lady with the Lapdog”. Two strangers meet on holiday and almost manage to convince one another that disappointments are ‘merely the postponement of the complete happiness to come…’ Afterplay is set in 1920’s Moscow in a small, run-down café. Uncle Vanya’s niece Sonya Serebriakova, now in her forties, is the only customer…until the arrival of the Three Sisters’ put-upon brother, Andrey Prozorov. After Chekhov is directed by Alan Stanford, and performs in the Henry Heymann Theatre from August 10th through the 26th. Funny Chekhov runs August 17th through the 25th in the Charity Randall Theatre, and will feature an evening of four short comic plays and vaudevilles by Chekhov.

Absolute truthfulness sounds like a GREAT idea…until it shorts out friendships and creates hilarious friction! PICT brings the circuit full-circle with its final show of the season, The School for Lies. David Ives’ freewheeling adaptation of Moliere’s The Misanthrope brings a disillusioned curmudgeon named Frank into direct conflict with everyone he meets when he vows to tell the truth – no matter how disconcerting or offensive it may be! This being a comedy, however, Frank is diverted from his high-minded path by his love for the beautiful Celimene, a bored aristocrat with a sharp wit – and a sharp tongue – to match his! The play’s virtuosic use of language turns their verbal duel into theatrical fireworks of the highest order. The magnetic Nike Doukas and Leo Marks return to PICT for this holiday treat, directed by Andrew Paul and playing in the Charity Randall Theatre from December 5th through the 22nd.

For more information, phone 412.561.6000.

PICT 2012 Season Fact Sheet

The Charity Randall and Henry Heymann Theatres, Stephen Foster Memorial,

4301 Forbes Avenue, Oakland

In the Next Room or the vibrator play by Sarah Ruhl
A Pittsburgh Premiere
The Charity Randall Theatre
April 19 – May 5

The Pitmen Painters by Lee Hall
A Pittsburgh Premiere
Directed by Andrew S. Paul
Henry Heymann Theatre
May 31 – June 23

Chekhov Celebration
Tragedian in Spite of Himself: A Celebration of the Life and Theatre of Anton Chekhov
July 19 – August 26

Three Sisters, adapted by Brian Friel
Henry Heymann Theatre
July 19 – August 26

Ivanov, new English version by Tom Stoppard
U.S. Premiere
Directed by Andrew S. Paul
The Charity Randall Theatre
August 2 – 25

After Chekhov
Featuring The Yalta Game and Afterplay by Brian Friel
Pittsburgh Premieres
Directed by Alan Stanford
Henry Heymann Theatre
August 10 – 26

Funny Chekhov
Short plays and vaudevilles by Anton Chekhov
The Charity Randall Theatre
August 17 – 25

The School for Lies by David Ives
A free adaptation of Moliere’s The Misanthrope
A Pittsburgh Premiere
Directed by Andrew S. Paul
The Charity Randall Theatre
December 5 – 22


Subscriptions: $252 - $176 (wide range of packages and flex plans available)

Single Tickets: $48 - $25 ($20 youth ticket for under 26)

Call ProArtsTickets at 412.394.3353 or visit online

PICT – Great Stories. Well Told.

Teenie Harris Exhibit Runs Through April at the Carnegie Museum of Art

Teenie Harris, Photographer:

An American Story

@ Heinz Galleries

Carnegie Museum of Art
4400 Forbes Avenue, Pgh, PA 15213

October 29, 2011­–April 7, 2012

Technology and Television Panel Discussion

National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications

(Western PA Chapter) presents

Technology and Television:

The Evolution of Today and the Impact on Our Future

Friday, October 14, 2011 from 6 - 8 PM

Best Western, Parkway Center Inn

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WQED Season Spotlights Community Health, Diversity and Regional Issues



October 11, 2011

George Hazimanolis

Maria Pisano



PITTSBURGH – WQED’s new season of local programs covers the region with a crop of fresh new stories, documentaries, and talk programs focusing on topics including the environment, regionalism, diversity, health, politics and history.

October 13 begins the second season of Rick Sebak’s It’s Pittsburgh and A Lot of Other Stuff. The award-winning documentarian has a new slot in prime time – the second Thursday of each month at 8 p.m.

The locally-focused documentary program Experience, which received 8 Mid-Atlantic Emmy® nominations in its first season, returns on Mondays at 7:30 p.m. beginning October 24.

Horizons, a blend of features and interviews focusing on the region’s ethnic and cultural diversity continues on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. starting November 1 hosted by Chris Moore.

Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. will again feature Pittsburgh 360°. The magazine-format program profiles people, places and issues shaping the region, and will re-launch on October 20 hosted by Michael Bartley and Tonia Caruso.

4802 returns on Fridays at 7:30 p.m. beginning October 28. Chris Moore hosts the lively discussion of the news of the week, with a regular panel that welcomes well-known Pittsburgh television, radio and web personality Lynn Cullen in the new season. Cullen, a popular guest panelist in past episodes, joins Bill Green, Heather Heidelbaugh and Valerie McDonald Roberts.

Below are upcoming highlights of WQED’s local programming:


Mondays at 7:30 p.m. (Each episode will ENCORE Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. of the following week) – Upcoming episodes include:

• October 24

Living With Diabetes - Despite efforts from the medical community to promote awareness, the number of diabetes cases continues to rise. People with diabetes know that the disease affects just about every aspect of their lives. WQED follows four local people of various ages and lifestyles diagnosed as diabetic or pre-diabetic who are successfully managing their health with medication, exercise, diet and determination.

• October 31

Managing Marcellus – This unusual look at the Marcellus Shale issue centers around a locally-produced play with actors in the roles of a gas industry representative, an elected official, an environmentalist, and a land owner - all grappling with the controversy, misconceptions and decisions surrounding Marcellus Shale drilling. WQED features not only the performers, but their real-life counterparts.

• November 7

Pittsburgh: An Arsenal of Freedom - WQED contributing reporter Dave Crawley documents Western Pennsylvania’s contributions to World War II, including the Bantam Jeep designed in Butler, LST production on Neville Island, steel production in Homestead, and the Westinghouse artist who created the Rosie The Riveter image.

• November 14

Pittsburgh Is Art! – Western Pennsylvanians are familiar with the prestigious opera, ballet and theater productions in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District – but what about the region’s lesser-known arts organizations? WQED spotlights some of the “small arts” groups that fly under the mainstream radar, yet bring diversity and vibrancy to the cultural scene.

• November 21

Cresson: The History of a Tuberculosis Sanatorium – The TB sanatorium in Cresson, PA closed in 1962 but former patients are still haunted by their experiences. Many Western Pennsylvanians with family members who were sent away to Cresson remember the stigma of a TB diagnosis. WQED chronicles the fascinating history of the Cresson “San” through rare archival images and the poignant stories of a Texas man who was confined as a teenage patient - and is determined to see Cresson one last time.

• December 5

Visiting Volant – The tiny town in Lawrence County, PA has transformed itself into a charming tourist attraction and fly-fishing destination. WQED explores Volant’s history, fascinating shops, the town’s Amish influence and its scenic outdoor activities.


Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m., here is a sampling of new stories this season:

• November 1

Indian Burial Grounds - Native American Eugene Strong is on a one-man, lifetime crusade to save the burial mounds of his ancestors, including one in McKees Rocks. Chris Moore reports.

• November 1

Ayurveda – Ayurvedic medicine is a system of traditional, alternative, medicine native to India. Chris Moore shows viewers how it is being practiced right here in Pittsburgh

• November 8

Pieces of Venezuela in Pittsburgh - Jose Puentes came to Pittsburgh ten years ago from Venezuela to attend CMU's Performance Residential Program. Now he's keeping alive the traditions of Venezuelan folk music.

• November 22

Homewood Artists Residency – This new initiative is creating a space where artists can both live and work in this Pittsburgh neighborhood. Sponsored by the Andy Warhol Museum, the project hopes to have a lasting impact on the lives of the artists and more permanent residents of this once-thriving community. Minette Seate reports.

It’s Pittsburgh and A Lot of Other Stuff

All NEW every 2nd Thursday from 8-9 p.m.

• October 13

North Park vs. South Park – Rick Sebak brings viewers a look at the fun rivalry between Pittsburgh’s two great county parks.

Pittsburgh 360°

Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.

• October 20, 27, November 3

The Power of 32 - An in-depth look at the power of regional thinking and the initiative that has local lawmakers thinking and using their influence in a whole new way. The Power of 32 initiative involves 32 counties in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland and West Virginia creating a vision for the region’s future. Tonia Caruso and Michael Bartley report.

• October 27

Senior Softball - They play with the enthusiasm of teenagers, but three of the players on this local softball team are 80 or older, and not one is younger than 65. Tonia Caruso spotlights this team in Pittsburgh’s North Hills.

