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Short List: October 10 - 16 

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Transgender writer, director, producer and activist Andrea James spent 10 years working as an advertising copywriter. She produced content for Super Bowl commercials and other major events before founding her own production company to promote better media representation of trans people. The prolific Los Angeles-based activist speaks tonight at Chatham University in celebration of LGBT Awareness Month. "This seemed like a great opportunity to talk about bridging the gap between the feminist movement and the transgender movement," James tells CP. "It was very strained in the late 1970s by people who thought that trans women were part of a patriarchal movement to undermine women's rights." At Chatham, she will discuss current transgender representation in the media. "In the past we were always portrayed as prostitutes or psychopaths, and that's really started to change. I still feel we're about 35 years behind gay and lesbian representation." Reality TV, perhaps surprisingly, is helping. "It's an opportunity to get people over their initial shock — to get acquainted with viewing drag queens, for instance, on RuPaul's Drag Race." James continues, "A lot of what we consider as masculine or feminine are social constructs. RuPaul said, ‘It's all pretty much drag,' and I think that's right." James' talk is open to the public. Catherine Sylvain 7 p.m. Wed., Oct. 17. Eddy Theater, Chatham campus, Shadyside. Free. 412-365-1240 or www.chatham.edu

click to enlarge PHOTO BY NOAH ADDIS
  • Photo by Noah Addis

Thu., Oct. 11 — Art

By now, when someone says "Marcellus Shale," you probably get a mental picture. But organizers of the Marcellus Shale Documentary Project want to make you see things anew. Curator Laura Domencic (director of the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts) and photographer Brian Cohen organized this Filmmakers Galleries exhibit including more than 50 photos by six distinguished photojournalists. The nationally or internationally known contributors include four from Pittsburgh — Cohen, Pulitzer-winner Martha Rial, Lynn Johnson and Scott Goldsmith — plus New York-based Nina Berman and Philadelphia's Noah Addis. Their subjects range from gas drilling's impact on the land to the stories of people living in shale country, from landowners who've benefited financially to those facing poisoned water. "Our only agenda is to open up a conversation," says Domencic. With funders including The Sprout Fund, the Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments, the project features artists' talks, a traveling exhibition and a book. The show opens with an Oct. 11 reception. Bill O'Driscoll Reception: 6-8 p.m. Thu., Oct. 11 (free). Exhibit continues through Jan. 6. 477 Melwood Ave., North Oakland. 412-682-4111 or www.pghfilmmakers.org

click to enlarge ART BY GREGG LIBERI
  • Art by Gregg Liberi

Fri., Oct. 12 — Art

The medium is the message, particularly when you can send emails with it. Gregg Liberi makes art with his iPad and posts his work on Twitter and Facebook. New exhibit Digit(al) gives his tactile images a more traditional showcasing at 707 Penn Gallery starting tonight. The Pittsburgh artist's iPad drawings are reminiscent of anatomy, outer space and cell structures. Each is accompanied by a gene code highlighting the complexity of both the human body and technological developments. Catherine Sylvain Opening reception: 6-8 p.m. Exhibition continues through Nov. 18. 707 Penn Ave., Downtown. Free. 412-471-6070 or www.trustarts.org

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Fri., Oct. 12 — Screen

For CODE 2600, his documentary about the information-technology age and its impact on our humanity (and our privacy), locally based independent filmmaker Jeremy Zerechak went to the people who built and manipulate the vast tentacled info apparatus. Interviewees include Lorrie Crantor, director of Carnegie Mellon's CyLab Usable Privacy and Security Laboratory. Zerechak's 2008 doc Land of Confusion depicted his experiences as a National Guardsman in Iraq. CODE 2600 explores data collection, social networks, identity theft and more, and was named best doc at the 2012 Atlanta Film Festival. It screens twice tonight at CMU, with a panel discussion and reception between the free, Pittsburgh-premiere screenings. Bill O'Driscoll 7 and 10 p.m. McConomy Auditorium, CMU campus, Oakland. Free. www.cylab.cmu.edu

Fri., Oct. 12 — Stage

For years, Off the Wall Productions has staged well-produced, favorably reviewed theater in Washington, Pa. If that seemed a little far to travel, hesitate no more. Tonight, the company opens its first show in its newly refurbished space in Carnegie. Sharr White's The Other Place is an acclaimed psychological drama about a biophysicist investigating a personal mystery. Melissa Hill Grande directs a cast including Erika Cuenca, Virginia Wall Gruenert, Mark C. Thompson and Ricardo Vila Roger. It's this Broadway-bound play's local premiere. BO 8 p.m. Show continues through Oct. 27. 25 W. Main St., Carnegie. $5-35. 724-873-3576 or www.insideoffthewall.com

