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Connellsville's Stage Door Canteen Room to host lectures, shows

Celeste Van Kirk | Tribune-Review
The Stage Door Room Canteen in the Connellsville Canteen, 131 W. Crawford Ave., will be the new home for a series of lectures and shows.

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Saturday, July 19, 2014, 6:15 p.m.

Starting July 26, the Stage Door Canteen Room in the new Connellsville Canteen, 131 W. Crawford Ave., will offer a combination of lectures and entertainment for gatherings of about 40 people.

The series is being funded with a $4,000 grant from the Three Rivers Community Foundation, according to Michael Edwards, president of the Fayette County Cultural Trust. The funds will be used to pay for speakers, the entertainment and to cover the cost of some of the food. The grant will cover six lectures and the entertainers for six dinners and shows.

During World War II, female volunteers offered refreshments to troops whose trains were laid over in Connellsville for locomotives to be refueled and to take on water before continuing over the mountains or to the west.

“If there were local guys on the trains, (canteen volunteers) provided a car or a car and driver to get them home for a short visit,” Edwards said.

While there are no troops on trains waiting in Connellsville, the canteen can recreate the atmosphere of that time with events in the Stage Door Canteen Room.

The first event will be a lecture on July 26 by Paula Johnston, who will talk about Connellsville's human relations ordinance.

Other events have been scheduled into December. Reservations must be made ahead of time for all events.

Those events include:

• A dinner show and evening with Kristen Leigh Markitell from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 8. Markitell's music includes selections from the 1930s and 1940s. The cost is $20 per person, including the dinner.

• A lecture featuring film writer, actor and producer Jeff Monahan from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 9. The lecture is free, and light refreshments will be served.

• A dinner show and evening with Katelyn Ritenour and Tyler Hough from 6 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 18. The cost of the dinner and show is $20.

• A night of bluegrass music featuring Barry Hall and George Kenney Southern Comfort Band Experience from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 14. The cost of the dinner and show is $30.

• A dinner show with Talbot and Maddox Maruca from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 13. The cost of the dinner and show is $20.

Edwards said the Fayette County Cultural Trust is attempting to find more events and lectures.

More information is available at the Connellsville Canteen website,

Karl Polacek is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 724-626-3538.

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