Monday, October 11, 2010

Rhythm of Revenge honored at Pittsburgh New Works Festival Gala

Maggie Mayer (left) and Delilah Brewer-Picart (right)

The cast and crew of Rhythm of Revenge were reunited at the Pittsburgh New Works Festival's Gala.  The Gala celebrates the work of all of the talented artists who make the New Works Festival possible.  Phase 3 is honored to be part of the festival and offers most sincere congratulations to all of the Donna Award nominees and winners.

Phase 3's production, Rhythm of Revenge was nominated in every category for which it was eligible.  Congratulations to Phase 3's nominees Bria Walker and Liz Roberts for their performances as Best Leading Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively.  Playwright Kathleen Conner Combass was nominated as Best Playwright for her excellent script and Dek Ingraham was nominated for his direction.  The show itself was nominated for Best Production.

It is with great pleasure and pride that Phase 3 congratulates our 2010 Pittsburgh New Works Donna Award winners, Maggie Mayer as Best Leading Actress for her courageous portrayal of "Barbara" and Delilah Brewer-Picart for her lithe and loving turn as "Minona".  

This show was an amazing experience for everyone involved.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being part of it!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dress, tech, AAAH!

Thoughts from the cast of Rhythm of Revenge

We were finally at the Father Ryan Arts Center Monday night.  The dressing room was rich with excitement and sweets.  Cloth was wrapped, hot rollers set.  In costume and with props, we, a cast of 8 women, were called to the stage.  As the theatre manager explained the basic rules of the house, I looked out to the empty audience.  I have been fortunate enough to perform on many different stages, literally and figuratively, and I always prefer small intimate "black box" theaters.  Dramatic arts are meant to thrill three of the five senses.  Plays and musicals are suppose to stir emotion within you and take you in, for a small bit of time, then thrust you back to reality.  You should want to reach out your hand and touch the experience.

After our run-thru, a few cast members were very concerned.  "What can we do to bring it up more?"  This is the beauty and magic of Dress/Tech.  Its the first time in costume, with lights and sound.  Its the first time in the space of the stage, and she is an energy unto herself.  Like a first date, you must know your boundaries and be willing to risk crossing them.  You must be respectful, and remember to laugh at yourself. (We MUST laugh as a cast, otherwise we might take on horrible addictions.)  And you should enjoy the moment you are there, because it will be over before you know it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

10 days to open!

Delilah Brewer-Picart
Actor, "Minona"
Since the content of the play is so deep and heavy, as a cast we make a conscious choice to laugh before every rehearsal. A critical prop was introduced and the dark humor flew. I believe its a true nod to how far we have come as a society to look upon such an ugly representation of the collective American past and laugh out loud. A friend asked me how was work. Its rehearsal, I corrected, and its PLAY. Only in theatre can you portray such ugly and enlightening characters, and then break bread. The cast brings such a wonderful energy, wise and naive, young and seasoned. I am eager to what opening night will bring!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First Thoughts: Rhythm of Revenge

Thoughts about the play from director Dek Ingraham...

OK, I'll admit it...I was a more than a little bit afraid of this play when we chose it.  What business does a little gay white boy from Ohio have directing a play about 8 women and a lynching of a black man that happened in Florida in the 1930s?  It is textually dense, emotionally difficult and more than a little culturally uncomfortable.  All the more reason that it needs to be seen.  

I've had to wrestle my own demons just in the preparatory work for this show.  I've had to examine racism and white privilege in ways that I have had the luxury of being oblivious to.  I've come to realize that even this act of examination is a luxury afforded to me by the color of my skin.  If I choose to stop looking so intensively at the issue, I can without any negative consequence.  It isn't something that I have to deal with on a daily basis.  I've always been able to walk into a barber shop and know that someone there will know how to cut my hair.  I've never had to wonder whether I've gotten a job or lost a job because of my race or ever had to deal with coworkers who wonder about the same.  I'm not asked to speak for my race in panel discussions or interviews.  My good or bad behavior is not used by society to reflect upon my entire race.  We live in a society where millions of people are burdened with these things everyday and the privileged, for the most part aren't even aware.  The lynchings may not be as common as they once were, people of all colors can ride next to each other on a bus or use the same water fountain, but we are not even close to creating equality.  The new enemy of equality doesn't wear a hood and burn crosses, it goes about its day, completely unaware of its unspoken privilege.