• November 10

Historic Flag - WQED's Chris Fennimore tells the story of an American flag made by his father while serving in Germany in World War II, and how it ended up in the Smithsonian Museum of American History.

• December 8

Opera Champion of Pittsburgh – The Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh is looking for its own “idol.” Reporter Beth Dolinar follows the regional competition of amateur singers hoping to win cash, voice lessons and a solo role on stage.

WQED Pittsburgh has a proud history of honors, including 128 National and Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Awards, an Academy Award, and many, many others, including two Emmy® Awards for Station Excellence. WQED was founded in 1954 as the nation’s first community-supported broadcaster. The people of WQED create, produce and distribute quality programs, products and services to engage, inform, educate and entertain the public within their community and around the world. WQED Pittsburgh is one of the first broadcasters in the country to be fully high-definition (HD) in its studio and field production capabilities. It is the parent company of WQED-TV (PBS); WQED: The Neighborhood Channel; WQED: The Create Channel; Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive (; and The WQED Education Department.

Bethlehem Haven Kicks Off Lecture Series with Suzie McConnell-Serio

The first speaker in the lecture series is women's basketball hall-of-famer, two-time Olympic Medalist and Pittsburgh native, Suzie McConnell-Serio.

Suzie is one of the most highly-decorated players in the history of women's basketball. She was named to the USA Today All-Time Women's Basketball Team and was also named by Sports Illustrated as the best 5-4 basketball player, male or female, of all time. Suzie was also the first woman named Dapper Dan Sportswoman of the Year in 1999, an honor given by the City of Pittsburgh for women who excel in athletics and also make a difference in their community.

Join us to hear her story and be inspired by her drive and determination.

Helping Women Helps The World

Lunch with Suzie McConnell-Serio

October 18, 2011

11:30 AM to 1:00 PM

The Fairmont Hotel


$25 for single lecture

$75 for series (4 lectures)

Register online

or call Jennifer Signore at 412-391-1348 x222.

Questions? Email Jennifer for more information at

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Brownsville Unveils Winemakers for Taste of Italy Anniversary

For Immediate Release

BARC Unveils Winemakers, Details

For 10th Anniversary Taste of Italy

BROWNSVILLE, PA. – Poised to mark the 10th anniversary of the Taste of Italy, Brownsville Area Revitalization Corp. will be feting 15 regional vintners this Saturday. A total of 67 dry and sweet reds and whites have been submitted to the panel of judges for the annual wine-tasting competition.

This year's winemakers are Richard Quarzo and Dr. Alan Sally, both Brownsville residents , Richard Dascenzo of Hiller and John Chan of Grindstone, part of the original group and now marking their 10th consecutive year of participation; Carl DellaPenna of Brownsville and Lee Cross of West Brownsville, eight years; Joanne Bailey of Greensburg, seven years; Tom Hultz Jr. of Monongahela and Mickey Zivkovich of Brownsville, six years; Ervin Cross of West Brownsville and Tom Roberts of Claysville, five years; George Kopsack of Richeyville and Bill Jessop of Scenery Hill, three years; and Christian Ruby of California and Joel Seelye of Duncansville, both newcomers to the wine-tasting event.

The 10th anniversary celebration will be held at the Brownsville Sons of Italy, Frank Ricco Lodge 731, 16 Race St. The doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 in advance through BARC, 724-785-9331; $40 at the door.

The entries represent a wide variety of dry and sweet wines from traditional to unusual. The extensive offering will include popular fares, such as Malbec, Rose, Zinfandel, Merlot and Muscatel while others genuinely reflect the vintners' creative mastery of their craft. Some of the unusual finds will be chocolate-covered cherry, pina colada, cantaloupe, cherry wineberry, pineapple and blueberry wines.

The evening will feature an auction of a basket of private labels from participating winemakers; Chinese auction of gift baskets valued at $100 or more; raffle of an overnight package at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort' chateau, lodge or townhouse and breakfast for two at Autumn, valued at $580; and door prizes throughout the night. Each guest will receive a 10th anniversary wine glass, donated by Ricco's Carmichaels Golf Club, the Taste of Italy's "Platinum" sponsor.

This year's buffet features menu items from Paci's Restaurant & Lounge, 384 Old National Pike; Route 40 Classic Diner, 6229 National Pike; and Thompson House Restaurant & Tavern, 815 Water St. Also on the smorgasbord will be Italian specialties, hors d'oeuvres and various ethnic dishes.

