Quantum Leap For ‘Electric Baby’

There was a Wheeling connection, by way of Pittsburgh, to a major theatrical award presented in the Eastern Panhandle last weekend.

The American Theatre Critics Association held its annual conference at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival on the campus of Shepherd University in Shepherdstown.

On Friday, July 19, officials of the association announced that playwright Stefanie Zadravec had been awarded the 2013 Francesca Primus Prize of $10,000 for her play, “The Electric Baby.”

Jointly sponsored by the association and the Francesca Ronnie Primus Foundation, the Primus Prize is given annually to “an emerging woman theater artist.”

Set in Pittsburgh, “The Electric Baby” received its world premiere at Quantum Theatre in Pittsburgh. Of particular interest to area drama buffs, former Wheeling resident Karla Boos is the founder and executive director of Quantum Theatre.

“The Electric Baby” was named one of Pittsburgh’s top 10 shows of 2012 by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

That newspaper’s theater critic, Chris Rawson, extended kudos to Boos and Quantum Theatre for introducing Zadravec’s play.

After its world premiere at Quantum Theatre, “The Electric Baby” was produced at Two River Theater Company in Red Bank, N.J. Currently, it is being presented at the Rivendell Theatre Ensemble in Chicago.

The American Theatre Critics Association is the nationwide organization of theater critics. It is an affiliate of the International Association of Theatre Critics.

Wheeling artist Paul Latos was recognized for a significant achievement by officials of Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia, located in Beckley, on Saturday, July 27.

Latos was congratulated on being the top sales producer in the pottery department at Tamarack.

The master potter owns and operates the Linn Pottery Studio and Gallery, located at 1035 Chapline St. in downtown Wheeling.

A selection of Moundsville native Joseph Hughes’ recent paintings were shown at Galerie Katharina Krohn in Basel, Switzerland, in mid-June.

Hughes. who lives and works in San Francisco, said his paintings were on view during the five-day Art Basel event.

Artist Robert Villamagna of Wheeling will be presenting a workshop on tin can collage at the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17.

Society officials said it is “one of SCC’s most popular workshops.”

During the day-long session, participants will deconstruct and repurpose printed tin containers into a collage that expresses their own vision, officials explained.

Sean Duffy, coordinator of Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library, said that 99 people attended the latest offering in the “Neighborhood Nostalgia” series Tuesday, July 23, to share and hear memories of North Wheeling.

Duffy said the next program in the series is scheduled for noon Tuesday, Dec. 17, “when we will remember good old downtown Wheeling – bridges, theaters, department stores, restaurants, night clubs and talking Christmas trees.”

To that end, he is looking for vintage photographs of the popular talking Christmas tree that graced the Market Street windows of the former L.S. Good & Co. department store during holiday seasons of yore. If you have photos to share for scanning, contact Duffy at the library.

Linda Comins can be reached via email at: lcomins@theintelligencer.net