Posts tagged ‘Pittsburgh’
Just weeks before Pittsburgh-born playwright August Wilson died in 2005, he finished the last of his series of 10 plays called “The Pittsburgh Cycle.” That last play is called Radio Golf, and it’s the next offering in the Penn State Centre Stage season.
A relatively small cast—just five actors—will stage the story of Harmond Wilkes, who wants to redevelop Pittsburgh’s Hill District and who also is campaigning to become the city’s first black mayor. There are complications along the way, and those complications challenge Wilkes to rethink a few things, not the least of which is his ethics.
I checked out the dress rehearsal on Monday night and took some photos, including the one above of Penn State MFA acting candidates Bianca Washington (playing Wilkes’ wife, Mame) and Andy Lucien (playing Wilkes). I not only liked the play, but I also liked that it’s full of Pittsburgh references, making it enjoyable on a couple of different levels.
The college football offseason is rarely quiet, and much of the noise this year has come from folks talking, writing, prognosticating and blogging about the possibility of Big Ten expansion. The traditional story line — the Big Ten has coveted Notre Dame as a 12th member ever since Penn State joined the league nearly two decades ago, but the Fighting Irish never bit — has been updated as the league recently announced it was taking its most serious look yet at adding a 12th school. The topic has been buzzing online, with a variety of folks making arguments and guessing at the league’s intentions. What seems clearer than ever is that, with or (most likely) without Notre Dame, the Big Ten is more likely than not to expand in the next few years — to 12 teams, perhaps, but maybe to 14 or even 16. The ultimate decision will reshape the college football landscape as drastically (if not more so) than did Penn State’s switch from independent to Big Ten power nearly 20 years ago.
David Jones of the Harrisburg Patriot-News posted a three-part story today that’s as well-done as anything I’ve seen on the topic. Part One explains why expansion appears to make so much sense right now, for reasons that shouldn’t surprise anyone (hint: it’s what makes the world go ’round). Part Two explains why, in Dave’s opinion, the addition that Penn State fans would most like to see is not the most likely to happen (hint: the lure of a classic rivalry is trumped by the bottom line, every time). And Part Three offers Dave’s pick for the “sleeping giant” that might ultimately make the most sense if the Big Ten adds just one team.
Time will tell if Dave’s right (or if our friend Frank the Tank is prescient with his prediction of Texas), but this is compelling stuff regardless.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
I’m thankful that for the first time in five years, I can have Thanksgiving dinner with my family simply by jumping in the car and driving a couple of hours west. (A drive that is, incidentally, way easier than it was when I was a student thanks to I-99 and some road-widening on Route 22. No more interminable five-hour bus rides from State College to downtown Pittsburgh for me!)
Those of you who need to brave the airport should take a look at these travel tips from Ben Mutzabaugh ’97 EMS, USA Today’s travel guru. He stresses something I’ve always aspired to, although I’ve not always achieved it: No matter how frustrated you are, be nice to the airline employees.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
In conjunction with the G20 summit in Pittsburgh this week, Associated Press national writer Ted Anthony ’95 offers a nice little tribute to the city. Ted grew up in Pittsburgh and now lives there again after a 20-year absence. He writes with affection about how the city has reinvented itself for the 21st century.
Tina Hay, editor
When I was in San Francisco last week for a professional conference, the morning paper each day carried front-page news of the March 21 killings of four Oakland, Calif., police officers. Their public funeral last Friday at the Oracle Arena was huge—more than 21,000 people, including police officers from all over the country, were there.
In the short time since then, we’ve seen two more shocking and sobering acts of violence—yesterday in Binghamton, N.Y., where a man with a gun killed 13 people and then himself, and this morning in Pittsburgh, where a gunman killed three police officers who were responding to a domestic dispute.
Penn Stater Ted Anthony ’95 of the Associated Press today put together this analysis, in which he notes that 47 people have died in mass shootings in the U.S. in the past month, adding, “It’s to the point where on Saturday, dizzyingly, the mayor of Binghamton found himself offering Pittsburgh its sympathies.”
Tina Hay, editor