The 2011 Taste of Italy "Gold" sponsors are Audiologics Inc., NAPA Auto Parts, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Nemacolin Wooflands and Woodlands Animal Care Center. "Silver" sponsors are Brownsville Family Pharmacy, Giannetti Motors, Jackson Farms and Southwestern Hearing Care Inc. "Bronze" sponsors are Brownsville Ambulance Service, Brownsville Hardware, Brownsville Marine Products LLC, Community Foundation of Fayette County, Country Fresh Market, Fayette Podiatry Associates, Lunden's Flower Shop, Market Street Academy & Performing Arts Center, Redstone Candies, Rye's Bar & Restaurant, Skirpan Funeral Home, Tri-County Mechanical Services and Attorney William Worthington.


Norma Ryan, 724-785-9387


Brownsville Area Revitalization Corp. (BARC) is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Its mission is to achieve economic development through historic preservation, heritage tourism, outdoor recreation, community stewardship, education, youth advancements and the arts. Contact the BARC office, 724.785.9331, for additional information about programs and upcoming events.

First Night Contestants Sought


Today's date: October 10, 2011

Media Contacts:

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Veronica Corpuz, (412) 471-6082

Equitable Gas, Scott Waitlevertch (412) 395-2314

Student Stars Sought for First Night Pittsburgh Sing-Off

First Night Pittsburgh 2012 - Saturday, December 31, 2012

(Pittsburgh, PA) – Equitable Gas Company is searching for musically talented students to audition for the company’s second vocal competition celebrating the New Year. The Equitable Gas Sing-Off is part of the upcoming 2012 First Night® Pittsburgh, a production of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and continues the company’s commitment to opening opportunities for young people in greater Pittsburgh.

Similar to a number of talent shows currently popular on television, students from grades 6 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 November 11, 2011.

“Equitable Gas is proud to sponsor the Equitable Gas Sing-off, a competition for young people to showcase their musical talents on New Year’s Eve”, said Bill Lucas, Executive Vice President of Equitable Gas “Once again, we are pleased to 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.”

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 be held online from November 12 – 19, and will help to determine the winner. Award winners will perform live as the opening act for the Equitable Gas Marquee Performances at the Benedum Center during First Night® Pittsburgh. In addition, the winner will also receive a cash prize of $500, compliments of Equitable Gas Company. Finally, winners will receive complimentary First Night® Pittsburgh admission buttons to enjoy the numerous activities that night.

“First Night is a great forum for expressing and celebrating the vitality and youthfulness of our city through the arts. We’re thrilled to continue this new tradition of showcasing the talented students of our region and are grateful to Equitable Gas for their dedication to infusing energy into the Cultural District” said Darcy Kucenic, Director of First Night Pittsburgh and Manager of Education & Operations for The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. “The Equitable Gas Sing-Off is a perfect complement to First Night Pittsburgh, powerfully depicting celebration, resolution, community and hope through song.”

In 2010, Equitable Gas and The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust hosted the first Sing-off event and Nicoletta Giacchino, a senior from FranklinRegional High School, won the competition.

A production of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, First Night® Pittsburgh is a unique, family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration focused on the arts. Held in more than 200 cities worldwide, the festival is a wonderful way to bring in the New Year in an uplifting, alcohol-free atmosphere. Centered in the Cultural District, 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 Companyis 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 website at
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Monday, October 10, 2011

LynnMarie's Wrap Your Heart Around It One-Woman Show


Today's date: October 7, 2011

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces a one-night-only

performance by five-time Grammy nominee, LynnMarie

Sunday, October 23 2011, 7:00PM

Cabaret at Theater Square

655 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

PITTSBURGH…The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is pleased to announce a Sunday evening performance by LynnMarie of her one-woman show, Wrap Your Heart Around It – A Journey from Depression to Dessert on Sunday, October 23rd. There will be one performance at 7:00PM. For more information, please contact Randy Kirk at 412-325-6766, or at

Wrap Your Heart Around It – A Journey from Depression to Dessert is an engaging one-woman show filled with both poignancy and fun starring five-time Grammy nominee LynnMarie. You’ll be encouraged and entertained, through stories and songs, as LynnMarie reveals how growing up in an ethnic dysfunctional family, being the Adult Child of an Alcoholic, a Special Needs parent and a fumbling, faith-searching woman, all lead her on the road back to joy.

