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Leetsdale man, friend merge talents for Sewickley area theater company

Kristina Serafini | Sewickey Herald
Sewickley Area Theatre Company founders Jeff Way and David Ford pose for a photo at Ford's Leetsdale home Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013.

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Kickoff party planned

The Sewickley Area Theatre Company will host a launch party at 2 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Sewickley Speakeasy, 17 Ohio River Boulevard, Haysville.

Admission is $20 per person and includes hors d'oeuvres, champagne and live entertainment. A Chinese auction, cash raffle, door prizes and cash bar will be available.

Reservations are requested by Oct. 13.

For more information, call 412-879-0355, send an email to info@sewickleymusicals.org or visit www.sewickleymusicals.org.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

David Ford's dream of running a theater company is becoming a reality.

The Leetsdale native, along with his friend Jeff Way, are seeking to bring live musical productions to the area through their group, the Sewickley Area Theatre Company.

“Since we're both passionate about theater, we thought, ‘Why don't we try doing our own company?” Ford, 26, said.

The Sewickley area lacks a live theater group, he said.

“There's so many talented people here,” Ford said. “There's no reason why we can't do professional-caliber shows for a fraction of the cost.”

So Ford, Way and a group of others dedicated to performing arts are moving forward with plans to offer live theater in the Sewickley Valley.

The group's full-scale production debut target is next summer, Ford said.

The group will kick off fundraising efforts with a launch party planned for 2 p.m. Oct. 20 in the Sewickley Speakeasy.

For Way, who lives in Sewickley but originally is from Elizabeth, the time was right to build on a local theater company.

“We've talked about it a long time,” Way, 26, said.

Way and Ford have performed in theater companies around the region, including the Washington Community Theatre.

The pair said they have experience in different parts of theater production — Way with a background in music, and both having worked on sets and costume design for shows.

The group plans to seek locations for shows and will license productions based on what the community wants and available theater space, Ford said.

“This isn't a pipe dream anymore, and now it's our responsibility to take these donations and turn it into something special.”

Bobby Cherry is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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