The cast of "Our Town" was asked by Pittsburgh Public Theater to explore its own roots in our town. Here, in their own words (or their parents' words), is what they had to say:
Tom Atkins -- Stage Manager: I am a Pittsburgh native ... born on the great North Side ... lived the first couple years on Resaca Place, then Fineview, then Knoxville above McKinley Park on Bausman Street. Graduated Carrick HS, then the Navy, then Duquesne Univ., then moved to New York to be an actor. Lived there for 8 years and spent a lot of time up at Long Wharf & Williamstown ... Headed for Los Angeles in the Spring of '74 via Chicago & Fat Jack Falstaff in Henry IV Parts I & II...lived & worked in LA until I moved back here in '87 ... I lived in South Side, then Brentwood for a while & now me & Jan & Taylor live in Peters Township.
Tony Bingham -- Sam Craig: I did not grow up here in Pittsburgh, but all my families roots are here, so i have always considered it home. I went to Point Park for my BA, and 12 years later returned to Pittsburgh and bought the property next to my parents in Kennedy Township.
Ken Bolden -- Professor Willard: I originally came to Pittsburgh in the late '70s to attend Duquesne University. I worked with the Red Masquers (Pittsburgh's oldest theatre group, I believe!) and then with many of the local theatre groups including the fondly remembered Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival. After I had relocated to NYC, Pittsburgh kept drawing me back not only for theatre work, but also the many friends whom I kept in close contact with. And my dentist- I had (and still have) a great dentist here! Seven years ago, I moved back to Pittsburgh and now proudly call this city my home!
Weston Blakesley -- Constable Warren: I moved to Pittsburgh last August for love (my girlfriend got a job teaching at CMU). Unfortunately the relationship didn't last, but I fell in love with Pittsburgh. The Steelers are already my favorite AFC team and for 15 weeks this season (except Dec. 22nd) I can cheer loudly for the Men of Steel.
Charlotte Bush -- Rebecca Gibbs: We live in Point Breeze and Charlotte was in pre-K when we moved here 8 years ago. She went to Carlow Montessori school through Kindergarten, then Pittsburgh Linden for grades 1-5. Now she is at CAPA for musical theater.
Patrick Cannon -- George Gibbs: As far as my Pittsburgh connections go, I figure too much information is better than none. I was born in Western Penn Hospital and am a third generation Pittsburgher. My family has lived in Pittsburgh for more than 75 years. My grandfather was a City of Pittsburgh policeman for 33 years, and walked past the location of the Public Theater as part of his beat everyday. ... I graduated from West Allegheny High School, right next to the airport. My mother's family is from the Lower Hill District and my parents met when my mother and her family moved to Sheridan in the West End. ... I currently live in the Strip District on Penn Avenue. ... Last but not least, my other grandfather was an usher at Forbes Field, was promoted to Head Usher at Three Rivers Statdium, and eventually became the ballboy for the Pittsburgh Pirates. I love this city, my family loves this city, and there are more connections where that came from. :]
Julia Coblin -- Rebecca Gibbs:: Julia was born in Pittsburgh and has lived in Squirrel Hill all her life. She went to Colfax Elementary school and is currently at CAPA where she is about to enter the 7th grade (She is a Literary arts major).
Bridget Connors -- Mrs. Gibbs: Although I did not grow up in Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh is now my home, and I live in Squirrel Hill.
Marc Epstein -- Mr. Webb: I live in the Greenfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh with my wife, a daughter and son, and a dog we got from the Animal Rescue League on Hamilton Street. I came to PGH from Los Angeles, though I grew up in Manhattan. I wanted to get into teaching theater and my wife grew up in Beaver county, so while I went to grad school at PITT my in-laws were enlisted to help take care of our (at the time) very small children. We have been here since 2004 and my children are now both students at CAPA. ...
James FitzGerald -- Citizen: I live in South Oakland (after relocating from NYC and teach at Point Park).
Linda Haston -- Citizen: I currently live in the Hill District. Recent play was "Without Ruth" at Off the Wall Theatre, an original production written specifically for me.
Wali Jamal -- Howie Newsome: I was born in Homestead, living next to the Mesta Iron Works until we moved to the South Hills. I went to three catholic schools on the South Side. Spent many a summer in the Hill District.
Andy Kirtland -- Citizen: Moved to Pittsburgh in the fall of 2011 when my wife, Elizabeth, was accepted into the MFA program at Point Park University. We live in Forest Hills.
Daniel Krell -- Simon Stimson: Returns to The Public for his 21st appearance with the company.
Erin Lindsey Krom -- Emily Webb: I was born and raised in Pittsburgh - Dormont. I attended Keystone Oaks High School and then went on to Point Park University. I've only lived outside of Pittsburgh for the last eight years.
Karen Merritt -- Citizen: Pittsburgh native, grew up in Penn Hills, attended Penn Hills High School. Lived, studied and worked away from Pittsburgh for several years. Returned and settled in Bloomfield with my husband, Brian. Moved to a house in Penn Hills (our current residence). Brian and I received graduate degrees from Carnegie Mellon University in Oakland. ... We have three sons who attend Trinity Christian School in Forest Hills. Attend church on North Side. ... Participated in Pittsburgh Marathon for past three years (two relays, one half marathon) as a charity runner for Urban Impact Foundation. Hope to do full marathon in 2014. Great way to tour Pittsburgh's neighborhoods.
Larry John Meyers -- Joe Stoddard: Our home for all but one of the twenty-five years we have lived in town has been in Squirrel Hill, less than a mile from Turner Cemetery at the corner of Beechwood Boulevard and Federal Hill Street.
Edgar O'Connell -- Si Crowell: Born in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh Public Schools: Dilworth K-5 & CAPA 6-present. Live in Neighborhood of Lawrenceville
Elliot Pullen -- Wally Webb: Elliot is definitely a Pittsburgher. He was born at Magee, and has lived his whole life, all 11 years of it, in the South Hills.
John Shepard -- Dr. Gibbs: I live in Edgewood and have been in Pittsburgh 13 years. I grew up in CA (northern and southern) ... As you know I teach at Point Park, I was the chair of the Theatre department for 10 years and now I just teach.
Ryan Showalter -- Joe Crowell: Ryan Showalter is 12 years old and in 7th grade at North Hills Middle School.
Cary Anne Spear -- Mrs. Webb: My family moved to the Pittsburgh area when I was in the 9th grade. My father was in research and planning for Alcoa and was transferred to their New Kensington plant. We lived in Murrysville. ... My mother founded the Meals on Wheels chapter in Murrysville and my father and brother founded The Murrysville Festival Chorus. ... My parents were faithful Pittsburgh Public Theater subscribers until my mother's death in 1991. ... Over the years I've lived in Washington, D.C., as a member of an acting company, and I've lived in New York City as a freelance actor. But I have always come back, eventually, to Pittsburgh, which is my true home.
Andrew Swackhamer -- Citizen: I currently live in Bellevue.
Terry Wickline -- Mrs. Soames: Secondly, I live in Bellevue. We moved to this neighborhood 21 years ago, We are very happy Pittsburgh "transplants" and came here for the employment opportunities in healthcare (for my husband Dennis) and professional theatre (for Me!) My hometown is Clarion, PA, and Dennis' is Gettysburg, but proudly call Pittsburgh OUR TOWN and sing it's praises wherever we go!