About Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks

Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks was started in 2005 by Artistic Director Jennifer Tober, a Pittsburgh actress/director who has appeared in The Queens, Macbeth 3, Salome, The Red Shoes, and directed several shows for PSIP. In 2005 Tober was so inspired by the natural amphitheater at the bottom of the sledding hill in Frick Park in Squirrel Hill that she started the company with As You Like It in November 2005. The company grew and gained popularity quickly, and now offers FREE theater in Frick, Mellon, and Kennard parks each autumn.

Tober was approached by an avid fan and radio personality, Kate Borger, about starting a monthly reading group. "We liked the idea right away and immediately one of us came up with the name Bring Your Own Bard, which I think encapsulates exactly what we do. In the city parks, we use only the park as our set, and we tell the story in a very physical way that makes the story immediately clear to the audience. Our emphasis is on the words, and on the unique collaborative relationship among the actors, the language, and the audience," says Tober.

Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks' mission: to bring accessible, high quality, free Shakespeare to Pittsburgh Citizens; and to encourage the enjoyment and preservation of our natural public places and parks.

Information: 412.404.8531
Bring a blanket, a loved one, and a thermos!

Please click the button above to donate using your credit card. Or contact 412.404.8531 or info@pittsburghshakespeare.com or mail your donation to:
PO Box 81775
Pittsburgh PA 15217

Thank you for supporting Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks, Pittsburgh's only outdoor Shakespeare company. PSIP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your contribution is tax deductible.

About the Company Members (listed alphabetically)

Alan Irvine (BYOB Coordinator, Outreach)

Alan Irvine is a professional storyteller based in Pittsburgh. He performs at schools, libraries, historical sites and museums, and festivals; he is an Outreach Performer for the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh and a Commonwealth Speaker for the Pennsylvania Humanities Council. He has produced 7 CDs of his stories, winning NAPPA Honors and Storytelling World Honors awards. He was the chair of the 2006 National Storytelling Conference, current President of StorySwap, and chair of the Church of Ascension Convergence Arts Festival. He also teaches classes for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Sara-Anne Lee (Marketing/PR)

Sara-Anne Lee is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, where she received her BA as a double-major in Professional Writing and Creative Writing, and recently completed her MA in Professional Writing with a concentration in Editing and Publishing. She currently works at Carnegie Mellon University Press as Managing Editor.

Tonya Lynn (Treasurer/Finance)

Tonya Lynn holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Southeast Missouri State University, and a M.A. in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. She has worked in nonprofit administration since 2006 as the Operations Manager at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater (2006-2008) and as a Development Associate for Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti (2009-present). She actively freelances as a fight choreographer and actress in the Pittsburgh area, and also serves as an acting instructor for Hope Academy for Music and the Arts. Tonya maintains an active membership with the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD) as an Advanced Actor-Combatant and Pittsburgh local representative. She continues to frequently train and work at regional and national stage combat workshops across the United States. Tonya has also studied at the International Stunt School under Maestro David Boushey in Seattle, WA, and is an Apprentice Stunt Performer with the United Stuntmen's Association.

Helen Meade (Secretary/Fundraising)

Helen Meade brings over 20 years of administrative and production experience to PSIP, having served as administrative and artistic director of the University of Pittsburgh's Shakespeare-in-the-Schools program, and as assistant production manager for Pittsburgh Opera. With over 70 production credits, Ms. Meade has worked with Michigan Opera Theatre, Opera Pacific, Dallas Opera, the Hispanic Heritage Awards, and locally with Pittsburgh Opera, University of Pittsburgh, Poets Corner, Beginning with Books, Tuesday Musical Club, and Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks. Her most recent directing credits include Gian Carlo Menottti's The Unicorn, the Gorgon, and the Manticore, Twelfth Night, Murder in the Cathedral, Belle of Amherst, Mrs. Shakespeare, and The Biddle Boys and Mrs. Soffel.

Jonathan Poli, Esq. (Board Governance & Development)

Jonathan Poli has been performing in some capacity since the age of 12, when he earned a part in his school's spring production of Godspell. He honed his craft over the years through numerous fall productions, spring productions, summer camps and college shows in works ranging from Shakespeare to Rogers and Hammerstein to Ionesco. From 2000-2004 Jon attended Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania where he majored in Political Science and Theatre. That course of study naturally took him to law school, and he attended the Michigan State University College of Law from 2005-2008, then returning home to Pittsburgh to take the PA bar. After clerking for a federal judge for two years, Jon is currently an associate attorney at the law firm of Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP. He is thankful for organizations like Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks for giving him an opportunity to perform and contribute to the Pittsburgh theater community.

Jennifer Tober (Founder and Artistic Director, President)

Jennifer Tober has performed with Shakespeare and professional regional theater companies around the country. In New York, she appeared (for four seasons) with Hudson Valley Shakespeare Company; and with NY Classical Theatre, The Shakespeare Project, New York Street Theatre Caravan, Mill Mountain Playhouse; and was one of the founding members of A Crew of Patches, a company that produced Shakespeare plays and offered staged readings. Tober also founded the company “Shakespeare Inside,” which taught Shakespeare, acting, writing and brought performers to convicted Bronx juveniles. She produced and directed her award winning original show DADDY CRUSH at the John Houseman Theatre in New York, which she then performed as a one-woman show at the Belt Theater. Here in Pittsburgh she has appeared with Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre (Pillowman, Salome), Quantum Theatre (The Red Shoes), with UnSeam'd Shakespeare in Macbeth 3, for which she was named one of the best actors of the year in the Tribune; and most recently, as Isabel Warwick in The Queens at the Playhouse Rep. Tober is the Founding Artistic Director of Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks.