Thursday, May 24, 2018

Carnegie Science Center to Host Submarine Memorial on USS Requin

USS Requin

Submarine Memorial

Sunday, May 27, 10–11 am

USS Requin (SS 481) moored along the Ohio River at Carnegie Science Center

Veterans of USS VI Requin Base will host a special memorial ceremony aboard the Cold War-era submarine. They will toll a bell once in memory of each submarine on “Eternal Patrol” and will cast flower petals on the water so that they may “travel down the rivers of this great nation to the oceans” where fellow submarines are at rest. The Marine Color Guard from Three Rivers Leatherneck Detachment 310 and the VFW Post 9199 Honor Guard will perform a 21-gun salute.

After the service, visitors are invited to tour Requin. The event is free and open to the public. Admission to the submarine is free all day.

USS Requin was inducted into the Submarine Hall of Fame on May 21, 2017. The Hall of Fame recognizes post-WWII submarines that made significant contributions to submarine tactics and technology. Requin was nominated for her use as the first Radar Picket submarine and service protecting the East Coast during the Cold War. 

Marc Masterson Returns to City Theatre as New Artistic Director

City Theatre's New Artistic Director Marc Masterson

Under the leadership of Board President Beth Newbold and Managing Director James McNeel, the City Theatre Board of Directors has concluded an extensive national search, naming Marc Masterson the new Artistic Director of the region’s largest theater dedicated solely to new plays. Masterson brings decades of experience and an award-winning national presence as a champion of new works, having served as the artistic director of South Coast Repertory Theatre (2011-2018) and Actors Theatre of Louisville, home of the internationally acclaimed Humana Festival of New American Plays (2000-2011), two of the most distinguished arts institutions in the nation. He was City Theatre’s producing artistic director from 1981-2000.

Masterson’s field-wide contributions to the contemporary theater landscape reflect City Theatre’s core values: his body of work exemplifies a career-long commitment to diverse programming, robust community engagement and education initiatives, and gender parity across production teams. He will begin his new role at City Theatre on July 1, 2018.

“For decades City Theatre has built a reputation as one of the finest mid-sized theatres in America. I love the audiences in Pittsburgh, the friends and colleagues I have there, as well as the strong sense of community in the city itself,” said Masterson. “I couldn't be more thrilled about the future.

“Coming into a season that has already been planned by the excellent City Theatre staff, my first task will be to get to know the current organization, the changes that have occurred in Pittsburgh since I left, and to work with James McNeel and the Board on planning for the future. We will continue to build on City's engagement in the community, working with local artists as well as some of the finest theatre-makers in the country for a vibrantly diverse repertoire,” he concluded. 

“Marc has an exemplary track record of artistic excellence, fundraising, community engagement and commitment to new plays,” said City Theatre Board President, Beth Newbold. “We are fortunate that he has chosen to bring his experience and expertise to City Theatre, to lead our organization into a new era. On behalf of the board, I am very excited to welcome Marc to the team, and cannot wait to see the work that emerges from the company with James and him at the helm. It will propel us forward to increased local and national recognition as a leader in new play development.”

“The appointment of Marc Masterson at City Theatre is tremendous news for the arts and for the city as a whole. It’s partly a homecoming to celebrate: during Marc’s first stint at City, he was an artistic force—not only a champion of the theatre, but an important leader in our cultural community,” said Janet Sarbaugh, Vice President, Creativity Programs, The Heinz Endowments. “But this is more than a homecoming; given the breadth of Marc’s career since Pittsburgh, his national profile, and his knowledge of American theatre, we are lucky indeed to have attracted him back to Pittsburgh.”

“I think City Theatre has made an inspired choice to have Marc back to the organization. He has consistently been an adventurous artistic leader, programming successful seasons at some of our nation’s most high profile theatres; seasons that have been truly diverse and exciting in the rich array of artists represented in making groundbreaking, important work,” said Michael John Garcés, Artistic Director of LA’s Cornerstone Theater Company and Vice President of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC).