Ultimately, the discussions with the cast in rehearsal may be vastly more important than the final artistic product.  I have been deeply affected personally and I would venture to say that many in the cast will say the same.  I hope that those who see performances of this show are spurred into conversation.  We aren't going to solve anything with this play--even I'm not that optimistically naive.  However, we can plant a seed.  Knowing that the problem exists and naming it is the first step towards correcting it.  I don't have the answers.  I am not speaking from a position of authority or great knowledge.  I am just stumbling through and trying to make sense of it all.  I suspect that I'm not alone.

Rhythm of Revenge by Kathleen Conner Combass
part of the 20th Annual
Pittsburgh New Works Festival
September 23 - September 26. Thursday and Friday at 8pm; Saturday at 5 and 8pm; Sunday at 2pm
Single tickets are $10 and may be purchased online from
ProArtsTickets or by calling 412.394.3353.

For a full festival schedule, visit the Pittsburgh New Works Festival website

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Phase 3 Announces PNWF Play Selection

Phase 3 Productions is proud to announce that we will be producing Rhythm of Revenge by playwright Kathleen Conner Combass for the 20th annual Pittsburgh New Works Festival.

The July 19, 1935, lynching of Rubin Stacy was captured in a series of photographs displayed in the book Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America. One of the collected pictures exhibits four young girls and their reactions to Stacy’s hanging, bullet-ridden body. Their faces reveal what happens when innocence is continually exposed to hatred and horrifying brutality.

Rhythm of Revenge is a fictional account of the four photographed girls’ lives set twenty years into the future. Names and incidents surrounding the event are fabricated.  Mary, Barbara, Grace and Abby have been reuniting every year to commemorate their participation in the spectacle lynching of a nomadic black man. This year carries more importance than the others because it marks the twentieth anniversary of the lynching. As the women begin their reunion, individuals seeking revenge interrupt their celebration.

Rhythm of Revenge will be performed during the third week of the festival.  Performances are Thursday and Friday, September 23 and 24 at 8pm; Saturday, September 25 at 5 and 8pm; and Sunday, September 26 at 2pm.  For a full festival schedule, please visit  

For more information, including audition registration and ticket sales, please visit the Pittsburgh New Works Festival web site at

Friday, June 18, 2010

Meet the Artists: Kathleen Hagerty

Kathleen Hagerty has been acting in theatre and film for 7 years, beginning as a student at Penn State University. Her roles there included Gorgeanne in Five Women Wearing the Same Dress, Loureen in Poof!, Maria in School for Scandal, and Simone in Ataxia of the Mind (a new work by playwright Chrissy Pryor.) Kathleen moved to New York, NY after college where she studied with a number of talented acting coaches, including Ragnar Freidank, instructor at Colombia University and director of the award winning short film Beautiful Hills of Brooklyn. While in New York, Kathleen added to her acting credits the roles of Amiens in As You Like It and Flavius in Julius Caesar, along with several small parts in films and commercials. One of her first roles when she returned to Pittsburgh was Jess in the full-length independent feature Invisible Cities, written and directed by Squirrel Hill native Ian Wolfson. She also has performed many times under the direction of Sean O’Donnell at The New Olde Bank Theatre in Verona. Her roles there include Nelly Windrod in The Rimers of Eldritch, assorted roles in A Night of Female Monologues, Leader of the Old Woman Chorus in Lysistrata, and Young Mona in Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. She is thrilled to be working with Ms. Grande and the entire cast and crew of Lion in the Streets.