Pitt-Greensburg Theater Company to present “Talking With . . .” 11 monologues by women

On stage: woman wearing a hat and holding a box; woman gesturing; woman holding a beer bottle.

Photos: Brianna Bicker rehearsing for her roles in "Talking With..." in scenes from (Snake) Handler, Scraps, and Rodeo.

The Pitt-Greensburg Theatre Company will present Jane Martin’s “Talking With…” as its spring 2023 production. The show, which runs approximately 80 minutes, will be performed in Ferguson Theater (University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, 150 Finoli Drive, Greensburg, PA 15601) at 7:30 p.m. (March 30, March 31, and April 1) and 2:30 p.m. (April 2). Tickets ($5 cash) are available at the door each night of the performance.

Christina Allaback, director of Theater at Pitt-Greensburg, explained that the show is comprised of 11 monologues for women—the perfect show to close out Women’s History Month (March). The play was first produced in 1982 and has been seen by audiences worldwide. An interesting note about the show is that Jane Martin is a pseudonym, and the true identity of the author remains unknown at this time. The year that “Talking With…” debuted, it was the winner of the American Theatre Critics Association Award for Best Regional Play.

“Many of the monologues are touching and emotional, others are comical,” said Allaback. She describes a group of idiosyncratic characters who include a baton twirler, a fundamentalist snake handler, an ex-rodeo rider, and an actress willing to go to any length to get a job. The monologues are described as original, poetic, intensive, revelatory, and impactful as they explore relationships to work, other women, parents, and men.

“It is a great play to showcase the talented women here at Pitt-Greensburg,” said Allaback. “Like most theatre programs in the country, we are woman-heavy, but most plays in theatre history are very male-centric. It's also a fun show for audience and actors, as there are a wide variety of characters to have fun with, as well as moments of vulnerability and humor.”

Four actors will portray the characters in the 11 monologues. They include:

Woman holding a stuffed cat on a stageMegan Coleman rehearsing for scenes from "Audition."

Brianna Bicker (Delmont, PA) is a junior majoring in biological sciences. After graduating from Pitt-Greensburg, she plans to study in Pitt’s dental program. She shared that she greatly enjoys the arts and has had an excellent experience performing in stagecraft.

Megan Coleman (Indiana, PA) is a junior communication major. This is her acting debut at Pitt-Greensburg. 

Sydney McLaughlin (she/her) (West Homestead, PA) is a first-year biology major. Her first acting role at Pitt-Greensburg was as the Young Collector in the fall 2022 production of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” McLaughlin was a frequent high-school theatre performer who was cast as Louisa Von Trapp (“The Sound of Music”), Ensemble (“My Fair Lady”), herself (“Godspell”), and Oliver (“Oliver!”). McLaughlin also performs with the Pitt-Greensburg Chorale and Chamber Singers.

Madison Vogel (Penn Hills, PA) is a second-year psychology major (clinical/counseling focus) and a visual and performing arts (theatre concentration) minor. This is Vogel’s fourth performance on the Ferguson Theater stage, where she previously portrayed Stella Kowalski (“A Streetcar Named Desire”), Pippi (“The Great American Trailer Park Musical”) and Penelope Toop (“See How they Run”).

Anna Wicks (Ligonier, PA) is a third-year nursing student who is serving as the costume designer for the production. This is fourth production with which she has assisted.

About Pitt-Greensburg:

Founded in 1963, the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg is a publicly assisted, four-year, liberal arts college in southwestern Pennsylvania. Pitt-Greensburg offers 31 baccalaureate degree programs, including new majors in data analytics, nursing, and healthcare management, as well as 31 minors and four certificate programs. With nearly 1,400 students, more than 10,000 alumni, and faculty and staff numbering 260, Pitt-Greensburg provides a vibrant, diverse community that is a dynamic model of a 21st-century liberal arts education. As part of the University of Pittsburgh system, Pitt-Greensburg offers the resources of a world-renowned university combined with the individualized and immersive experiences of a small liberal arts college. Creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit permeate the campus and extend into its many collaborative projects with the Westmoreland County community. Nestled in Pennsylvania’s beautiful Laurel Highlands, the campus is surrounded by the region’s outdoor recreation venues and rich history. It is a five-minute drive from uptown Greensburg and less than an hour’s drive from Pittsburgh.

Publication Date

Wednesday, March 22, 2023 - 15:45