New Classics March


Media Contacts:
Michelle Belan – 412.561.6000 x203 or

Josh Storey – 412.624.0933 or


New Classics presents free reading of Lively Stones

New play by Sarah Katherine Bowden examines role of

women in Colonial Massachusetts

Pittsburgh, PA  — March 12, 2012. The New Classics Series wraps up its season on Sunday, March 18th at 7:00 p.m. with Lively Stones by Sarah Katherine Bowden, directed by Erica Highberg and performed in the Charity Randall Theatre at the Stephen Foster Memorial in Oakland. New Classics is a cooperative program presented by the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Theatre Arts and Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre. The series is intended to highlight new works and showcase up-and-coming playwrights.
The reading is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a talk-back with the cast and audience.
Lively Stones by Sarah Bowden places the audience in Puritanical Massachusetts. Founding Americans such as Joseph Cotton, John Winthrop, and Anne Hutchinson fight over control of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Anne seeks to inform her neighbors of remedies for the body to be found on the earth, while Joseph Cotton attempts to lead the flock to remedies of the soul in heaven. John Winthrop, however, wants to control the hearts and minds of his people for political gain. Lively Stones strikes at the ethics of our Founding Fathers and Mothers, and investigates the rocky soil upon which our nation was built.
The reading will feature actors from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Theatre Arts, including Joanna Getting, Laura Gray, Karl Kemmerer, Ethan Miller and Rocky Paterra. The stage manager is Emily Burst.
Playwright Sarah Bowden is a third-year MFA student in the playwrighting program at Ohio University. Previously, she served as an artistic associate at Philadelphia’s To The Wall Productions. She co-wrote Grimm & Tonic: An Evening of Adapted Fairy Tales for To The Wall, and had her short play Through the Valley performed as part of the Philadelphia Dramatists Center’s 4×4 Festival. Her full-length, Two Sides of a River, was given a staged reading at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia. Sarah was the recipient of the 2003 Margaret W. Baker Prize for Fiction and the 2005 White-Howells English Prize for Drama.
Director Erica Highberg is an accomplished Pittsburgh theatre artist. She holds an MFA in acting from Point Park University, where she teaches. Highberg’s credits include productions with PICT, City Theatre Company, The Rep and Bricolage.

Persons who are unable to attend the reading in person will be able to view it online via LIPLO™ (Live and in Person, Live and Online), a new internet technology pioneered by PICT Operations Director Stephanie Riso and Alex Geis. Geis of 21 Productions and videographer Randy Griffith of RLG Creations will live-broadcast the readings, and viewers will be able to respond via live chat as they watch the performances on the LIPLO™  website,
For more information about “New Classics,” contact Josh Storey at 412.624.0933 or, or Michelle Belan at 412.561.6000 x203 or

The University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Theatre Arts (founded in 1982) offers the BA, MA, MFA and PhD degrees in Theatre Arts.  All faculty members are active in both teaching and artistic / research activities.  The department shares a philosophy of theatre education, the chief feature of which is the firm conviction that theory and practice, academic and creative work, and educational and professional theatre must be integrated for a successful program of theatre education.  The University of Pittsburgh Repertory Theatre is the department’s flagship theatre company with performance spaces in the landmark Stephen Foster Memorial and the Cathedral of Learning.

Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre was founded in 1996 to diversify the region’s theatrical offerings by providing Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania audiences with high-quality, text-driven, affordable productions of classical theatre and the works of classical and contemporary Irish playwrights and to significantly improve employment opportunities for local talent in all facets of theatrical presentation and production.  PICT is a Small Professional Theatre (SPT) affiliated with Actors’ Equity Association, and a constituent member of Theatre Communications Group (TCG) and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. PICT is the Professional Theatre in Residence at the University of Pittsburgh and PICT productions at the Charity Randall and Henry Heymann Theatres are presented in cooperation with the University of Pittsburgh – Department of Theatre Arts.