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:
PSIP
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 Board Members (listed alphabetically)

Lynette Asson, principal of New Place Collaborations, applies style and savvy in her partnerships with clients and affiliated experts. Applying keen observation and analysis, Lynette defines brand qualities and market position using client realities and marketplace trends. Her fascination with the psychology of color, the course of conversations, and the feedback of customers helps to inform the planning roadmap. Lynette loves teaching, training, and technology—creating workshops, research, and online tools and print solutions. Favorite projects include producing the education main stage of the International Beauty Show. She enjoyed leading the creation of the Studio 1452 corporation salon, professional development academy, and KMS Global Headquarters in Santa Monica.

Yvonne Hudson, co-principal of New Place Collaborations in Pittsburgh, is a versatile marketing and public relations expert who creates mission-driven solutions for non-profits and businesses. Thriving on the infinite variety of communications, she is passionate about the power of words, images, and ideas in branding and messaging tools. Yvonne applies resourcefulness, team-building, and vision to reinvent publications, content, and themes. She has worked as a director on the campuses of Carnegie Mellon, Chatham, Yeshiva, and Southeastern Universities, New York Law School, and University of Pittsburgh, where she earned a master’s in theatre production and administration in addition to a B.A. in journalism and psychology from Point Park University. In Pittsburgh, she has also marketed City Theatre, Pitt Theatre Arts, and the Pittsburgh Symphony. Via New Place Collaborations has worked with such clients as Boston’s Majestic Theatre at Emerson College, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management, Third Sector Today, Gateway Medical Society, and many other businesses and non-profits. Founder of Poets Corner, a literary arts series, Yvonne has produced events ranging from staged readings of Twelfth Night and the new play Ireland’s Shakespeare (both of which she staged) to the annual Messiah Sing-along Concert at Calvary United Methodist Church. Her specialty in Shakespeare’s life and works has been applied to work as administrator for The Shakespeare Society in New York, marketing director for Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival in Pittsburgh, and interim poetry manager and docent for the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. Her performance projects include research, writing and production of her long-running solo show Mrs Shakespeare, performed off-off-Broadway, at the Tower of London and the Folger, in a restored prairie music hall, and Pitt’s English Nationality Room, among other unique settings. She appeared as the Nurse in PSIP’s Romeo and Juliet in 2013.

Alan Irvine
AFFILIATIONS: National Storytellers Network, SCBWI. Employed by Robert Morris University.
Alan Irvine is a professional storyteller based in Pittsburgh. He performs at schools, libraries, historical sites and museums, and festivals; he was 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, co-producer of the 2013 Three Rivers Storytelling Festival, and producer of the Convergence Arts Festival. He is the current President of StorySwap. He also teaches classes for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh.

Sara-Anne Lee
Sara-Anne is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, where she got her BA as a double-major in Professional Writing and Creative Writing, and her MA in Professional Writing with a concentration in Editing and Publishing. Her experience includes Managing Editor at Carnegie Mellon University Press, Technical Editor for 5AM Magazine, and planner for PBR Hawaii Landscape Architecture. She currently works at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio, as a technical writer. In addition, Sara is an active member of both the Calligraphy Guild of Pittsburgh and Western Reserve Calligraphers, and serves as adjunct faculty at Cuyahoga Community College for Visual Communication and Design.

Tonya Lynn
AFFILIATIONS: Society of American Fight Directors
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 as the Operations Manager at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater (2006-2008) and as a Development Associate/Development Administrator for Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti (2009-2013).

Since 2005, Tonya has been active as a multi-disciplinary theatre artist, working as a fight choreographer, actress, and teacher in the Pittsburgh area--her fight choreography credits include Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks, Prime Stage Theater, Poor Yorick’s Players, Open Stage Theater, and Pandora's Box, as well as educational institutions such as the University of Pittsburgh, Seton Hill University, Marietta University, and Slippery Rock University.

