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2nd Stage@PrimeStage - Archive

Imagine and Discover

Ugly Sweater Contest and Christmas Sing Along

Saturday, December 9, 2017
7:00 PM

@ the Prime Stage Studio

Entertainment by Windpipe Comedy Enterprises

Including refreshments


Staged Reading of Pieces

Edited by Steven Chbosky
Directed by Wayne Brinda

Saturday, May 20, 2017

7:00 PM @ Prime Stage Studio

Pieces is a unique short-story collection by young authors of tomorrow from Mtv's "Write Stuff" competition. Join members of the cast from Perks as they read and discuss selections that are engagingly inventive and filled with the excitement of discovery.


Stage Reading: George Orwell Night

Written by George Orwell
Directed by Wayne Brinda

Sunday, March 19, 2017
7:00 PM @ Prime Stage Studio

George Orwell Night with readings from The Road to Wigan Pier, along with selected essays and poems on Sunday March 19 at 7:00pm at the Prime Stage studio in the West End of Pittsburgh.

Directed by Wayne Brinda and produced in partnership with Britsburgh, we are pleased to have Andy Kirkland, Brian Ceponis who played O'Brien in Prime Stage's 1984 and Richard Keitel, the director of 1984 as the readers. The interactive evening with audience discussion is moderated by Professor Jeff Williams of CMU.

Price: Due to limited seating for George Orwell Night, reservations are recommend by ordering your $10 ticket, or pay what you can at the door.

Presented in Cooperation with:

15 Minutes of Fame

Directed by Linda Haston


Monday, March 6, 2017

7:00 PM

New Hazlett Theatre Center for Performing Arts

Special Guest Emcee

Diana Griffith

Pittsburgh's best “talent” at Prime Stage’s Annual 15 Minutes of Fame.



Nicole Cameron
Abigail Gilman
Jacklyn Hopwood
Audrey Logan
Lillian McDermott
Tessa Roselyn Moore
Victoria Vanhorenbeck
Melina Walko
Madison Wilcox
Abby Witherstine

Event Photos

Contestant performed on stage the evening of March 6, 2017, 7:00 pm on the set of Prime Stage’s 1984 at The New Hazlett Theater.

Ugly Sweater Contest and Christmas Sing Along

Saturday, December 10th at 7:00 PM
@ the Prime Stage Studio
Tickets $15 online, $20 at the door


Bring your own gnarly sweater and righteous singing voice for a totally tubular night out!

The evening will begin with a 30-minute performance by Windpipe Comedy Enterprises, a Pittsburgh improvisational comedy group composed of actors from Arcade Comedy Theater and Unplanned Comedy Pittsburgh. 

Following this, the group will perform a partially scripted/partially improvised work-in-progress about a fictional composer from long ago. While attempting to the write the perfect Christmas song, he is visited by a series of friends who tell stories that turn out to be the (not-true) inspiration behind some well-known songs. After each visit, the "composer" will write that song on the spot, then lead attendees in a sing-a-long for each song.  

The evening will commence with an ugly sweater contest. All attendees are urged to wear their most hideous holiday sweater—the uglier, the better


Staged Reading of Three Days of Rain

by Richard Greenberg

Directed by Vince Ventura

November 20th @ 7pm
@ the Prime Stage Studio

Press Release>>

Picking up on the themes of To Kill a Mockingbird, Three Days of Rain explores memory, family, and legacy. Told through an intergenerational story, where three adult children of two successful architects piece together their family histories through their personal memories and impressions, as well as a journal belonging to their father. The characters learn to discover their parents, not as monsters or saints, but as human beings.


15 Minutes of Fame

Directed by Linda Haston


May 16, 2016

7:00 PM

New Hazlett Theatre Center for Performing Arts


Come see Pittsburgh's best “talent” at Prime Stage’s 15 Minutes of Fame.

Contestant performed on stage the evening of May 16, 2016, 7:00 pm on the set of Prime Stage’s The Giver at The New Hazlett Theater.


Monologue Winner: Mekayla Short
Singing Winner: Ariel Cameroe

Left to RIght: Linda Haston - PST Education Director, Mekeyla Short - Monologue Winner, Ariel Cameroe - Singing Winner and Brian Edward - 'Burgh Vivant" and Guest Emcee

Ariel Cameroe
Diana Craycroft
Mercedes Masila
Cassandra Nickelson
Mekayla Short
Abby Witherstine
Julia Zoratto

Special Entertainment by Sandi Oshban

Master of Ceremonies
Brian Edward of ‘Burgh Vivant

Panel for selecting the top talent:
Scott P. Calhoun - Guest Director with Prime Stage Theatre
Reginald Douglas - Artistic Producer at City Theatre
Lonnie Jantsch - Reviewer for ‘Burgh Vivant
Jared Pascoe - Docherty Talent Agency

We know Pittsburgh is full of talent, and we're out to prove it!


