ShareThis Page

Sewickley woman helping promote theater production

| Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Jessica Scioscia, 21, of Sewickley poses for a photo at Way Park in Edgeworth Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013. The Robert Morris University senior is a marketing and communications intern for Carnivale Theatrics.
Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Jessica Scioscia, 21, of Sewickley poses for a photo at Way Park in Edgeworth Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013. The Robert Morris University senior is a marketing and communications intern for Carnivale Theatrics.

Jessica Scioscia had the opportunity to combine her two passions this summer thanks to a new educational program offered by a local theater company.

Scioscia is one of five interns working with Sewickley-based Front Porch Productions and Carrnivale Theatrics on “In the Heights,” which is set to open Aug. 23 at New Hazlett Theater on the North Side.

“I learned a lot about mixing my love of the arts with business — something I have never done,” said Scioscia, 21, a marketing and communications intern.

Scioscia was paired with Bruce Smith, 64, of Aleppo, and Leon Zionts, 55, of Point Breeze — co-founders of Front Porch — to help promote the show.

“I have learned just how much work goes into producing and marketing a professional musical,” said Scioscia, a 2010 Quaker Valley graduate who also works as a communications intern at Sewickley Valley YMCA.

She will be a senior at Robert Morris University where she plans to graduate in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in communications with a concentration in theater.

She said she hopes to have a career in the marketing, communications or public relations field with a non-profit organization.

During her internship, Scioscia marketed the show through a variety of outlets, including social media, updated the website and assisted with grant writing and database management.

“Lots of theaters have internship programs so that students can get hands-on, valuable experience and make connections in the theater,” said Amy Jackson, Smith's daughter, who recruited the interns and organized the program.

Professional producers, directors and choreographers worked with the interns in the production, also giving them experience teaching their craft to others. The program provides insights into various career opportunities in theater, Jackson said.

“It can help develop marketable skills for future jobs or study in theater,” she said.

The musical, nominated for 13 Tony Awards in 2008 and the winner of four, also was a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It focuses on the lives and intertwining stories of residents of Washington Heights, in Manhattan, N.Y., a strong Hispanic community. Smith, who is producing his third show, said “In the Heights” is the biggest show yet, with a $100,000 budget, most of which was raised through local foundations, corporations and individuals.

“We don't make any money on this,” Smith said.

“It's volunteer on our part, and it's fun to do.”

Joanne Barron is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1406 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.