“When I say diverse, I mean it in every sense of the word: aesthetically diverse work that challenges audiences to see a wide range of plays that bridge disciplines and subvert expectations, and that represents the work of all Americans, reflecting the true richness of our nation,” continued Garcés. “And he's a terrific artist himself, willing to take real risks, and succeeding in those risks far more often than not.  I count him as a mentor and a friend, and look forward to seeing what City does in this new chapter!”

As artistic director at South Coast Repertory, Masterson has produced dozens of world premieres, including A Doll’s House, Part 2 by Lucas Hnath, Vietgone by Qui Nguyen, Mr. Wolf by Rajiv Joseph, and Office Hour by Julia Cho. As artistic director at Actors Theatre of Louisville, he produced the world premieres of Elemeno Pea by Molly Smith Metzler, Maple and Vine by Jordan Harrison, and Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo, and many others. Masterson has developed hundreds of new works, many of which have transferred to some of the leading theatres in the country, including the Public Theater (New York), Manhattan Theatre Club, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and The Goodman, as well as Off-Broadway and Broadway. Recent directing credits include Shakespeare in Love, All the Way, Going to a Place Where You Already Are, Zealot, Death of a Salesman, Eurydice, and Elemeno Pea at South Coast Rep; Hand to God at the Alliance Theatre; Byhalia, Mississippi by Evan Linder at the Contemporary American Theater Festival; As You Like It for the Houston Shakespeare Festival; and The Kite Runner at Actors Theatre of Louisville and the Cleveland Play House.

Marc’s community-focused new play development initiatives include the creation of the DIALOGUE/DIÁLOGOS project at South Coast Rep, a two-year bilingual theatre project to gather and tell the stories of the Santa Ana Latino community, as well as the ongoing CrossRoads Commissioning Project, which brings playwrights to Orange County to engage with the area’s diverse communities through exploratory residencies. City Theatre’s current world premiere production of Nomad Motel by Carla Ching was originally a CrossRoads Commission issued by Masterson.
In 2017, Masterson was honored with the 2017 Asian Pacific American Friends of the Theater Outstanding Leadership Award, for his commitment to creating a programming stream that reflected the diverse populations of Southern California.

He served as producing artistic director of City Theatre in Pittsburgh for 20 years and was co-founder of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Alliance (now known as the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, or GPAC).
City Theatre’s search for a new artistic director was conducted over six months, with a seven member committee comprised of board members, community leaders, McNeel, and led by Newbold. Stephen Richard of Management Consultants for the Arts provided counsel.

Prime Stage Theatre Establishes New Ambassador Program

Adults 18 and older who would like to expand their social horizons while playing an important role—pun intended—as volunteers with one of Pittsburgh’s longstanding theater companies now have an opportunity to do both, as part of Prime Stage Theatre’s new Ambassadors program.

The program, created and administered by Prime Stage board member Sueanne Zoratto, has already signed up several members.

“If you're passionate about theater and would like to play a key role supporting Prime Stage's mission to entertain, inspire and enrich the lives of our fellow Pittsburghers—including our area's children—through professional theater, we would love for you to join our new Ambassadors program,” said Zoratto.

Prime Stage is now commencing its 21st consecutive successful season with The Diary of Anne Frank, which closed Sunday, May 13. All plays are professionally produced and based on, or adapted from, works of classic and contemporary literature. 

In addition, Prime Stage also presents a wide variety of public and educational programs and events. In March, the grandchildren of author and poet Maya Angelou participated in several Prime Stage events.

Zoratto said that Prime Stage Ambassadors will join with other like-minded theater advocates in promoting and supporting Prime Stage. 

“They’ll enjoy a rare, behind-the-scenes opportunity to see how a production goes from the page to the stage, while taking part in a number of special events throughout the year,” she said.

Specifically, Ambassadors support Prime Stage throughout the year in a number of ways, including:
Promoting and attending Prime Stage Theatre's productions
Participating in such special events as the annual 15 Minutes of Fame competition/showcase
Attending the final student recognition day for the Champions of Life Building program.
Organizing an annual Ambassador benefit event to support Prime Stage and its mission.
Recruiting new ambassadors to be a part of the Ambassador program.
Those interested in joining the Ambassadors program are asked to contact Zoratto at

12 Peers Theater opens "Building the Wall"

12 Peers Theater will start its  2018 Main Stage Season with Building the Wall by Robert Schenkkan.  

The Pittsburgh Premiere is directed by Ricardo Vila-Roger and features Tom Kolos and Lauren A. Bethea. 
Building the Wall examines hatred, fear, and institutional racism in an imagined 2019 in a post-Trump America and runs May 24 – June 10, 2018. 

