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NEWS & NOTES: Bards From the Burgh 2, Adil Mansoor Honored, Pittsburgh CLO Casting and More

By SHARON EBERSON

PICT’s Bards From the Burgh 2

Pittsburgh International Classic Theatre’s second Bards from the Burgh, a fundraising reading series of four plays by Pittsburgh playwrights, packed with local actors, runs 7:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, July 8-12.

The series moves from its 2023 home in Point Breeze to City Theatre’s Lillie Theatre, 1300 Bingham Street, South Side.

The 2024 Bards From the Burgh Schedule:

July 8: The Wake by Tammy Ryan

July 9: Three Blind Mice by Darrin Friedman

July 10: Isle of Noises by TJ Young

July 11: King Con by Doren Elias

Visit for Pay What You Can tickets.

Carol R. Brown Achievement Awards 

Theater director and creator Adil Mansoor is the 2024 recipient of the Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Award as Emerging Artist, which comes with an unrestricted $50,000 prize.

The annual Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Awards, in the tradition created by Carol Brown during her tenure as president of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, honors one Established Artist – in 2024, visual artist Tina Williams Brewer – and one Emerging Artist living and working in the southwestern Pennsylvania region. The $50,000 prize for each artist, awarded by The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments, are “in recognition of exemplary artistic achievements and promise of future work.”  

Nominees are recommended by a panel of working artists and cultural professionals with significant experience in their fields. That process resulted in 225 nominations for 70 different artists. 

Mansoor’s “work combines performance, confessional storytelling, collective experiences and socially engaged practice. He is drawn to stories about the families we come from and the families we choose.” Those include an estranged sibling returning home to destroy a wedding, a trio of sisters haunted by their mother, and a queer couple seen through the eyes of Chickens in the Yard, the latter with Hatch Arts Collective for Quantum Theatre in 2013. 

Most recently, Mansoor has explored his own story about family and faith through AMM(I)GONE. The play was first presented in 2022 by Kelly Strayhorn Theater and embarked on a tour in 2024 that has so far included Washington D.C and New Haven, Connecticut. The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival honored Mansoor and Point Park University for Outstanding Production of a Play and Achievement in the Direction of a Play for a production of ≈ [Almost Equal To] at Point Park earlier this year.

To learn more about the awards, including a list of previous honorees, visit

PCLO CASTING FOR ‘THE MUSIC MAN,’ ‘YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN’

Pittsburgh CLO has announced full casts for its next two shows of the 2024 season, including the new small-cast adaptation of Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein. (Happy 98th Birthday, Mel!)

Dallas, Texas-based director Joel Ferrell helms the show at the Greer Cabaret Theater, July 19-September 1, 2024, with a cast that includes:

Pittsburgh-native Dan DeLuca, the original Jack Kelly of Disney’s Newsies on tour, as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, DeLuca recently starred in the regional premiere of Tootsie and played opposite Sierra Boggess in the off-Broadway revival of Neil Simon’s The Goodbye Girl

Pittsburgh theater-goers all know the man behind The Monster makeup, Tim Hartman, a stage and screen performer, all-around storyteller and political cartoonist.

They are joined by other familiar faces from PCLO and other regional theater companies, with Theo Allyn as Frau Blucher; Daniel Krell as Inspector Hans Kemp, Bertram Batram, The Hermit; Anthony Marino as Igor, Susan Cordon (Carnegie Mellon, Class of 2024) as Elizabeth Benning; recent CMU graduate Alex Sheffield as Inga; plus swings J. Alex Noble and dance captain Mandy Patsy.

Previously announced leads for The Music Man, at the Benedum Center July 9-14, 2024, are Charles Esten (TV’s Nashville) as Harold Hill and Nikki Renée Daniels (Broadway’s Company, among others) as Marian Paroo, joined by E. Clayton Cornelious and Christine Laitta as Mayor and Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn; with Kammie Crum as Zaneeta Shinn, the role she understudied for Broadway’s The Music Man, with Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster

Ryan Cavanaugh returns to PCLO as Marcellus Washburn, joined by Aaron Galligan-Stierle as Oliver Hix, Michael Greer as Charlie Cowell, Ashley Harmon as Alma Hix, Jenna Kantor as Ethel Toffelmier, Brady D. Patsy as Ewart Dunlop, Cissy Rebich as Mrs. Paroo, Erin Stetor-Seaberg as Maud Dunlop, Allan Snyder as Constable Locke, and Savannah Lee Birdsong as Jacey and Mrs. Squires.

Emmett Kent, an eighth grader at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School and member of the Pittsburgh CLO Academy, plays Winthrop Paroo, with PCLO Academy’s Natalie McGovern as Amaryllis and 8-year-old Rory Prichard as Gracie Shinn.

Sarah Edwards directs the large Music Man cast that also includes Joseph Torello, Sky Bennett, Sarah Bishop, Melissa Burke, Bobby M. Davis, Julian DeGuzman, Zach Doran, Lucas Fedele, Daniel Frontz, Sloane Griffith, Laura Guley, Hannah Gundermann, Jessica Ice, Lena Kready, Louise Elizabeth Kready, Brady J. Kuntz, Sawyer O. Lincoln, Layla Miller, Anderson Miller, Coty Perno, Myah Segura, Donovan Elliot Smith, Henry Thomas and Davis Wayne, last seen at PCLO as Riff in West Side Story

Visit for tickets and details.

IN OTHER REGIONS …

  • Wali Jamal, who Pittsburghers can see next month in Quantum Theatre’s A Moon for the Misbegotten, recently played Jacques – “All the world’s a stage …” – for St. Louis Shakespeare Festival’s production of As You Like It.
  • David Whalen, who with Mei Lu Barnum stars for Kinetic Theatre in Oleanna, July 11-28, was part of a Guthrie Theatre repertory group that in May simultaneously performed three Shakespearean history plays: Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V. BroadwayWorld’s Joe Sarafolan wrote: “While three extraordinary gentlemen portray the title roles, the troupe of players who fill out the rest of the roles … are beyond exceptional. It would not be an over exaggeration to say that they may be the best cast of players to touch the Twin Cities stages in decades.”
  • Matthew Hudzik, a Pittsburgh native with a Broadway background (Side Show, West Side Story), is playing Dr. Frankenstein in Young Frankenstein  – for Berkshire Theatre Group in Pittsfield, MA, July 5-21.

HERE AND THERE

  • Part 1 of the Wicked movie musical, with Jeff Goldblum as The Wizard, has moved up its release date, to November 22, 2024. It will no longer go up against the sequel to Disney’s Moana, but instead face off against Gladiator II, which may set up the next Barbenheimer phenomenon. “Wickiator? It doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, but it still sounds like fun. 
  • What it means to go to NYC with CMU ties in your pocket, via a Curbed interview with StereophonicTony-winner Will Brill: Around 2010, I had this amazing friend from Carnegie Mellon, where I went to school, named Ed Iskandar, who got this loft apartment … and he would put on plays in there. We would do these five-hour-long experiences where we would cook a meal for the audience at intermission. There was an all-male production of King Lear that Billy Porter played Lear in, right before Kinky Boots. He was astonishing; it was right before his big comeback. Eventually, we got noise complaints, but it was really magical while it lasted.”
What’s On Stage Pittsburgh for the week of July 1st to the end of August, 2024