New Ground Newsletter #2

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Small But Mighty Improvements In the last year, City Theatre has completed several small capital projects with the support of the Allegheny Regional Asset District, volunteers, and patrons. These improvements include rebuilding the exterior front stairs and accessible ramp to the Main Stage Theatre; the installation of safety and architectural lighting to the exterior of 1300 Bingham Street; and the repainting of the PPG Courtyard between the Gordon Lounge and Hamburg Studio Theatres. Many other improvements, large and small, are coming as part of Phase II. Take a look at the rendering and photos to the right for more detail on what has been done and what is to come!

Architectural lighting highlights City’s presence and increases pedestrian safety

CAMPAIGN UPDATE Rebuilt front entrance improves accessibility and reduces tripping hazards

Issue 2 December 2018

Phase II Breaks New Ground

Repainted courtyard beautifies the campus and provides a welcoming atmosphere for guests


n November 2, 2018, City Theatre hosted a groundbreaking ceremony, marking the start of Phase II of its capital campaign. This phase of renovations includes the demolition of two structures on the former Walter Long Manufacturing property across the street from City Theatre’s main theatre; the renovation of an unoccupied building into the new Philip Chosky Production Center; the creation of a public plaza on Bingham City Board Members, Leadership, and Public Officials Break Street; improvements to the patron parking lot, including a public art Ground on The Philip Chosky Production Center project; and the installation of a new freight elevator for scenic load-in on the rear of the main stage theatre. Construction is expected to continue through the winter and spring, with a formal dedication of the new Philip Chosky Production Center to take place in Summer 2019. The freight elevator is expected to be operational for City Theatre’s 45th season that kicks off in September 2019.

Campaign Donors To Date Allegheny Foundation Allegheny Regional Asset District Anonymous (2) Carlyn Aquiline Leah Blackwood Zinnia Blackwood Barbara & Harold Bonnett Richard & Sally Brigden Tracy Brigden & Mike DelGaudio Carol R. Brown Elizabeth Brucker Megan & John Brucker Tacy M. Byham, Ph D Cadnetics John R. Cernelich Judy & Michael Cheteyan Alex & Tonja Condron Norbert J. Connors Jr. Covestro, LLC Philip Cox Tyler Crumrine Marilyn & Donald Dabkowski Jamini V. Davies Robert L. Dawes Tamara Dudukovich Dianne & Ron Duursma Eden Hall Foundation Marlene Ellis Frederique & Adam Ennis Paula & William Evans Annette & Anthony Ferrieri Jeffrey Fuga Matthew J. Galando

Julie & Lewis Gardner Ken & Cathy Glick Joe Gette & Mike Kellar The Gordon Foundation Brian Jeffrey Gross Allen Hahn & Karen Keagle Edward Harrell & Chas Pelusi Natalie Hatcher Jean Anne Hattler, PhD Katherine & Bob Hess The Hilda M. Willis Foundation Thomas Hollander Clyde B. Jones, III Jane & H.L. Bud Kahn Augusta H. Kairys Augusta L. Kairys & Raymond Hartung Susan & Gregory Kaminski Joanne & James Keith Patti Kelly Holly Koenig Laura Penrod Kronk Landesberg Design Marc Masterson & Jenny Ewing Allen Kristen Link & Andrew Mulkerin The Estate of Roslyn M. Litman Esq. Alice & Patrick Loughney Joyce & Daniel Majestic Beth Marcello Luci & David Massaro Pamela & Kenneth McCrory Lauren & Christopher Moore Gerald L. Morosco & Paul Ford Susan & James Morris

Thank You For Your Support!

Matthew M. Morrow Marcia & Thomas Morton Beth W. Newbold & Patrick Winkler Jesse Novak Joanna Obuzor Brad Peterson & Laura Knouff Louise & Gordon Phetteplace Philip Chosky Foundation Shirley G. Phillis Naima & Jesse Poole-Van Swol Mark R. Power Emily Price & Ryan O'Donnell Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County Renaissance 3 Architects Richard King Mellon Foundation Jan & Doug Ripper Susan & Daniel Rosati Kari Shaffer LaVerne & James Short Sandi & Jeffrey Solomon Pittsburgh Stage, Inc. Robert C.T. Steele Mary & Gary Taylor Nancy & John Traina Ange Vesco Iris Amper Walker Elaine & Leonard Wanzco Nancy D. Washington, PhD Sheila A. Washington June Yonas Florence Zeve Architectural Renderings provided by Renaissance3 Architects; Groundbreaking Photos courtesy of Human Habits.

Attendees for this groundbreaking ceremony included Beth Newbold, Board President; Erin Molchany, Director, Governor Wolf’s Southwest Regional Office; Senator Jay Costa; Lance Chimka, Director, Allegheny County Economic Development; Pittsburgh City Council President Bruce Kraus; Councilperson Erika Strassberger; and Board Members Judy Cheteyan, Ken Glick, Tacy Byham, Matt Galando, and Alex Condron. “Today marks a new age for production of new plays here in Pittsburgh,” said James McNeel, Managing Director. “We are eternally thankful to City’s supporters and funders for making this important investment in our ability to produce artistically important and socially relevant new plays for our audiences. The Philip Chosky Production Center is named after long-standing supporter Phil Chosky, whose foundation provided seed funding for this project in 2012. Plans for the Center were finalized following a grant from The Richard King Mellon Foundation.

City Theatre Campus Renovations Your Patience Is Appreciated While City Theatre does not anticipate any major disruptions for patrons during this phase, please be aware that construction timelines are fluid and everchanging.