 “Building the Wall is a cautionary tale, not a history play,” artistic director Vince Ventura says. “We want to start discussions around the fairness of our systems, the balance of security and freedom, and the sometimes uncomfortable topic of institutional racism.”  


On January 20, 2017, 2017, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. Over the next sixteen months, events would unravel that test every American’s strength of character: executive actions, an immigration round-up of unprecedented scale, and a declaration of martial law. Rick finds himself caught up as the frontman of the new administration’s edicts and loses his humanity. 
Tom Kolos and Lauren A. Bethea in "Building the Wall"

In a play that recalls George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and the Nazi regime, Building the Wall is a terrifying and gripping exploration of what happens if we let fear win  Building the Wall is directed by Ricardo Vila-Roger and features Tom Kolos as Rick and Lauren A. Bethea as Gloria, with scenic design by Hank Bullington, prop and costume design by Madison Hack, lighting design by Paige Borak, and sound design by Shannon Knapp.  


Robert Schenkkan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning, Tony Award-winning, Writer's Guild Award-winning, three-time Emmy-nominated writer of stage, television, and film. He is the author of fourteen original full-length plays, two musicals, and a collection of one-act plays. He co-wrote the feature film, HACKSAW RIDGE (six Academy Award nominations) and THE QUIET AMERICAN, and his television credits include: ALL THE WAY, THE PACIFIC, THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN, and SPARTACUS.  

 PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. Fridays at 8:00 p.m. Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. Sundays at 2:00 p.m.  Industry Night: Monday, June 4 at 8:00 p.m.  For a complete listing of performance times, please visit or call 412-626-6784 

  BOX OFFICE INFORMATION 412-626-6784 or  

Single Tickets range from Name Your Own Price to $20 and are on sale now  DISCOUNTS Artist: $15 Student: Name Your Own Price Senior: Name Your Own Price Dramatist Guild Members: Free through the Playwrights Welcome Program  All Sunday and Monday performances in the 2018 Main Stage season are Name Your Own Price.    

WHERE 4200 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260 (Oakland) Port Authority bus routes: 54, 61A, 61B, 61C, 61D, 71A, 71B, 71C, 71D  

Parking is available on Bigelow Blvd., Forbes Ave., Fifth Ave, or at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Parking Garage on Bigelow Blvd.  

 Founded in 2011 and taking their name from the Twelve Peers of Charlemagne, 12 Peers Theater is a 501(c)(3) organization operating in the Greater Pittsburgh Area.  12 Peers Theater's mission is to provide challenging and engaging theater through contemporary works exploring myth and cultural identity.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Rostraver Winery Bringing the California Experience to Southwestern Pennsylvania in Regal Surroundings

Outside on the Patio at the Vinoski Winery Credit: Bill Rockwell

Even before you hear the first pop of a cork, you get to experience the wow factor the moment you enter the impressive gates at aptly named Castle Drive in Rostraver. You’re treated to a sight rarely found in the countryside of rural Pennsylvania - a gorgeously large 32-room blue-gray castle-like building with contrasting white trim.

What was once the home of Jay Lustig, former minority partner of the Pittsburgh Pirates and developer of the Willowbrook Shopping Plaza, is now the home of the Vinoski Winery. Built in 1996 at a cost of $7.8 million, the 33-acre estate was purchased by Walter and Roxanne Vinoski of Ruffsdale for $1.95 million on April 6 of last year.

An engineering consultant, Vinoski has traveled the world on business and tries to sample the local wines every chance he gets. (He said the only places he hasn’t been to yet are Africa, Antarctica and the North Pole). He’s also a certified sommelier whose been making wine since the age of 4 when he helped his grandfather ferment fruit on the family farm.