The fans and critics have spoken: Robert Deaton, Executive Producer of the Country Music Awards, said, "LynnMarie takes you to a place that's raw, fierce and healing. Her story applies to all of us. I walked away with hope.” Lori Duke, the parent of a child with special needs, agrees: “Prepare to be inspired. LynnMarie's honesty and courage will move you beyond belief!” And Blair Gardner, national radio personality says, “LynnMarie provides an unflinching account of what it means to overcome life’s greatest challenges. You leave the performance hungry to mount an assault on what holds you back!” The artist, who has performed her unique style of accordion music throughout the U.S. and Europe, as well as on The Tonight Show says, “Think My Big Fat Greek Wedding meets The Vagina Monologues!


Doors to the Backstage Bar will open at 5:00PM. Seating and dinner/tapas service (optional, see below) is at 6:00PM. Performance to begin at 7:00PM.

Dine at the Cabaret! You can enjoy dinner, drinks & dessert right at your theater table. Your ticket is also your dinner reservation - simply arrive early enough for our service staff to take care of you before the show begins. The doors to the theater will open at approximately 6:00PM for seating and service, so plan to arrive between 6:00-6:30PM for the most attentive dinner service, or closer to curtain for drinks.

Tickets are priced at $25.75 and are available by calling 412-456-6666, or online at

Contact Randy Kirk at 412-325-6766, or for more information or hi-res pictures.

Storytelling Benefit Event for Homeless Children's Education Fund


Today's date: October 7, 2011

Randy Kirk

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces An Education: True Stories of Unusual Lessons Learned - a storytelling benefit event

Monday, October 17th, 2011, 7:00pm

Cabaret at Theater Square

655 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

PITTSBURGH…The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is pleased to announce a Monday evening storytelling performance entitled, An Education: True Stories of Unusual Lessons Learned, to benefit and raise awareness of Homeless Children's Education Fund

This engaging, entertaining evening of live, first-person storytelling (in the style of New York's The Moth and Pittsburgh's own For Real, For Real), features a diverse group of individuals stepping onstage to recount their true-to-life experiences related to the evening's theme of “unusual lessons learned.”

The program will run the gamut from hilarious to poignant to heart-wrenching, and will feature real stories of revelation, edification, and mortification, in settings ranging from academia to the school of hard knocks. It's memoir meets monologue, with a dash of stand-up comedy.

Moreover, this event is part of Pittsburgh's first-ever Homeless Children's Awareness Week (October 15-23), organized by Homeless Children's Education Fund. In addition to raising awareness of HCEF's efforts on behalf of homeless youth in Allegheny County, all proceeds will from this event will benefit HCEF's Outreach Team.

Doors to the Backstage Bar will open at 5:30PM. Seating and dinner/tapas service (optional, see below) is at 6:00PM. Storytelling to begin at 7:00PM.

Admission is $10.00 at the door, or advance tickets are available by calling 412.562.0154.

For more information on HCEF and Homeless Children's Awareness Week, visit


Dine at the Cabaret! You can enjoy dinner, drinks & dessert right at your theater table. Your ticket is also your dinner reservation - simply arrive early enough for our service staff to take care of you before the show begins. The doors to the theater will open at approximately 6:00PM for seating and service, so plan to arrive between 6:00-6:30PM for the most attentive dinner service, or closer to curtain for drinks.

Contact Randy Kirk at 412-325-6766, or for more information or hi-res pictures.

Special Benefit Screening of The Tempest

Media Contact: Melissa Hill Grande
412.561.6000 x203


PICT hosts benefit screening of Julie Taymor’s theatrical film The Tempest, followed by “Meet the Producer” event

Theatrical cross-over film starring Helen Mirren screened as special event to benefit PICT; Hollywood producer will be on hand for festivities and reception

Pittsburgh, Pa – October 6, 2011. Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre is hosting a benefit screening of Julie Taymor’s theatrical film version of The Tempest, and will include an introduction and reception with the film’s producer. The film stars Helen Mirren as a cross-gendered Prospera, alongside an all-star cast including Djimon Hounsou, Alan Cummings, David Strathairn, Chris Cooper, Russell Brand, Reeve Carney (currently in Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark on Broadway) and Alfred Molina.

The event will take place on Saturday, October 22nd at 7:00 p.m. on the 7th floor of Alumni Hall on Fifth Avenue in Oakland, and is sponsored in part by the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh and The Priory. Disney has generously donated the 35 mm print for this special event.

