Ligonier native's play to premiere in Pittsburgh
Playwright Ryan George clearly remembers words of praise he received from Ligonier Valley High School English teacher Marie Ankney about a science -fiction piece he wrote as a freshman.
What he wrote back then was “kid's stuff, nonsense,” said George, but he clearly remembers Ankney telling him he should look into pursuing a career in writing.
George's play, “ristretto stiletto” will likely debut in March at the New Hazlett Theater in Pittsburgh's North Side.
Ankney, who has retired from teaching, said she wasn't surprised to hear of George's success.
“He was a good student. He wrote science fiction pieces, which I don't like, but he was a good writer and very imaginative,” she said, recalling the boy she taught more than two decades ago.
“I thought he might do something that involved writing,” Ankney said.
George, 36, who now lives in Johnstown, said his play tells the story of a Pittsburgh corporate man who's yearning to break into the art scene of New York's Greenwich Village.
The play “compares the post-World War II artistic culture of Greenwich Village — an artistic age of Bohemia in New York — to now, when it is very difficult to survive as an artist,” George said.
He described the play, the majority of which was written between 2007 and 2008, as a “New York, eccentric, dark comedy.”
“I think it will provide two things for the audience that are essential to human life, and those two things are laughter and thought,” he said.
This will be George's third full-length production. It is being produced by GOTHAM On Stage, a nonprofit production company headquartered in Johnstown.
The company, which started in 2010, was created specifically to fund George's play, said producer Eileen Graham.
Graham said she became involved in the production company after hearing about George's idea and reading his play.
“I believe in not only the production, but I believe in Ryan's work as an artist,” she said. “I know people will love the play.”
Graham, GOTHAM On Stage and others are working to raise money to go toward the production of the play.
Graham said they've raised about 40 percent of their goal through investors, individual contributions through online fundraising website Kickstarter.com and local events. More events are planned for this winter.
The production company's mission statement says it will endeavor to bring other “socially irreverent material into focus.”
To make a donation, go to kickstarter.com/projects/ristrettostiletto.
Jewels Phraner is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-1218 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.