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2nd Stage@PrimeStage

Imagine and Discover


What do you do when there's no Prime Stage?
Join us for 2nd Stage @ Prime Stage!

A series of readings, directed by Dek Ingraham,
followed by discussions with the director and cast.

All performaces are at 7:30 pm at
Max’s Allegheny Tavern
537 Suismon Street, 2nd floor,
on the North Side of Pittsburgh.
Seating is Limited

Tickets are $15 and available in advance only.
Subscriptions also available.





Patriotic Songs

July 11, 2014 - 7:30 PM
Max’s Allegheny Tavern

Have you ever wondered about the history behind our nation’s most famous patriotic songs?

Prime Stage takes you on a journey through music, history and national pride as we pay homage to the red, white and blue.


Rev. Deryck Tines
is a pastor,religious artist and Gospel musician. Based in Pittsburgh, Rev. Tines performs locally, nationally, and internationally, including touring Spain and Italy reaching church and secular audiences alike with his inspirational stage presence and original, lively arrangements. He has worked and recorded with renowned musicians such as Edwin Hawkins and other gospel legends throughout the United States and locally hosts tributes to legendary gospel stars such as Mahalia Jackson. Having worked as a musical director for Kuntu Repertory Theatre, Tines also is on the board of directors for the Afro American Music Institute and mentors young musicians and artists through his serious commitment to inclusion and community. Tines has also been a leader in promoting wellness and HIV testing within the African American community and together with his mother, Bishop Thelma Mitchell, they are pastors at Free Holiness Church in Clairton, PA.

Jen Saffron
is the Director of Communications for the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, and is an adjunct instructor in Communications at Grove City College, formerly in the Film Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh, where she held positions of leadership as the founder of the PITT ARTS Program; Assistant Dean in the School of Arts and Sciences; and Assistant to the Provost for Enrollment Management. In her own artistic practice, Jen is a photographer, writer, curator and educator of photography as it relates to social justice concerns, focused on the topics of race relations and religious intolerance. Her prize-winning media and scholarship involves working with such entities as the Rosa Parks Museum, showcasing the narratives of individuals who experience daily the hardships placed upon them through injustice and inequality. As well as curatorial work, Jen is a regular speaker and panelist, and is a contributing writer for Afterimage. Jen earned a BFA in fine art from Carnegie Mellon University and an MFA in photography from Bard College. She is a singer with Slim Forsythe, Community House Presbyterian Church and with gospel musicians at large such as Rev. Deryck Tines.


On a rainy September 13, 1814, British warships sent a downpour of shells and rockets onto Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor. A week earlier, Francis Scott Key, a 35-year-old American lawyer, boarded the flagship of the British fleet in hopes of persuading the British to release a friend who was arrested. What did Key see that inspired the Star Spangled Banner?

Irving Berlin, America’s most successful songwriter, took up the challenge of writing an anthem that would inspire his fellow men to live in harmony. While serving in the Army at Camp Upton in 1918, he wrote a song for a military revue called Yip Yip Yaphank. How did this come to be “God Bless America?” - An incredibly personal statement that anybody singing that song makes as they sing it.

Deeply anguished at the growing conflict between two sections of the country, Mrs. Howe watched troops marching off to war singing "John Brown's Body” during the Civil War. In a desire to phrase her own feelings about the war, she "scrawled the verses almost without looking at the paper." Hearing The Battle Hymn of the Republic at a rally, it inspired President Abraham Lincoln with tears in his eyes, to cry out, "Sing it again!"

What are the stories behind these and other patriotic songs?


Tickets available in advance only.


Prior Performances

Ghost Stories

November 8, 2013
At The New Hazlett Theater following the 8 pm performance of Turn of the Screw

Does everyone have a story about the supernatural?

Share with us your best ghost story and we might share it on our Facebook page.

No stories?

Let us share ghost stories with you at 2nd Stage @ Prime Stage on November 8th, immediately following the production of the Turn of the Screw."

Have your picture taken on the "ghost set" after hearing stories by David Crawford.

Celebrate the 45th anniversary of Night of the Living Dead with readings of tales of terror hosted by David Crawford as the master of the macabre himself, Edgar Allan Poe.

The Kennedy Legacy

November 22, 2013
Max’s Allegheny Tavern

Relive the powerful speeches of President John F. Kennedy. Then join us in a discussion to share stories of where you were, what you remember on that fateful Black Friday 50 years ago: November 22, 1963 and what the legacy of JFK means to you.

Quotes from the Audience

"This brought back so many memories. Prime Stage does such great work. We love that you are there and the work that you do! I wish more people would go see you." - Lou

"This reminded me of a salon from the 1800’s, where the elite would get together and discuss heavy topics. It is very sheikh. I think this is great." - Susan

"I think this format is great! I love the idea of doing things like this around historical dates!" Kelly

"We found out about this today and we will be back." - David

The JFK Presidential Library

Dueling Valentines

February 14, 2014
Max’s Allegheny Tavern

Two casts fling love and hate poems, sonnets and odes back and forth to make a thrilling night for lovers, as well as those who prefer to fly solo on Valentine’s Day.

Heather Gray (Aphrodite)
Maggie Mayer (Hera)
Hannah Brizzi (Muse)
Adrienne Fischer (Muse)
Christiane Leach (Muse)
Laura McCarthy-Blatt (Muse)

Shakespeare Unleashed

April 18, 2014
Max’s Allegheny Tavern

A collection of seldom heard Shakespearean monologues and scenes, with some cool swordplay thrown in.  All in honor of Shakespeare’s 450th birthday.