For 11 years he served as winemaker for the Greendance Winery at Sand Hill Berry Farms in Mount Pleasant. For the past five years, he’s also been making quality red and white wines in a leased facility in Lodi, California. The operation uses reserve-quality grapes from Napa Valley and Sonoma County, using the natural yeasts found on the harvested grapes.

After he sold his shares in Greendance, Vinoski opened the doors to his Rostraver winery on June 30 but not before sinking another $800,000 in improvements to the castle-like edifice, which included an upgrade to the building’s 200 windows and doors. He also shipped in from Lodi 5,400 cases of his premium product (think Cabernet, Petite Syrah, Old Vine Zin and Chardonnay) which he now sells in Rostraver along with bottles of East Coast wines like Concord, Diamond and Isabella.

Visitors to the upscale ground level tasting room can look out over the patio dotted with black wrought iron tables and chairs shaded by colorful red umbrellas. One nice touch is the markers on each of the tables with the name of a particular grape varietal. Eventually, the plan is to have visitors order food via an app linked to the kitchen and have a server deliver the order to the designated table identified by varietals like Mourvedre and Montepulciano.

Among his many talents, Vinoski is a food aficionado (and knowledgeable cook) who insists that when his bistro kitchen is fully operational, (he eventually hopes it’ll grow into a full fledged restaurant), it will serve as much natural and organic product as possible.

With such gorgeous surroundings that include a pond with a large fountain spurting fleur-de-lis in the middle people have started inquiring about holding their weddings and showers on site. Just recently, he’s started to host a few of these special events.
The winery also holds private tastings for groups and has a full summer calendar of live weekend entertainment. For a full, detailed schedule, go to

"What I’m trying to do is bring the California experience here to Southwestern Pennsylvania," Vinoski said.
Walt Vinoski at the Bar in the tasting Room Credit: Bill Rockwell

Vinoski Winery wines start at $15 for French Colombard, Diamond and Concord, move up to $22 for a 2014 Merlot, $24 for a 2014 Cabernet and a 2016 Chardonnay, $28 for a 2015 Old Vine Zinfandel and a 2014 red blend called Symphonia and top off at $88 for the 2014 Reserve, a blend of Cab Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Merlot. The winery also has a 2016 Sparkling Brut ($20) and a 2016 Sparkling Rose ($20).

The Vinoski Winery is at 333 Castle Drive in Rostraver. The winery is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Phone 724-872-3333. For more information, go to

Sunday, May 20, 2018

New Hazlitt Theatre Hotlist

Escape Velocity

Escape Velocity
Part of the CSA Performance Series
May 31  |  8:00PM

Imagine a circus shaped entirely by the audience and one very unique deck of tarot cards. Escape Velocity tells the story of a soul trapped in limbo, revealed one draw at a time. What scripts have we been handed? What prisons do we construct for ourselves?  What is our capacity for resistance, rebellion, and rebirth?


A New Brain
Front Porch Theatricals
May 18-27

A New Brain is a joyful and touching musical about making the most out of life. When a neurotic, frustrated composer is confronted with a life-threatening medical challenge, he finds comfort and healing in his craft, friends, and strangers.


The New Hazlett Theater is located in Allegheny Center on Pittsburgh's North Side. 
On-street parking in Allegheny Square is available at no cost after 6pm Monday-Saturday and all day Sunday. Paid parking is available in the Allegheny Health Network garage for evening events and weekend matinees.

The paid lot costs $7 (cash only) and closes one hour after the performances.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Online Lottery Offers Chance to Buy $35 Cinderella Tickets

Enter the Online Lottery for a chance to buy tickets to RODGERS + HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA!

A limited number of tickets for all performances of RODGERS + HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA will be sold to winners of a random lottery drawing. Winning tickets are $35 and limited to 4 per winner. You can only win the lottery once, so choose only the performances you can attend. Entries for each requested performance will be accepted until 2:00 pm ET on May 21, 2018. 

It’s easy as one click! 

In less than a minute, you can enter and choose which performances fit your schedule. All entrants will be notified of lottery results by e-mail, and winners will be given a link with a special code to complete their purchase. 

The best part? There’s no need to come to the theater to enter! You can enter from anywhere and winners can print their purchased tickets at home.