Photo by Heather Mull

barebones black box theater (1211 Braddock Avenue)

November 19 – December 5
8 p.m. & 2 p.m.

The evocative context of blue-collar Braddock, where industry and manufacturing run deep, where steel is still made and where new generations of makers are putting down roots—from metalsmiths and urban gardeners to brewmasters and bread bakers—informs and inspires the latest play from barebones productions.

Photo by Heather Mull

Marking the company’s second production staged in its new Braddock digs—which are about halfway complete—Small Engine Repair takes audiences into the greasy, grimy heart of a New England mechanic’s garage. Fans of gritty contemporary American drama, those wanting to get a behind-the-scenes look at the region’s newest theater venue and anyone who would like to help support barebones’ fundraising efforts won’t want to miss the Pittsburgh premiere of John Pollono’s comic thriller.

Audiences will meet former high school buddies Frank, Swaino and Packie—well into their 30-something phase—who meet after-hours under “cloudy circumstances” that we assume will be revealed as the drama unfolds.

barebones productions

Inside Frank Romanowski’s garage, amidst the clash of personalities, personal histories, tools and technology, the Johnnie Walker and testosterone will flow as the three old friends are paid a visit by Chad, described as a “plugged-­in, preppy college jock.” Via Pollono’s riveting dialogue and complex characters, the play explores deep-rooted resentments, revenge, twisted humor, raw emotion and more.

Directed by Richard Keitel, Small Engine Repair stars barebones’ artistic director Patrick Jordan as Frank, along with Broadway veteran Brendan Griffin (Swaino), Carnegie Mellon graduate Gabe King (Packie) and CMU senior Casey Cott (Chad).

Want the full Braddock experience? Grab a ticket for Friday or Saturday night, which includes a pre-­show event at the home of Braddock Mayor John Fetterman. Catered by chef Kevin Sousa of the new Braddock restaurant Superior Motors, the pre-­show festivities will feature small plates, local libations and fresh bread baked by Shauna Kearns of Braddock Community Oven.

View all performances and purchase ticketsDonate to barebones’ capital campaign.

Jennifer BaronArts & Entertainment / Jobs Editor

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...