Sat., oct. 13 — Art

Inventing the Modern World is the ambitious title of the new traveling exhibit at the Carnegie Museum of Art. Working with Kansas City's Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Carnegie assembled this collection of decorative-arts items from World's Fairs from 1851 through 1939. From iridescent mid-19th-century vases to tapestries, Tiffany jewelry and wares crafted from futuristic Pyrex and nylon, "those expositions of the new" showcased the cutting-edge science and art of their eras. The exhibit opens to the public today. BO 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $11.95-17.95. 412-622-3131 or www.cmoa.org

Sat., Oct. 13 — Stage

Playwright Jordan Harrison's Maple and Vine comically probes the kind of people who throw Mad Men-themed parties. The dream of elegantly discontented mid-century suburbia becomes a reality for a modern Manhattan couple when they move to a gated community that's perpetually 1955. Harrison blends questions of political freedoms into this whimsical fantasy, directed by New Yorker Kip Fagan. The satire, previously staged in New York, Chicago and San Francisco, launches City Theatre's 38th season tonight. CS 5:30 p.m. Show continues through Nov. 4. 1300 Bingham St., South Side. $15-55. 412-431-2489 or www.citytheatrecompany.org

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Sun., Oct. 14 — Art

If anyone could turn their grandmotherly newspaper-clippings album into art, it was Andy Warhol. This exhibit collects 80 works the artist based on tabloid headlines. Since debuting at The Andy Warhol Museum in 2011, Warhol: Headlines toured internationally and now returns to his birthplace. The exhibit tracks media shifts across four decades through Warhol's own TV channel in the '80s. It's part history lesson, part take on pop culture. CS 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Exhibition continues through Jan. 6. 117 Sandusky St., North Side. $10-20. 412-237-8300 or www.warhol.org

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Mon., Oct. 15 — Exhibit

At the 1936 Summer Olympics, non-Aryans like Jesse Owens famously won gold and broke records. Meanwhile, however, Hitler successfully distracted attention from his genocidal projects. Starting today, the August Wilson Center for African American Culture hosts The Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936, a 1996 exhibit on loan from the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Presented with the Holocaust Center of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, the exhibit also heralds Great Collaborations, a seven-month series of educational and cultural events celebrating collaborations between blacks and American Jews. BO 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Exhibit continues through Feb. 28. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. Free. 412-258-2700 or www.augustwilsoncenter.org

Tue., Oct. 16 — Sports

Martina Navratilova is a late addition to the Mylan World TeamTennis Smith Hits, the annual tennis exhibition and AIDS fundraiser that tonight makes its first visit to Pittsburgh. Fellow greats Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf and Andy Roddick join Navratilova at the Petersen Events Center spectacle, co-hosted by Elton John and Billie Jean King. The players will form two teams and play five sets total of singles, doubles and mixed doubles. Proceeds benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force. Look for Sir Elton himself, playing celebrity doubles. BO 7 p.m. Oakland. $40-500. 412-924-8270 or www.wttsmashhits.com

Wed., Oct. 17 — Words

If it's "An Evening of Terror With Doug Bradley," surely Halloween is upon us. Bradley, the British actor best known as Pinhead from the Hellraiser movies, lives part time in Pittsburgh. While he does a one-man show titled An Evening With Death, tonight, at Downtown's Bricolage theater space, he reads horror classics from Poe, Lovecraft and more. The event benefits The Toonseum. BO 8 p.m. 937 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $25 ($50 VIP). 412-232-0199 or www.toonseum.org

Thu., Oct. 18 — Words

"I love to visit the graves of famous people," Alan W. Petrucelli once told City Paper. In 2009, his obsession with secrets about the deaths of celebrities was reborn in book form. Napoleon, Chaplin, Princess Diana — these and more get their (past) due in Morbid Curiosity: The Disturbing Demises of the Famous and Infamous. Pittsburgh-based Petrucelli has written for everyone from CP to The New York Times. Tonight he reads at Penn Hills' William E. Anderson Library. The talk, including graphic images from the book, is for mature audiences only. BO 7 p.m. 1037 Stotler Road, Penn Hills. Free. 412-795-3507

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