Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

St. Vincent Theater's New Home a Dream for Father Tom

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

St. Vincent Theater's New Home a Dream for Father Tom

Article excerpt

By Virginia Kopas Joe

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

When the curtain goes up at the new Saint Vincent College Performing Arts Center this spring, there will be more than a show going on. For Father Thomas W. Devereux, the curtain goes up on a dream -- and showcases 35 years of creative work.

Devereux, 71, is the, well, father of the now legendary Saint Vincent Theater. With its professional and student productions, the theater company has entertained more than a million residents of Westmoreland and surrounding counties since 1969.

In mid-May, the company will hold its first performance in its new home, the $2.4 million performing arts center that is nearly completed and sits in the heart of the 200-acre college campus near Latrobe.

Last week, a select group of administrators, college supporters, civic leaders and journalists got a sneak peek at the center, which is housed within the former Kennedy Hall, now called the Robert S. Carey Student Center.

Arts patron and professor Norman Hipps, of Saint Vincent, called the performing arts center "the culmination of the Devereux dream and dedication."

The project includes a new 36-by-40-foot stage, new lighting, sound and air, and sloped, spacious seating for 506 persons. A new box office, concession area and restrooms in the lobby have been constructed. There also is a specially commissioned sculpture: two large wall masks that portray a variation on the faces of comedy and tragedy, the images usually associated with theater.

The center was financed with private dollars from the Campaign for Saint Vincent College, an ongoing $75 million fund-raising project

On last week's tour, albeit in a wheelchair since a stroke last spring, was Devereux. And, yes, he lives the theater adage, "The show must go on."

As he quips: "I just get around a little slower making sure these days."

It was a young Rev. …

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