The Exonerated

March 20, 2016

7:00 PM

Prime Stage Studio


Directed by Vince Ventura

Culled from interviews, letters, transcripts, case files and the public record, The Exonerated tells the true stories of six wrongfully convicted survivors of death row in their own words. In this ninety-minute play, we meet Kerry, a sensitive Texan brutalized on death row for twenty-two years before being exonerated by DNA evidence; we meet Gary, a Midwestern organic farmer condemned for the murder of his own parents and later exonerated when two motorcycle-gang members confess. We meet Robert, an African-American horse groomer who spent seven years on death row for the murder of a white woman before evidence emerges that the victim was found clutching hair from a Caucasian attacker. We hear from David, a shy man with aspirations to the ministry, bullied into confessing at eighteen to a robbery/murder he had nothing to do with, scarred from a youth spent in prison and struggling to regain his faith; and from Sunny, a bright-spirited hippie who, along with her husband, spent seventeen years in prison for the murder of two police officers—while another man confessed and was ignored by the courts. And we meet Delbert, a poet who serves as the play's center, convicted of a rape/murder in the Deep South of the 1970s and later freed when evidence surfaced showing that he was not even in the town when the crime occurred. Moving between first-person monologues and scenes set in courtrooms and prisons, the six interwoven stories paint a picture of an American criminal justice system gone horribly wrong—and of six brave souls who persevered to survive it.


Dialects Workshop

February 28, 2016

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Prime Stage Studio


Expand your skills with dialect coaching from Prime Stage’s Dialect Coach and 2nd Stage@Prime Stage Program Director Vince Ventura. Participants will be introduced to the fundamentals of dialect work and preparation. Vince also presents the basics of Received Pronunciation (High British), Cockney, and American Southern.



Audition Preparation Workshop

January 31, 2016

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Prime Stage Studio

Prepare for your next audition with monologue coaching with 2nd Stage@Prime Stage Program Director Vince Ventura. Vince gives one-on-one attention to each participant to help prepare you for a professional audition. Participants learn about audition best practices, resume format and presentation, and receive coaching on a prepared monologue.


Abigail/1702- Staged reading and chat session

By Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Sunday, November 15, 2015 - 7:00 PM
Prime Stage Studio

Whatever happened to The Crucible’s Abigail Williams?

It is ten years after the harrowing events of the Salem witch trials. Abigail Williams—the lead accuser who sent twenty people to their doom—lives under an assumed name on the outskirts of Boston, quietly striving to atone for her sins. When a handsome stranger arrives claiming to be a sailor in need, Abigail takes him in. Love starts to grow—an unlikely flower cracking through salty earth. But their contentment is short-lived. Someone is coming for Abigail; someone who has been looking for her since she danced in the weird woods of Salem. A debt will be paid—but first, Abigail must make peace with the woman she most wronged.



Mrs Shakespeare, Will's first and last love

By playwright and actress Yvonne Hudson
WHEN: April 18, 2015 - 7:00 PM

Sonnets. Songs. Soliloquies. And a Story you haven't heard.

Yvonne Hudson appears as Anne Hathaway Shakespeare in her popular, original one-woman show. Will's wife calls on her husband's songs, sonnets, and soliloquies to tell the story of her marriage and motherhood. You'll hear Anne's tale of an unexpected courtship, resourceful parenting, and unrivaled


A Night of Love Songs & Stories

February 14, 2015 - 7:00 PM
Location: Prime Stage Studio

Send us your best true love story to be read by local actors and win a Romantic “Valentine’s” Basket for two! Five stories will be chosen to be read on February 14th.

Forgot to get your guy or gal that “eternal” rose? worries we will have long stem roses for sale at the event!

ARCHIVE FROM 2013-2014

Fractured Xmas Carols

Special Guest Emcee - Brian Edward from 'Burgh Vivant
Featuring local Improv Group - Penny Arcade - affiliated with Arcade Comedy Theater

Directed by Tonya Lynn

Saturday, December 13, 2014
Location: Prime Stage Studio

Are you ready for the Holiday Season?

You won't be any closer to having your shopping done after our Fractured Xmas event - but we guarantee you'll be in better spirits!

Do you know the stories behind these songs?

  • Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer
  • All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth
  • I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • Jingle Bells, and much, much more!

Caution - There might even be a sing a long!

Ugly Sweater Contest!

As if that weren't enough - there will also be a fun contest for the ugliest Christmas sweater worn at the event. The winner(s) will get two tickets to an upcoming show.

Happy 50th, 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer'!

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" premiered on television December 6, 1964, and is now one of the holiday season's perennial favorites. The story of the reindeer who saves Christmas is beloved among children and adults alike.

The Rankin-Bass animated film production company used Japanese puppets and stop motion to tell the tale, bolstered by a soundtrack featuring Burl Ives' rendition of the theme song.

In the story, Santa's reindeer Donner and his wife have a son, Rudolph, who has the distinction of a nose that glows. He runs away after being made to feel an outcast and links up with an elf who dreams of becoming a dentist and an adventurer seeking silver and gold.

After ending up on the Island of Misfit Toys and wandering for a while, Rudolph goes on to save his loved ones from the Abominable Snow Monster and guides Santa through a blizzard that threatens to ruin Christmas.

In 2006, the New York Times reported that fans drove for miles to see the Rudolph and Santa Claus puppets at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta. The pair were thought to be the last of the surviving production puppets. They had been taken home by a production company employee and given to her children after filming was completed.

"In 2005, the nephew of the original rescuer found the puppets in a family attic and brought them to be appraised on the PBS series 'Antiques Roadshow,' " the Times said. "Created for about $5,000 each in 1964, they were valued at $8,000 to $10,000 for the pair. The family sold both figures to Kevin A. Kriess, the president of and a lifelong fan of the Rankin-Bass films."

The special has been shown every year since it premiered, which gives it a leg up over other beloved shows like "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "Frosty the Snowman" and makes it the longest-running program of its type. And viewers still love it.






Patriotic Songs

July 2014
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?


Ghost Stories

November 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 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 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 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.