Community and Cultural Info >>> Pittsburgh

May 05, 2004 - PITTARTS: Art with a Splash!

1.  PIN UP artists to talk about pinhole imagery
2  Yo' Mama!
3.  Things of Dry Hours
4.  Prophets and Gain: New Russian Cinema
5.  The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
6.  Chesapeake, City Theatre
7.  David Sedaris, cheap seats
8.  Symphony with a Splash
9.  Dead Man Walking at the Opera

1.  PIN UP artists to talk about pinhole imagery
SPACE Gallery, 812 Liberty Avenue in the Cultural District
Saturday, May 8 from 1- 3 p.m


Photographers Lorraine Vullo, Michael Picarsic III, and Lauren Elmer
will host a free gallery talk and discuss their photography as made from homemade pinhole cameras, on view now as part of the SPACE Gallery exhibition entitled PIN UP.  See examples of their pinhole cameras, and experience the camera obscura, a life-size version of a pinhole camera. Light refreshments will be served.  PIN UP is on view now through June19, 2004.

2.  Yo' Mama!
April 29 - May 15
Center for Creative Play, 1400 Braddock Ave.

Tickets are $15 through or call ProArts at 412-394-3353.

A provocative new comedy about modern motherhood. Six women in a post-natal yoga class take you on a one-hour roller coaster ride through sleepless nights, first words --that no mother, son, or daughter should miss. For more info visit:

Written and Directed by Heather Arnet
Choreography by Mary Miller.Featuring: Janis Burley Wilson, Carla Delaney, Vanessa German, Melissa Martin, Tonia Steed, and Adrienne Wehr.

3.  Things of Dry Hours
Pittsburgh Public Theater
April 15 - May 16

$12.00 Student/$25 Staff and Faculty through PITT ARTS, 929 WPU
(Fri and Sat night performances not available)

By Naomi Wallace, Directed by Israel Hicks
Don't miss this highly anticipated world premiere by one of today's most celebrated and compelling writers, Naomi Wallace. In this powerful new drama set in Depression-era Alabama, you'll experience the spiritual awakenings of three different people and witness the transforming power of hope. *adult content

4.  Prophets and Gain: New Russian Cinema
May 3-8 2004
All morning and day screenings take place at
106 David Lawrence Hall. All night screenings take place at the Melwood Screening Room.

Schedule listed at
For the first time, the annual Russian Film Symposium cosponsored by the University of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Filmmakers will concentrate on new and unknown filmmakers, including young directors who have just completed a first feature film. Titled Prophets and Gain: New Russian Cinema, the symposium will take place May 3-8 on Pitt’s Oakland campus and at Pittsburgh Filmmakers, 477 Melwood Ave., North Oakland location.

The symposium, supported by Pitt, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, and The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation, will feature screenings of 15 films, four of them American premieres and the other 11 productions by STW Film Company, NTV-Profit Film Company, and Pygmalion Productions, private Russian production studios. The symposium also will include daytime discussions and commentaries.

The new filmmakers are Petr Buslov, Aleksei German Jr., Gennadii Sidorov, and Andrei Zviagintsev. Their films, depicting today’s Russian cinema, will be shown at 8 p.m. May 5-8 respectively, beginning with Buslov’s Bimmer (2003), introduced by Sergei Chlyants, general producer at Pygmalion; German’s The Last Train (2003), introduced by Vladimir Padunov, associate professor in Pitt’s Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and associate director of the Film Studies Program; Sidorov’s Little Old Ladies (2003), introduced by Mikhail Iampol’skii, associate professor of Comparative Literature and Russian Studies at New York University; and Zviagintsev’s The Return (2003), introduced by Vlad Strukov, visiting assistant professor in Slavic Languages and Literatures at Pitt. These films will be screened at the Pittsburgh Filmmaker’s Melwood Screening Room; admission is $5.

The four films were all released in the second half of 2003. Each film has received several prestigious awards at major film festivals both domestically and abroad.

The transformation of the Russian film industry over the last decade has given rise to independent producers and the emergence of privately owned film companies. The three production companies, whose films will be shown during the symposium, have dominated the independent market in Russia.

Former film director Sergei Sel’ianov established STW Film Company in
St. Petersburg in 1992; NTV-Profit Film Company, a company created in 1995 in Moscow, joins Igor’ Tolstunov’s production studio Profit with Vladimir Gusinskii’s NTV Television Company; and in 2001, Chlyants formed Pygmalion Productions in Moscow.

In addition to screening the three company’s films, presentations about the companies will be given throughout the symposium at 2 p.m. in Pitt’s David Lawrence Hall, Room 106, 3942 Forbes Ave. Maksim Ukhanov, chief financial officer at STW, will speak about the company May 3; Chlyants will discuss Pygmalion May 5; and Yevgeny Gindilis, NTV’s director of international projects, will talk about the company May 7.

All films have English subtitles. For a full schedule of screenings and information on the event, visit the symposium Web site at

5.  The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Calliope Folk Music Society
May 21 7:30 PM

$15 student, $30-85 staff/faculty
through PITT ARTS, 929 WPU

Featured artists are the bluegrass/country-rock pioneers Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, who have been bridging the gap between traditional and contemporary music for over 30 years with their own blend of bluegrass, folk, and other American roots music.The concert will begin with a special appearance by Jeff Austin, mandolinist and frontman for Yonder Mountain String Band and Chris Castino, from the jam band The Big Wu who have just released "Songs from the Tin Shed" on Frog Pad Records. This talented duo creates a raw, roots mix of folk, country, and bluegrass with a distinctive contemporary edge.
6.  Chesapeake
City Theatre
April 22 - May 30

Tickets $10 student, $20-$30 faculty/staff through PITT ARTS, 929 WPU.

