2007 Productions

December 2007: Bridge Club, by Matt M. Smith, directed by John E. Lane, Jr., ran November 15th through December 1st, 2007. Matt Smith’s first full-length play brings existentialism into the new millennium. An ad hoc support group meets to vomit up the stories that have brought them to their current lot in life. A searing indictment of religion, love, friendship and modern views of sex. With Grant Bojarski, T.R. Butler, Stephanie Figer, and Jeannine Foster-McKelvia.
Reviews: Post-Gazette, City.

October 2007: The Fifth Annual Theatre Festival in Black and White, Pittsburgh Playwrights’ signature event, featured eight one-act plays, half by African-American playwrights and half by Caucasian playwrights, with a twist that the Caucasian plays are directed by African-American directors, and vice versa. Supported by MCAI, Mellon and The Pittsburgh Foundation. Festival Coordinator: John Gresh. Ran October 17th through October 28th, 2007.

  • Sympathy for a Vampire, by Erick Q. Irvis, directed by Roger Babusci. With Jeff Miller, Hilary Larkin, Deborah Pomeco, Zack McCoy, Thomas Fuchel, and Lamont Jones.
  • Cake Without Frosting, by F.J. Hartland, directed by Joseph Martinez. With Brenda Marks and Shaun Nicole McCarthy.
  • 1892/1982 Two Steel Stories, by Lynne Conner, directed by Ron Black. With Thomas Fuchel and Ezra Smith.
  • Mr. Ding Dong Daddy, by Jamal Williams, directed by John Gresh. With Don Marshall and Jennifer Chervenak.
  • Play it Out, by James Michael Shoberg, directed by Carter Redwood. With Nathan Hollabaugh and Deanna Tangeman.
  • The Only Good Artist is a Dead One, by Rage Stevenson, directed by James Wong. With Phat Man Dee, Cory Tamler, John Graham, and Dominique Johnson.
  • Out of Focus, by France Luce Benson, directed by Lisa Ann Goldsmith. With Brandon Williams and Ashley Coney.
  • A Question of Taste, by Andrew Ade, directed by Jeanine Foster McKelvia. With Joshua Elijah Reese, Ben Blakey, and Lonzo Green.

Preview: Post-Gazette.
Reviews: Post-Gazette, City.

“A Question of Taste” by Andrew Ade
“…a riveting one-room epic about politics and disillusionment, told in achingly human terms…smartly directed by Jeannine Foster McKelvia…with precise, passionate performances by Ben Blakey and Joshua Reese…a must see.”
Christopher Rawson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Cake Without Frosting” by F.J. Hartland
“Two sisters, who hate each other like poison, come together for a surprise birthday celebration; what impresses most is Hartland’s refusal to offer the feel-good ending any other playwright would have. The two-woman cast makes a strong and evenly-matched pair.”
Christopher Rawson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


September 2007: James McBride, by Mark Clayton Southers, directed by Andrew Paul, ran September 13th through 29th. With Roger Jerome, Bruce Hill, Joshua Elijah Reese, James Keegan, Jay Keenan, Cheryl El Walker, Theo Allyn, and Joseph Martinez.
Preview: Post-Gazette.
Images: Poster.
Reviews: Post-Gazette, Tribune-Review, City.

“A sweetly comic encounter [that] exudes a genuine love of poetry.”
Christopher Rawson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 09/25/07

“Andrew S. Paul directs a strong and talented cast headed by Joshua Elijah Reese. Jay Keenan, E. Bruce Hill and Roger Jerome entertain as contentious and articulate Irish poets. Joseph Martinez and Theo Allyn add sparkle as McBride’s white rapper pal and a scrappy but sensitive barmaid.” Alice T. Carter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 09/25/07

August 2007: Hosted a LTD Productions and Winter Morning Pictures LLC production of Eighteen, by Allison Moore, directed by Lisa Ann Goldsmith. With Tony Bingham, Dana Hardy, Sara Manganello.

July 2007: Hosted a Caravan Theatre of Pittsburgh production of Savage in Limbo, by John Patrick Shanley, directed by John Gresh. With Tony Bingham, Dana Hardy, Bridget Carey, Gregory Johnstone, Amy Marsalis.

June 2007: Hosted a Cup-A-Jo Productions production of A Thurber Carnival, by James Thurber, directed by David Minniefield. With Joanna Lowe, Everett Lowe, Alyssa Herron, Christopher Kirsch, Brad Minnigh, Emily Paton, Joseph Roots, Molly Beth Seremet.

June 2007: Fourth Annual Pittsburgh Pride Theater Festival.