Phase I: Hamburg Studio (Complete) Phase II: Production Center and Office Space, Freight Elevator, Parking Improvements, Public Art & Plaza (In progress) Phase III: Main Stage, Lobby, Donor Lounge, Rehearsal/ Education Studios

Please reference your pre-show attendance emails for announcements regarding parking lot disruptions, street closures, and other activities that may impact your time at the theatre.

Phase II: What’s New? 

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Challenge Gift Takes Phase II from Dream to Reality


A new scene shop five times the size of City’s current facility, including dedicated space for fabrication, paint, and storage Offices uniting production staff under one roof A safer, upgraded patron parking lot A public plaza A new public mural A freight elevator Onsite storage for props/ scenic elements Improved safety and productivity Opportunity for new patron and event space (in old scene shop)

oard members Beth Newbold and Judy Cheteyan, along with their husbands, are leading the charge to close out fundraising for Phase II. In June 2018, Beth and Judy issued a challenge to their peers, looking to raise a total of $200,000 to start construction. On the heels of their successful endeavor, these leaders reflect on why City Theatre is near to their hearts.

Why is this campaign important to you?

From L to R: Michael Cheteyan, Judy Cheteyan, Beth Newbold, and Pat Winkler

30 Years of Support: Celebrating the Legacy of Phil Chosky


hen Marc Masterson, City’s Artistic Director, met with Phil Chosky in 1989, he was immediately struck by his intelligence and Spartan tendencies. “I was still a kid, really, meeting with this Pittsburgh giant who chose to keep the walls of his office the cinderblock the building was made from. He was definitely frugal,” Masterson said, fondly recalling Mr. Chosky’s office inside Rosedale Technical College, Chosky’s tech school formerly located on Browns Hill Road in Squirrel Hill. “I couldn’t really read whether he was interested in what we were doing, but I knew he was listening and taking it all in. It wasn’t until he pulled out his checkbook that I knew he believed in City Theatre and wanted to help. Even then, he placed the check face down on the desk until the end of our conversation and nearly forgot to hand it to me as I was leaving. I dared not look at it until I got back to the office. It turned out to be a number more generous than any I had seen up to that point.” That donation marked the turning point for City Theatre, making the company’s dream of a permanent home on the South Side a reality that would be achieved in Philip Chosky 1925-2011 1991. From that moment on, Phillip Chosky continued as an ardent fan of City Theatre, consistently supporting both the company’s artistic endeavors and capital improvement projects individually as a board member and donor and, later in his life, through his foundation. Today, a sign reading “Reserved for Phil Chosky” still hangs above a prime parking spot in City Theatre’s lot. Meryl Ainsman, Executive Director of The Philip Chosky Charitable and Educational Trust, recalls “When custody of Phil’s foundation fell to me and his friends with no real instruction on how to manage it ’What Would Phil Do’ really became the thrust of our mission. City Theatre was a part of Phil’s life for a long time, and it just seemed right to us to honor his legacy by supporting City’s capital campaign.” The Phillip Chosky Production Center will open in 2019, exactly 30 years after Mr. Chosky’s initial gift gave life to City’s South Side Campus. “It seems fitting, really,” said Masterson, “that even after Phil’s passing he is still working to make our dreams come true.”

Beth & Pat: City produces high quality and thought-provoking productions under less than ideal conditions. The production center and elevator are necessary as they will allow the theatre to function more efficiently, saving much needed money and time. Judy & Michael: City is where emerging and young talents come together in a safe and encouraging environment to develop new and exciting plays. We must ensure the Theatre continues growing and remains a viable artistic home for these new plays.

What spurred you to work together to create this challenge gift?

Beth & Pat: The Cheteyans have been wonderful supporters and leaders at City Theatre and have been friends for many years. It seemed a logical partnership. Judy & Michael: We wanted to encourage more people to join us in investing in City’s new era and future development, as well as provide a springboard to welcome our new Artistic Director, Marc Masterson.

What are your hopes for City Theatre’s future beyond NEW GROUND? Beth & Pat: We hope that City Theatre can continue to be one of the country’s best homes for new plays. Judy & Michael: We hope City continues identifying and producing new plays and attracting new, young, and established artists to our jewel of a theater. We think of City as a bee hive where artists, audiences and supporters find a home to nourish and expand their minds, souls, values, and imagination with plays that have meaning.

What excites you about City Theatre? Beth & Pat: The quality of the staff, actors and design teams that belong to the City Theatre family. And the amazingly supportive patrons and donors that make everything we do possible. Judy & Michael: The new and unique plays with incredible backdrops that make unforgettable impressions on us, on our local community and beyond. City is becoming so well known for their plays as well as for the Young Playwrights Festival, Momentum Readings, and other educational and development work.

How would you describe City Theatre’s role in Pittsburgh to a newcomer? Beth & Pat: City Theatre is the place to go to spend an evening with friends and have your thoughts on the world challenged and expanded. Judy & Michael: If you want to see new interpretations of happenings in our society and how the world community is evolving, you need to attend City Theatre’s plays.

What has been your favorite City Theatre moment? Beth & Pat: Watching Joel introduce the subscription season with Tyrone the unpredictable puppet from Hand to God. Judy & Michael: Our plays generate such a mixture of emotions, and great visual and vocal experiences that excite and impress us. Although we are a relatively small organization, we are mighty in what we produce and how we produce it. We love spreading the news about this fantastic artistic gem in Pittsburgh to anyone who will listen.

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