Lynn Hendee, president of Chartoff Productions and producer of The Tempest, will introduce the film. A “Meet the Producer” reception with Ms. Hendee will be held after the screening. Ms. Hendee, a member of the Producers Guild of America, was previously Vice President of Barry and Enright Productions and before that, a Production Executive with Thorn EMI Films. Her 2005 production of “In My Country,” starring Juliette Binoche and Samuel L. Jackson, was awarded the Diamond Cinema for Peace Award at the Berlin Film Festival as well as the Washington, D. C. based Common Ground Award for Film.

This modern retelling of William Shakespeare’s final masterpiece is an exciting, mystical and magical fantasy. The film stars Academy Award-Winner Helen Mirren (best actress The Queen, 2006) leading a star-studded cast including Russell Brand (Get Him to the Greek) and Alfred Molina (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Tony-Award nominee for Art, Fiddler on the Roof, Red). Exiled to a magical island, the sorceress Prospera (Mirren) conjures up a storm that shipwrecks her enemies, and then unleashes her powers for revenge.

The Tempest was honored as the closing night film at the 2010 Venice Film Festival, as the Centerpiece selection for the 2010 New York Film Festival, as well as the Chicago International Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival, the Mill Valley Film Festival and the 2011 Moscow International Film Festival.

American director Julie Taymor is one of the most celebrated and controversial artists working today. Her production of The Lion King earned her the honor of being the first woman to ever win a Tony Award for directing a musical, as well as a Tony Award for Costume Design. Her highly-publicized production Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark is currently running on Broadway. Other films by Taymor include Titus, and Frida, which was nominated for six Oscars, winning two. Her film Across the Universe, a love story set to the music of The Beatles, received a Golden Globe nomination.

For more information about the movie, visit

Tickets for the benefit screening of The Tempest are $25; screening and reception is $35. Youth tickets (under 26) for the screening are $15. (Youth add $10 for the “Meet the Producer” reception.) Tickets are available through Pitt Theatre Arts at 412.624.7529 (or at the box office in the basement of the Stephen Foster Memorial from noon-5 Monday-Friday) or through ProArtsTickets by calling 412.394.3353.
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Friday, October 7, 2011

Arlo Guthrie and The Boys Night Out Band at the Byham


Today's date: October 6, 2011

Arlo Guthrie

November 5, 2011 - Byham Theater

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is proud to present the multi-talented Arlo Guthrie on Saturday, November 5, 2011, at 8:00 p.m. at the Byham Theater. Folk veteran Arlo Guthrie returns to his roots, performing time-honored classics as well as many deep album cuts from a career spanning more than 40 years. Arlo Guthrie has long been a crowd favorite, blending humorous, philosophical reflections with folk-rock hits and brilliantly-crafted new works. Arlo Guthrie along with his son Abe Guthrie, grandson Krishna Guthrie and drummer Terry “a la Berry” Hall form the Boys’ Night Out band, offering synergistic and familial support for a dynamic live performance. This performance is a part of the 2011-2012 Trust Presents series, sponsored by Cohen and Grigsby.

Tickets ($30-$50) for Arlo Guthrie on November 5, 2011 at 8:00 p.m., at the Byham Theater may be purchased at the Box Office at Theater Square, 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.

About Arlo Guthrie

Arlo Guthrie was born into a musical atmosphere in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York (1947). He is the first born of America’s most beloved singer/writer/philosopher Woody Guthrie, and wife Majorie Mazia Guthrie. Because Arlo was constantly surrounded by dancers and musicians, they became a significant influence on Arlo’s musical career. He made his first public performance at age 13, and has since developed his own unique style with a distinctive, expressive voice.

Arlo’s career exploded with the release of the paradigmatic anti-war anthem, “Alice’s Restaurant” (1967). Arlo is mostly known for his array of protest songs of the sixties. For more than 40 years, he has toured throughout the world, winning diverse followers along the way. He has been a musical success since day one, and now has over 25 albums to date. Alongside his performing career, he launched his own record label, Rising Son Records (1983). To top off his list of accomplishments, he has entered the acting world with jobs on both ABC’s “Byrds of Paradise” as well as USA’s “Renegade.”

Arlo Guthrie has received much recognition for his accomplishments, including a Grammy nomination for the collaboration with his father, Woody Guthrie, on “This Land is Your Land,” and Arlo’s “Mooses Come Walking” is an award-winning children’s book.

About the Boys’ Night Out Band

Abe Guthrie has accompanied his father on keyboards and backing vocals for over 25 years, and the bond is almost tangible. Terry Hall has traveled and recorded with Arlo for over thirty years, originally as the drummer for Shenandoah in the 70s and most recently on 2011’s Journey On tour. Krishna Guthrie first appeared literally on Arlo’s Mystic Journey album (Rising Son Records, 1996), as the baby in Arlo’s arms on the cover. Now all grown up and a skilled guitarist, Krishna represents the third generation on stage.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Everett McElveen September Dignity and Respect Champion


Contact: Melissa Marullo

Everett McElveen Recognized as September

Dignity and Respect Champion

President and CEO of Life’sWork of Western PA Honored for Helping Individuals with Disabilities Achieve Independence and Self-Sufficiency

(PITTSBURGH, PA) September 22, 2011– Everett McElveen works so the mission of Life’sWork remains the same as it did 84 years ago – to provide opportunity, employment, and independence to individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment. With this mission, he assures the organization treats everyone with dignity and respect, hoping to change the community for the better.

“Treating people with dignity and respect is good for all of us, and if we did that, a lot of the problems we have in the world would be solved. Our communities would be better, kids would be respectful in school, parents would treat their children consistently in that manner, bullying, everything would be different.”

Life’sWork started as an experiment in 1927 to find out if women who could not leave their homes due to housework and children could contribute to the family budget. Now, it is a nonprofit organization that assists more than 2,000 individuals each year to achieve independence and self-esteem through employment opportunities.

Nominated by Bernadette Turner, Everett was selected as the September Dignity and Respect Champion for working to create a respectful environment for all of those around him.

“Everett is oblivious to size, color, and physical ability when he is talking to a participant about their work at the center or smiling with them as they proudly show him their completed project. From the moment you walk in the doors, the employees are warm and welcoming. That type of environment is not happenstance, that is leadership. Everett is dignity and respect,” Bernadette said.

Everett lives in Ohio Township with his wife, and has been working at Life’s Work for seven years, a job that frequently reminds him how blessed he is. Everett believes treating others with dignity and respect is important in our daily lives because we are all one in the same.

“I find my job rewarding because of the families and the individuals we assist. People take it for granted that we are able-minded and able-bodied. From a disability perspective, the teenage years are difficult enough. People don’t realize if you are born with a disability, it is an added burden on your daily life. People are very bias towards others that are not like them. We are good at picking out what makes us different, but we are not aware of things that make us exactly the same,” Everett said.

The Dignity and Respect Campaign is an awareness campaign designed to join individuals, community leaders, community organizations, educational institutions, businesses, and corporations under the common notion that everyone deserves dignity and respect.

For more information and to take the Dignity and Respect pledge, visit:
· Dignity & Respect Campaign on Facebook
· DRCampaign on Twitter
· Text RESPECT to 94253

October is Dignity and Respect Month.
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Silk Road Acrobats from China Perform in Pittsburgh


Today's date: October 3, 2011

Silk Road Acrobats

October 16-23, 2011 at various venues throughout the region

Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater, a division of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, presents the Pittsburgh premiere of Silk Road Acrobats from China, October 16-23, 2011, at six performance locations throughout the area. Performance locations include: City: Byham Theater, October 16 at 2:00 p.m. & Student Matinee: October 17 at 10:15 a.m.; East: Gateway High School, October 19 at 7:00 p.m.; North: Marshall Middle School, October 20 at 5:30 & 7:30 p.m.; West: Moon Area High School, October 21 at 7:00 p.m.; South: Mt Lebanon High School, October 22 at 11:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m.; and Butler: Seneca Valley Senior High School, October 23 at 2:00 p.m.

Citizens Bank is the season sponsor of Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater.

A fusion of ancient and Chinese acrobatics and modern dance, the Silk Road Acrobats, from the Uyghur region in northwestern China, inspire audiences with precision, grace, and thrilling choreography. The music emulates the hard/soft, strong/weak interpretation of the Yin Yang (Dark / Light and Female/ Male) in Chinese culture and proudly preserves an ancient tradition as important to Chinese culture as song and dance. As their name suggests, the ancient art of these performers began with traveling acrobats who performed along the famous Silk Road, the most well-known trading route of ancient Chinese civilization. The 7000-mile route spanned China, Central Asia, Northern India, and the Parthian and Roman Empires, connected the Yellow River Valley to the Mediterranean Sea, and passed through present-day countries Iran, Iraq and Syria. In the late Ming Dynasty and the early Qing Dynasty, acrobatics was introduced abroad and was highly appreciated by the Americans and the Europeans.