  • Their Town, by Paula Martinac, directed by Adam Kukic. With Todd Betker, Diana Ifft, Paige Spara, Jaime Slavinsky, Scott van de Mark, Joe Stitman, Leah Klocko, John Feightner, Lou Bojarski.
  • And a Happy New Year, by Aaron Jefferson Tindall, directed by F.J. Hartland. With Christopher Maxwell, Grant Scavello, Jillian Vitko.
  • The Session, by Wali Jamal, directed by Kim El. With Courtney Day Nassar, Tamara R. Wilkes, Marcus Muzopappa, Jessica Kennedy.
  • Beyond Dirt Knees, by Ryan M. McKelvey, directed by Jeffrey R. Simpson. With Patrick Orr, Robert O’Toole, Dennis Gills, Sarah Wolford, Christopher Maxwell.
  • Call Girl, by Carol Mullen, directed by Wali Jamal. With Courtney Day Nassar, Jessica Kennedy, Laura Hoffman.

May 2007: The Music Lesson, by Tammy Ryan, directed by John Gresh, ran May 11th through May 26th, 2007. With Judy Kaplan, Nadia Cook-Loshilov, Imani Milliones, Aman Milliones, Lalicia Roman, and Mark Tierno.
Reviews: Post-Gazette, City Paper (response)
Images: Postcard

“Using dramatic flashbacks and the haunting ghost of a young girl, The Music Lesson is a passionate discussion of bombing and its psychological aftermath. With the world’s eyes now upon the Middle East, this Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre production of Ryan’s drama takes the time to glance back…The show is serious, but not intense, didactic but good-humored.” Robert Isenberg, City Paper, 05/17/07

“…a play rich in cultural parallels, with an infectious, warm heart…In Ryan’s ambitious structure, past and present intertwine, putting demands on the actors, who, with the help of director John Gresh, generally keep everything clear and let the play tell its affecting tale.

“Judy Kaplan gives a dark and feeling frustration to the troubled Irena, and Mark Tierno has an awkward integrity as her more adaptable husband. Nadia Cook-Loshilov plays the doomed Maja in memory and flashback with bright fragility, neatly contrasted with the surly spunkiness of Cat, to whom Imani gives great appeal.“ Christopher Rawson, Post-Gazette, 05/22/07

March 2007: Staged Reading Series, which presented a different play every day throughout March.
March 1: Same Time Tomorrow, by John Reoli.
March 2: Before the Wedding, by Lawrence Graves.
March 3: A Shade Darker, by Rosa DeFerrari. Euphoria/Ataraxia, by Aaron Jefferson Tindall.
March 4: A Window to Home, by Ernest McCarty.
March 5: None.
March 6: Break Room, by Robert Isenberg.
March 7: Burning Wood, by Erick Irvis.
March 8: TBA, by Christiane Leach.
March 9: The Magic Room, by Carlana Rhoten.
March 10: Welcome Home, by Ted Hoover.
March 11: Typist, by Kim Zelonis.
March 12: Parlour Games of the Chimera Gemini, by Dan Kirk.
March 13: Switched at Birth, by Denise Pullen.
March 14: Bustenai, by Leibel Cohen.
March 15: Moonlight & Love Songs, by Scott Sickles.
March 16: None.
March 17: Rose, by Michael Swartz.
March 18: Hall of Famer, by Sue Danks. Benjamin Franklin, by Sue Danks. The Chimes of War, by J.R. Hall.
March 19: Mad Honey, by Amy Hartman.
March 20: The Sisters of Zivena, by Christina Kukucka.
March 21: Switched at Birth, by Denise Pullen. Ramblings (1a), by Mel Packer.
March 22: Cherry Smoke, by James McManus.
March 23: Pig, by Tammy Ryan.
March 24: The Art of Paring (1a), by Brandon Siple.
March 25: The Tree Grows Strong, by Bob Gorczyca. Job, by Corey Rieger.
March 26: James McBride, by Mark Clayton Southers. Waxworks, by Jeanne Drennan.
March 27: Unmasked, by Renee Aldrich.
March 28: For the Sake of the Show, by Wali Jamal.
March 29: Not Eureka, by Cory Tamler. Fueled, by Tara Adelizzi.
March 30: South Star, by Rebecca Gorman. Wake Up Screaming, by Michael McGovern.
March 31: Pit Fall, by Brendon Bates.
April 1: The Only Good Artist Is A Dead Artist, by Rage Stevenson. Parlour Games of the Chimera Gemini, by Dan Kirk.

Press: New Pittsburgh Courier
Post-Gazette (also mentioned here, here, here, and here).