5th Wall

5th Wall

Bricolage’s 5th Wall series seeks to break down the barriers between scripted storytelling and current events in the world at large.

Utilizing performance, film, visual art, installation and video, 5th Wall presents complex issues to the audience, providing a space to discuss as a community. Partnering with local organizations such as World Affairs Council and the Pittsburgh Coalition for Racial Justice, 5th Wall has taken on dozens of issues including fracking, drones in war, and sexual assault in the military.

Transit Tales

April 17th, 2014

Transit Tales is a multimedia storytelling project about how public transit affects our lives in Allegheny County. We’re recording stories about public transit from all kinds of people – riders, non-riders, and drivers – using various media and then sharing select stories through radio, the Pittsburgh City Paper, social media, and live performance.


Moderated by Chris Potter – Editor, Pittsburgh City Paper
Lucy Spruill – Committee for Accessible Transportation
Bonnie Young-Laing – Co-Director of Hill District Consensus Group (HDCG)
Ben Samson – Architectural Designer

Fracking: With Liberty and Justice For All

March 12, 2014

Catch a special screening and discussion of Triple Divide, an investigative documentary about the impacts from fracking in Pennsylvania that has been called “a bombshell that could reverberate across the state” by Wilkes-Barre Times Leader.


John Detwiler – Experienced Registered Professorial Engineer
Rich Fitzgerald – County Executive
Dr. Kent Moores – Executive Chair of the Global Energy Symposium
John M. Smith – Partner and Founder of the law firm of Smith Butz

Sexual Assault in the Military

March 8, 2014

On International Women’s Day, Bricolage partnered with SSAM (Stop Sexual Assault in the Military) to present 5th Wall: Sexual Assault in the Military. Last year, the Department of Defense estimated that there were 26,000 instances of rape, sexual assault, and unwanted sexual contact in the US Military.

The event began with a performance featuring clips from The Invisible War and scenes from Pittsburgh playwright Tammy Ryan’s Soldier’s Heart, featuring Marie Elena O’Brien and Joshua Elijah Reese. After the performance, the audience was invited to weigh in on the issue.


Moderated by Tami Dixon – Bricolage Production Company
Ginny Hildebrand – SSAM
Tammy Ryan – Pittsburgh playwright and Point Park professor
Veteran 1st Sergeant William Jenkins
Joyce Wagner – Iraq Veterans Against the War


American Friends Service Committee, PA Program
Amnesty International, University of Pittsburgh
Code Pink Pittsburgh
East End NOW
First Pittsburgh NOW
Iraq Veterans Against the War, Pittsburgh
Peace Action Coalition
Pittsburgh Action Against Rape
Raging Grannies
Thomas Merton Center
Three Rivers Community Foundation
Squirrel Hill NOW
Veterans for Peace Western Pennsylvania
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Women’s Law Project

Fracking: Sustaining America’s Energy Future

February 24, 2014

Created as a “foundation of information,” the Rational Middle Energy Series is an initiative born out of the artistic creation of director and producer Gregory Kallenberg in order to offer a variety of perspectives. While the issue of energy and sustainability can be polarizing one that often separates equally passionate opinions and perspectives, the goal of the Rational Middle is to encourage a dialogue based on mutual respect.

With its history and resources, Western Pennsylvania is a national and international leader in energy, and should be at the forefront of dialogue concerning energy. As energy needs only continue to grow, our collective ability to understand and embrace the importance and necessity of energy will only be more pressing as we move further into the future.


February 10, 2014

Bricolage Production Company, the Anti-Drone Warfare Coalition, and the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh present a staged reading of the play The Predator, by Jack Gilroy, followed by a panel discussion on the use of drones. Part of Bricolage’s 5th Wall series, this event is designed to break down the barriers between scripted storytelling and current events — in our community and around the world — and is intended to make audience members think about issues from different vantage points. The February 10 event will hone in on the complex moral, ethical, and national security issues surrounding the use of drones.


Thomas Sanderson- Co-Director and Senior Fellow for the Transnational Threats Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies
Daniel Simpson- Former Service Officer

A Ticking Bomb?

June 17, 2013

Screening of the documentary In My Lifetime and discussion with producer and director Robert Frye.

Breaking Barriers: Educate a Girl and Change the World

March 12, 2013 & March 25, 2013

Join Bricolage, the World Affairs Council, and the YWCA for an evening of film and discussion about the challenges girls around the world face as they strive to be educated. Opening in theaters on March 7, the release of “Girl Rising” is timed to coincide with International Women’s Day. Be among the first to see excerpts from this gripping documentary which tells the unforgettable stories of nine girls from different countries around the world who face a variety of challenges – from arranged marriages to child slavery. Yet, despite these obstacles, these girls are able to get an education and change their lives. “Girl Rising” is an inspirational film from Academy Award-nominated director Richard E. Robbins and the award-winning Documentary Group.

