PICT Gathers a Local Who’s Who for ‘Bards From the Burgh’ Reading Series

The theater company known as PICT for short – now Pittsburgh International Classic Theatre, under the leadership of Elizabeth Elias Huffman – is going hyper-local for a fundraising reading series.

Featuring four new works, the Bards from The Burgh features a who’s who of theater artists who live or have studied in Pittsburgh. The series takes place at the Breezeway Home in Point Breeze every Wednesday in September. The intimate venue seats just 40. Tickets are $40, or $140 for the entire series, at https://www.picttheatre.org/events.


September 6, 7:30-9:30 p.m.: Neither Here Nor Elsewhere by Timothy Ruppert, directed by Melissa Hill Grande

Cast: Theo Allyn,  Linda Haston, Ryan Patrick Kearney, Alex Manalo, Julia Silverman. 

Synopsis: In 1953, at the Sainte-Lucie convent-hospital in Chamonix, France, Sister Marie-Hélène Rivet is assigned to save the life of Vivienne Privernay, a severely ill woman.Marie-Hélène clashes with both Sister Élise, who distrusts her half-French, half-Laotian colleague, and her own heart, as her relationship with Vivienne carries her back to wartime London and to Christian Locke, a man whom the two women knew long ago and who will very soon re-enter their lives. The play weaves between France in 1953 and London in the early 1940s as Marie-Hélène struggles to come to terms with her fondness for Vivienne, her passion for the Englishman, Christian Locke, and her sense of loneliness and homelessness.

September 13, 7:30-9:30 p.m.: Hotter than Egypt by Yussef el Guindi, directed by J. Cody Spellman.

Cast: Karim Chebli, Maher Sameer Obiora Hogue, Amy Landis, Callee Miles,  Cotter Smith.

Synopsis: A middle-aged American couple visiting Egypt on a business/vacation, are hoping to connect with Egyptian culture via the young Egyptian couple whom they hired as their tour guides. However, they get more than they bargained for, as long dormant issues surface between them that threaten to fracture their marriage. Recently named Critics Favorite at Denver Theatre Center.

September 20, 7:30-9:30 p.m.: Andy Warhol’s Tomato by Vince Melocchi, directed by Elizabeth Elias Huffman.

Cast: Chris Clavelli, Matt Henderson.

Synopsis: It’s 1946 in Pittsburgh. A rebellious art student at Carnegie Tech, 18-year-old Andy Warhol, finds himself unexpectedly in the basement of a working-class bar owned by Mario “Bones” Bonino, a second-generation Italian American from McKeesport. Over the course of the summer, Andy and Bones form an unlikely friendship that surprises them both. Enjoying critically acclaimed productions in Los Angeles and Chicago, this play examines the war between the urban-LGBTQ lifestyle and Pittsburgh’s blue-collar sensibilities, reminding us that division can be bridged by our fundamental need to create. As Bones says in the play: “There is beauty in the mundane.”

September 13, 7:30-9:30 p.m.: North of Forbes by Tammy Ryan, directed by Tomé Cousin.

Cast: Wali Jamal Abdullah, Clark Eileen Atkinson, Karen Baum, Darren Eliker, Randy Kovitz, Juan Rivera LeBron, Brenden Peifer, Kelsey Robinson, Helena Ruoti, Michael Patrick Trimm.

Synopsis: Originally commissioned by Pittsburgh Public Theater, the contemporary murder mystery North of Forbes updates Agatha Christie’s first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, relocating the action to the well-to-do “north of Forbes” section of Pittsburgh. Emily Cavendish-Inglethorpe is planning a fundraiser for Haitian relief, a cause close to the matriarch’s heart. After the event, someone in the house is mysteriously poisoned in the middle of the night. Everyone is a suspect as a Haitian private investigator inspired by Hercule Poirot, Christie’s iconic character, navigates family conflicts amidst currents of race and class, in a “suspenseful and witty” retelling of a classic thriller.

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