Chinese acrobatics demands years of dedication and rigorous practice, sometimes with aspiring youngsters beginning their training as early as four or five years old. Sonny Soohoo, the creative director of the Silk Road Acrobats, began his career at the age of 12 and was trained by the famous Jiang Yanjing of the Shenyang Acrobatics Troupe. In 2004, he began coordinating and directing talent for everything from theatre shows to corporate events and has since produced, directed, choreographed, and stage managed hundreds of shows. The performers range in age from Sonny, who is 32, down to Enkhmurun Sodnumpunsum, who, at 14, is the show’s Mongolian contortionist, and has performed over 1000 shows since beginning her career at age 6.

The Silk Road Acrobats show is a high energy, tinged with danger, action-packed extravaganza that has audiences of all ages at the edge of their seats, as China’s gifted tumblers juggle, cycle, contort and flip across the stage. Vignettes can include: Hoop Diving, Plate Spinning, Candelabra Contortion, Happy Chef, Hula Hoop Contortion, Straw Hat Juggling, Handkerchief Spinning, Pole Diving, Mongolian Contortion, and of course the famous Lion Dance. This fifty minute performance is recommended for the entire family.

Paul Taylor Dance Company at the Byham


Today's date: October 3, 2011

Contact: Tara Safar,

Paul Taylor Dance Company

October 22, 2011 - Byham Theater

Pittsburgh Dance Council proudly presents Paul Taylor Dance Company at the Byham Theater, on Saturday, October 22, 2011, at 8:00 p.m. The dance program will include: Mercuric Tidings (1982), music: Schubert / excerpts from Symphonies 1&2, costumes: Santo Loquasto, lighting: Jennifer Tipton; Three Dubious Memories (2010), music: Peter Elyakim Taussig / Five Enigmas (movements 1,3,4,5), costumes: Santo Loquasto, lighting: Jennifer Tipton; and Piazzolla Caldera (1997), music: Astor Piazzolla and Jerzy Peterburshsky / El Sol Sueno, Concierto Para Quinteto / Celos / Escualo, costumes: Santo Loquasto, lighting: Jennifer Tipton.

Tickets ($19-$50) may be purchased at the Box Office at Theater Square, online at, or by calling (412) 456-6666. First Commonwealth is the proud season sponsor of Pittsburgh Dance Council, and 90.5 Essential Public Radio is the media sponsor.

Mr. Paul Taylor was born in 1930 and grew up in Washington, DC. In the late 1940s, he began studying painting at Syracuse University until he discovered dance, which prompted his transfer to The Juilliard School in New York City. At the age of 23, Taylor, along with five other colleagues, gave his first choreographed public performance at the Henry Street Settlement in Manhattan on Sunday, May 30, 1954. After the debut of Taylor’s successfully choreographed performance, he became the youngest member of the pantheon that created American modern dance. Since retiring as a performer in 1974, he has devoted himself to creating major choreographed works including: Esplanade, Arden Court, Last Look, Musical Offering, Company B, and Promethean Fire, to name a few. According to Time Magazine, "Paul Taylor is the reigning master of modern dance" (Time Magazine).” Taylor continues to be one of modern dance’s most celebrated artists.

Paul Taylor Dance Company has performed for 56 years in more than 520 cities in 62 countries, as well as represented the United States at arts festivals in more than 40 countries worldwide. In honor of India’s celebration of the nation’s 50th anniversary in 1997, the Company toured throughout India. Taylor’s company continued to tour throughout the world, and in 1999 was honored as the Best International Dance Event by Chile’s Art Critics' Circle. Within its goal to reach new audiences, the Company toured the People's Republic of China in the summer of 2001 and performed in six cities, presenting American modern dance for the first time to audiences in four of those cities toured. The New York Times addresses the Company as, "One of the most exciting, innovative, and delightful dance companies in the entire world (New York Times).”

Taylor has received numerous accolades for his outstanding work: (1967) 16th Annual Capezio Dance Award; the Dance Magazine Award, MacArthur "Genius" Award, Algur H. Meadows Award, Manchester Evening News Award, Association of Performing Arts Presenters Award of Merit, and the Americans for the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award. Vanity Fair magazine refers to him as "the greatest choreographer in the world.” "Paul Taylor Dance Company is perhaps the most beloved and respected modern dance company in the world, famous for Mr. Taylor's wit, its sunny expansiveness, its all-American optimism and its occasional forays into darkness and gloom (Dallas Morning News).”