As a teacher, Tonya has worked locally as a guest instructor for the Pittsburgh CLO Academy, a coach and judge for the Pittsburgh Public Theater’s annual Shakespeare monologue and scene contest, and has taught acting and Shakespeare at Hope Academy for Music and the Arts since 2009. She has also been a guest artist at Ohio University, co-teaching a stage combat workshop for high school students alongside Brian Evans, a Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD). Tonya has repeatedly served on the staff of regional stage combat workshops in Cincinnati, OH and Des Moines, IA, and has been an intern at the SAFD National Stage Combat Workshops held at the University of the Arts in Winston-Salem, NC.

Tonya maintains an active membership with the SAFD as an Advanced Actor-Combatant and Pittsburgh local representative. In addition to her teaching work, she continues to frequently train 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
AFFILIATIONS: AGMA (inactive)
Helen Meade has served as administrative and artistic director of the University of Pittsburgh's Shakespeare-in-the-Schools program and assistant to the chair of the Department of Theatre Arts under the chairmanship of Attilio Favorini. During her time at Pitt, Helen produced productions of Hamlet, The Comedy of Errors, The Taming of the Shrew, Tempest, and Will Spoken: Conversations with William Shakespeare, in addition to her administrative duties for the department. She also worked as assistant production manager and acting production manager for Pittsburgh Opera, with responsibilities for all main stage, young artist, and educational productions, in addition to working as the assistant to the director of operations at Tulsa Opera. With over 70 production credits, Ms. Meade has worked in production with Michigan Opera Theatre, Opera Pacific, Dallas Opera, the Hispanic Heritage Awards, Pittsburgh Opera, University of Pittsburgh, Poets Corner, and Beginning with Books. Her directing credits include Gian Carlo Menottti’s The Unicorn, the Gorgon, and the Manticore (CAPA/Opera Theater of Pittsburgh); Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night (PSIP), Murder in the Cathedral, Belle of Amherst, add Mrs. Shakespeare (Poets Corner), The Biddle Boys and Mrs. Soffel (Tuesday Musical Club), Shakespeare Rehearsed (University of Pittsburgh/SITS), A Fledermaus First Night, L’Elisir D’Amore, Sid the Serpent Who Wanted to Sing, and The Telephone (Pittsburgh Opera Eduction and Outreach programs).

Jonathan Poli, Esq.
AFFILIATIONS: American Bar Association, Allegheny Bar Association;
employment - Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP
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.

Jennifer Tober
AFFILIATIONS: Actor’s Equity, AFTRA
Jennifer Tober is the Founding Artistic Director of Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks and has overseen the company’s growth since 2005. Ms. Tober is a professional actress, director and teacher who has made Pittsburgh her home since 2005. In Pittsburgh Ms. Tober has performed in Rope and The Queens (Playhouse REP); The Pillowman, Salome (Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre), The Red Shoes and Dream of Autumn (Quantum Theatre), Macbeth 3 (UnSeam’d Shakespeare), In the Voodoo Parlour of Marie Laveau (Pittsburgh Playwrights); poetry and staged readings with Poets’ Corner, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, and the Steinway Piano Series. Regional/New York theatre includes Macbeth, Comedy of Errors, Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It and Love’s Labour's Lost (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival); As You Like It (NY Classical Theatre), Winter’s Tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Shakespeare Project); The Christmas Cup (Mill Mountain Playhouse); Richard II, Midsummer, and Julius Caesar (A Crew of Patches, NY - a company of which Ms. Tober was one of the founders); The Fugitives (NY Street Theatre Caravan/Marketa Kimbrell); and “DADDY CRUSH” (her award-winning one-woman show at the Belt Theater in NY). While in New York, Ms. Tober also started the organization “Shakespeare Inside,” which taught Shakespeare, acting writing to convicted Bronx juveniles. Ms. Tober is the Artistic Director of Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks, a company that offers free Shakespeare plays in cityparks, and for whom she has directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream and As You Like It as well as the 2006 Bard Walk, and has produced the company’s productions since founding it in 2005. Film and TV includes Sex & the City, Rescue Me, Ed, SNL, commercials/voiceovers and the local Pittsburgh film Progression. Ms. Tober holds a BA from Temple University and an MFA from West Virginia University and is a member of the Actors’ Equity Association, Screen Actors’ Guild, and American Federation of TV and Radio Artists.