Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Barebones in Overdrive; Quantum Stages Coop

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Barebones in Overdrive; Quantum Stages Coop

Article excerpt

The following CORRECTION/CLARIFICATION appeared on November 19, 2015.The correct closing date of barebones productions' "Small Engine Repair" is Dec. 5. A box with the Wednesday preview had an incorrect date.

On the nights Patrick Jordan can't sleep, he searches the Internet for a script that strikes a barebones chord. He found one in "Small Engine Repair."

Mr. Jordan isn't getting much sleep these days as his new black box theater continues to grow in Braddock and he gets ready to star in "Small Engine Repair," opening Thursday.

Two weeks before curtain, the staging area was strewn with lawn mower parts and tools, befitting the repair shop where the play takes place.

Mr. Jordan's many roles in this production include set designer, costumer and star. He portrays Frank, who invites two former high school buddies to his out-of-the-way shop.

"They came from less than ideal circumstances, and they were each other's family growing up, but they've been estranged for a couple of years," Mr. Jordan said. "Frank brings them together under false pretenses, but we don't know why. He tells one that he has cancer, and he tells the other he has strippers, so it lets you know who they are."

The 30-something trio is joined by preppy college jock Chad, whose arrival ignites long-simmering resentments and escalating tensions.

Directed by Richard Keitel, the cast includes Brendan Griffin, Carnegie Mellon University graduate Gabriel King and CMU junior Casey Cott as Chad.

"It's a raw play and it's funny - ballbusting funny," Mr. Jordan said.

"It's a full meal in 70 minutes - there's a lot of story, humor, touching stuff, and [it's] compact and should hit you over the head and fly by," he said. "The last 10 minutes, the play changes four times."

A hint of what is to come is in the program, which lists Randy Kovitz as fight coordinator and Benzidream FX Studios as providing special effects, and perhaps in the tools on the shelves.

Things could get, as Mr. Jordan puts it, "Risky, crazy, nuts."

Barebones black box theater, 1211 Braddock Ave., Braddock, Thursday through Dec. 5; 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays plus Nov. 25 (no show Nov. 26); 2 p.m. Sundays. $29.99-$55 (performances opening night and Fridays and Saturdays include preshow event at the home of Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, 6:30 to 7:45 p.m.)., or 1-888-71TICKETS.


A trio of young theater artists known as the Hatch Arts Collective created the play "Chickens in the Yard" in 2012 that had a brief standing room-only run in a Lawrenceville gallery. They thought it was one and done. Quantum Theatre's Karla Boos had other ideas.

Ms. Boos has pulled them back into the coop - actually, a Lawrenceville building that once housed a men's choir and the Boom Boom Room bar. …

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