A performance artist, a right-wing senator, and a retriever named Lucky collide in Lee Blessing’s comic satire

David Wilson Barnes makes his City Theatre debut in this one-man-show about arts, politics, and dogs
City Theatre presents Lee Blessing’s fantastic take on America’s culture wars, Chesapeake. This one-man-show in the Lester Hamburg Studio features the Pittsburgh debut of New York-based actor David Wilson Barnes. Chesapeake is directed by Lou Jacob, who last worked with City Theatre as the director of Fuddy Meers.

In Chesapeake, a performance artist, Kerr, becomes the target of Therm Pooley, a conservative Southern candidate for the Senate. In his campaign Pooley uses his Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Lucky, as his mascot. When the politician succeeds in stripping Kerr of a NEA grant, the artist concocts a plan of revenge involving Pooley’s dog. What happens next comes as a big surprise to Kerr, and the audience as well.

Newsday describes Chesapeake as “…Rich with inspiration and mockery on both sides of the culture wars. Blessing is fearlessly out there, with hints of Kafka and comic books, the Old Testament and Lassie.”

7.  David Sedaris
Benedum Center
June 6, 2004, at 7 p.m.
Tickets $20.25 through PITT ARTS, 929 WPU
With Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, David Sedaris returns to his deliriously twisted domain: hilarious childhood dramas infused with melancholy; the gulf of misunderstanding that exists between people of different nations or members of the same family; and the poignant divide between one's best hopes and most common deeds. The family characters his readers love are all here, as well as the unique terrain they inhabit, strewn with comic landmines.
Recounting his strange-but-true experiences of his job as a Macy's elf, clad in green tights, David Sedaris made his comic debut reading his "Santaland Diaries" on National Public Radio's Morning Edition. Sedaris' sardonic humor and incisive critiques of society have since made him one of NPR's most popular and humorous commentators. But Sedaris isn't "just a working Joe who happens to put out these perfectly constructed pieces of prose," as This American Life's Ira Glass puts it; the great skill with which Sedaris slices through euphemisms and political correctness proves that he is a master of satire.
David Sedaris is the author of the bestsellers Barrel Fever and Holidays on
Ice, as well as collections of personal essays, Naked and Me Talk Pretty One Day, which immediately became national bestsellers. Sedaris and his sister, Amy Sedaris, have collaborated under the name "The Talent Family" and have written several plays, which have been produced at La Mama, Lincoln Center, and The Drama Department in New York City. These plays include Stump the Host, Stitches, One Woman Shoe, which received an Obie Award, Incident at Cobbler's Knob, and The Book of Liz, which was published in book form by Dramatist's Play Service. His essays appear regularly in Esquire, GQ, and The New Yorker.
Sedaris' original radio pieces can often be heard on The American Life, distributed nationally by Public Radio International and produced by WBEZ in
Chicago. In 2001, David Sedaris became the third recipient of the Thurber Prize for American Humor. He was Time magazine's "Humorist of the Year" in 2001. Recently Entertainment Weekly named him one of the "25 Funniest People in America."

8.  Symphony with a Splash
Pittsburgh Symphony Heinz Hall
Thursday May 13
Happy Hour - 5:00 PM, Concert - 6:45 PM

Tickets $10 for students and $13 for faculty/staff through PITT ARTS, 929 WPU.

Classical music isn't all European -- American Classical music has a vibe of its own, styled after our culture, history and unique influences. Enjoy the sound and spirit of America's classics, from brass bands, Broadway, jazz and yes, Liberace (!) at this concert of our own composers.

The coolest networking happy hour, mixes with one of the world's best orchestras at the Pittsburgh Symphony's brand new Symphony with a Splash Concert Series.

At Symphony With A Splash Concerts, Pittsburgh Symphony Heinz Hall becomes the Pittsburgh Symphony Lounge, where you can chill out after work (and miss out on rush hour traffic), enjoy cocktails, live jazz music and a light bite, while meeting and mingling with other young professionals!

Then, sit back, relax, and enjoy short shots of popular and innovative classical music, in a behind-the-scenes style concert by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Hosted by Greg Sandow, composer, professor of Classical Music in a Pop Music World at Julliard and music critic for the Wall Street Journal, you'll discover inside angles, and new insights about the music you'll hear  and even walk away with new ways to listen to any music!

9.  Dead Man Walking, by Jake Heggie - Libretto by Terrence McNally
Pittsburgh Opera
June 5, 8, 11, 13

$15 Student tickets through PITT ARTS, 929 WPU

A remorseless man on death row. A woman of God who seeks his spiritual liberation. Based on the book by Sister Helen Prejean that inspired the award-winning film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn, this critically acclaimed, musically lush and socially relevant co-production is a powerful testament to the coming of age of American opera.

Dead Man Walking is the centerpiece production for the first-ever National Performing Arts Convention in Pittsburgh, June 2004.

929 William Pitt Union
Pittsburgh, PA, 15260

Phone: 412.624.4498

Did you ever think about the great cultural value that PITT ARTS brings to you and other Pitt people? Now, consider that ticket prices, transportation, and even catering costs are increasing rapidly. Contributions of all sizes help to keep Pitt ARTS alive for you. Please consider giving back to PITT ARTS today. Make your gift on-line now at, simply type “PITT ARTS” in the “other” category, and decide what you think PITT ARTS is worth to you. Thank you for your support!