Saturday, June 12, 2010

RED DOG DIRT, A Stage Play set in Uniontown, Pennsylvania


It’s not just a play.

It’s a time-machine. "Your" time travel.  Your imagination.  It’s a place in your memory -- a place in your heart.  A place in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Or anywhere else you happen to remember.

But it is also a play.  RED DOG DIRT, the play, is set in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. -- which could easily be in Thessalonica, Greece . . . or Lincoln, Nebraska. . . or Alamosa, Colorado.  Because childhood experiences are universal.

It takes you back to wherever you started out -- and points to wherever you are going.

And yet, the setting for these memories is Uniontown in the 1950's, forty miles south of Pittsburgh on the western slope of Laurel Highlands near the Monongahela River.  Main Street, Eggleston Street, Gallatin Avenue, Dixon Boulevard.  Hopwood, Fairchance, Smock, Leckrone -- nearby.

The play’s action dramatizes a bunch of boys growing up: going to school; playing baseball; roaming the creeks and woods; exploring dead coke ovens; building clubhouses; confronting bullies, figuring out life and romance sitting up in sycamore trees; launching rockets and sassafras tea parties; drinking soda pop at the local mom and pop store; eating penny candy; looking for the "valuable striped gumball" out of the bubblegum machine; learning friendship; arguing the rules of the game.

The characters.  They are fictional, but based around real people in Uniontown, Pennsylvania.  Guts Gillen, Lunchtime Steele, Tom-the-Bomb Steele, Richie "Catechism" Meyer, Worfty Worft.  And there girls: Patsy Scheggia, Courtney Courter, Martha Newcomer and more.

RED DOG DIRT is also about the end of the golden age of childhood -- which goes up in smoke -- when the new world of adolescence begins its challenge.  And that is the topic of conversation onstage between a grown man -- once a boy -- and his grandmother’s ghost as they rendez-vous at the “Meeting Place of the Living and the Dead.”  Where does life go from here?  That is the question.

RED DOG DIRT has been performed onstage in locations around the Washington DC and Baltimore area.  

The stage play has not yet gotten a full performance in Southwestern Pennsylvania.  Not that there is no interest.  We have received many requests from the Pittsburgh region and around the United States from people wanting to see RED DOG DIRT performed onstage in southwestern Pennsylvania.  

At the end of this post you can see comments from around the country. You may also see at "Bay Weeklya review of the play's Maryland performances.

We need your help. New plays are hard to stage.  Your voice, your vote, can help us convince performance stages to put the play on in South- western Penn -sylvania.  Add your voice by making a comment below, or by sending an email to:  Not only will your “vote” help bring RED DOG DIRT to the region, it will also get you 50% off tickets for two when the play is staged.  

In your correspondence, please include your name, email address, and location -- along with your brief comment about your memories of Southwestern Pennsylvania.  We do not give out your name and contact information without out your permission.  However, if you wish, we will send selected memories anonymously to theaters for the purpose of advertising and staging RED DOG DIRT.  We thank you for your help and direction.

Suggestions for auditoriums or theaters for performance are more than welcome.

Again send your comments via this post or to Russ Barnes.


“Just saying 'Red Dog Dirt' brings back a flood of memories. Being born and raised in Uniontown,as was my Father and his Father, it was not uncommon when giving someone directions to tell them to turn on the red dog road. I don't think there is another place in the world that uses the expression 'red dog.' I wish you the best in your efforts and feel certain that you are bringing a lot of joy to many.”

Other Southwestern Pennsylvania links you may be interested in: - Find Events, Real Estate, Restaurants, Photos and More! - Discover Ohiopyle PA - The Social Networking Site for Fayette County PA  - Read the Live and Visit Fayette County PA Online Magazine here ! - Realtor Specializing in Mountain Property and Luxury Homes - Find homes for sale in Fayette County PA - Real Estate in SW PA + links to Luxury products and Services - Find Vacation places to stay and real estate for sale in Pennsylvania - find homes in Uniontown PA for sale - find vacation rentals in and around ohiopyle pa


Patricia said...

"Red dog dirt"....oh yes, it hurt like hell when you fell on it and it had to be dug out of your knees...oh my. When we first moved to the "new" Gunnison Homes off old 119 back in 1950, the roads were covered with red dog dirt. As kids, I was six, we even had a game we played called "red rover". (Two teams lined up facing each other about 10 paces apart. Each team held hands and taking turns dared a member of the other team to try to run through the "red dog dirt" and break the grasp of two hands of the other team as they invite you by saying...."red rover, red rover, we choose Patty over."...then I would run as fast as I could and try to break through; most times not!) Red dog dirt fun!

mary said...

I grew up in the Pittsburgh area in the 60's and played red rover ! did it really originate in Uniontown?