Following the screening of selected scenes from the film, there will be a panel discussion with education experts from around the world who will drill down on the variety of challenges girls face in getting an education. The panel include experts from India and Turkey as well as others involved with education initiatives at home and abroad.

Firefighters and Foot Patrols

January 23, 2013

Join Bricolage and the World Affairs Council for an evening of political discourse through the lens of Pittsburgh’s own. Beginning with an excerpt of In Service, a documentary produced by Bricolage in conjunction with Pittsburgh Filmmakers and introduced by the film’s director Ralph Vituccio, this film chronicles Pittsburgh’s connections to the Iraq War. Then participate in a discussion led by Carmen Gentile, foreign correspondent for USA Today, whose accounts capture the raw and visceral effect of being on the frontlines in Afghanistan. To close the evening Vituccio will be joining Gentile for a riveting Q&A session.


Carmen Gentile – Writer for New York Times, TIME, Newsweek, and USA Today
Ralph Vituccio – professor in the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University and adjunct faculty at Pittsburgh Filmmakers

44 Plays for 44 Presidents

November 5, 2012

44 Plays for 44 Presidents is a play comprised of short, biographical scenes highlighting the lives of all the American presidents. Audience members consider their role in shaping the history they’ve just witnessed.

Occupy Your Mind: Art as Politics

March 9. 2012

Occupy Your Mind is an invitation for Pittsburgh to get inside the space between its ears. The Occupy movement is, among other things, a provocation to keep opening up spaces to discuss, debate, and deal with the multiple impacts of the massive concentration of wealth, power, and cultural influence in the U.S. and around the world.

Occupy Your Mind offers people from the Pittsburgh area one way to expand these efforts. Part teach-in, part salon, with lots of room for socializing and discussion, it provides a monthly opportunity to engage the urgent issues of the present and to imagine more effective ways of building better futures.

Occupy Your Mind wants to encourage collective learning beyond the limits of the corporate media, generate new ideas for democratic renewal, and stimulate people to develop creative ways of making their ideas real.

The Global Poverty Project

February 15, 2012

A simple yet ground-breaking presentation travelled the world, inspiring and empowering audiences in its path. Based on leading research, the 90 minute presentation clearly articulates the facts of extreme poverty and demonstrates that by making simple changes everyone can be a part of the solution.

Firefly Tunnels

July 15, 2011

The Firefly Tunnel enables artists to upload video, sound and images. Each artist has the opportunity to post their work as a new medium for other artists to manipulate and respond to in the Lab or to protect the work so that it can only be viewed as inspiration in their private Studio. The tunnel is collaborative in nature, acting as a virtual performance and installation lab. There will be a private and public section of the site. The private section is for works in progress that are not open to the public eye. The public section, or the Gallery is open for critique from the global community where feedback can be posted, responded to and defended, opening up world wide dialogue of artistic exchange. Tavia La Follette and co-curator Katherine Talcott are working together to curate work into the virtual Gallery. From the virtual gallery and by watching you work with the Egyptians, Katherine and Tavia are curating the final exhibit opening at the end of August at the Mattress Factory Museum.

Politics Salon PGH: Saving Lives

March 2, 2011

Every year, natural disasters affect close to 160 million people worldwide. In addition, political turbulence in many regions has increased the number of people fleeing unrest. In 2009, there were 15.2 million refugees and 27.1 million internally displaced people in the world. Both natural and man-made disasters have a profound impact on human life, but it is often the most vulnerable who are hardest hit. How can the international community respond to the needs of disaster victims around the world?


John Prendergast – Human Rights Activist and Co-Founder of the Enough Project
Anne C. Richard – Vice President for Government Relations and Advocacy, International Rescue Committee

Bricolage and The Belarus Free Theater

January 31, 2011

In light of the Belarus Free Theater’s Artistic Director and staff members arrest, a call to action was put out asking theatres around the world to host free readings of the BFT’s new work. The text incorporates transcripts from Belarusian political prisoners with excerpts from Harold Pinter’s lifetime of writings.


Karen Baum
Lissa Brennan
Jeffrey Carpenter
Jarrod DiGiorgi
Michael Fuller
Martin Giles
Lisa Ann Goldsmith
Andrew Huntley.
Larry John Meyers
Jason McCune
Sheila McKenna
Matthew Gray
Mark Staley
Mark C. Thompson
Holly Thuma
Rich Venezia