|Posted by Chris on February 4, 2022 at 6:10 AM||comments (5)|
Happy Year of the Tiger, everybody!
I hope 2022 is treating you well so far, and if you have the tiger by the tail right now, I hope you're able to hold on tight. I want to sincerely apologize for being radio silent for so long. I'm sure you would all agree that these are days that present some unique challenges, and I honestly sometimes feel like I'm playing Whack-a-Mole-- with side projects like Browncoat-related stuff ending up being the moles that just stand tall in their holes and jeer at me when there aren't enough hours in the day.
I do want to assure you though, that there will be a Can't Stop the Serenity Pittsburgh event once again this summer. You know my crew and I will make it happen no matter how much impossible we have to do for the show to go on.
In the meantime, I wanted to alert you all to the fact that the global CSTS organization has decided to do a "redemption merchandise sale" for CSTS 2021. They have chosen a shiny steampunk design for the merchandise, and are offering all manner of sundries through Represent. You can order whatever you like in a variety of colors and have it shipped right to your door. In addition, the Albuquerque Browncoats have spearheaded the production of a very shiny patch for 2021 that is also on sale on the global site. Since Pittsburgh was one of the few cities that actually held a live event last year, those of you who were at our screening in South Park may want to purchase some merchandise to commemorate the shindig. Earlier this week, I bought me a patch and a t-shirt (in purple, no less-- something I said as a Browncoat I'd never do, but the design and its colors just really popped on a purple shirt). Here is the link to the CSTS global store, in case you'd like to get your hands on some loot of your own:
I hope to have the CSTS Pittsburgh website updated before too long, and my crew and I will start planning this year's event in the very near future. All I can say for sure at this time is that it will be another outdoor event. As long as we're still dealing with this pesky pandemic, that's pretty much going to be a given.
Before I end this wave, I also wanted to let y'all know that Momento Con is looking for volunteers to work their 2nd annual con here in Pittsburgh on May 7-8, 2022. The con will once again feature a very Supernatural-heavy slate of celebrity guests, but among them will be Badger himself, Mark Sheppard. If you're interested in working the con, you can apply here:
Okay, that's a wrap on this here wave. I'll try my level best not to make you wait so long for another one. Until then...
|Posted by Chris on August 7, 2021 at 11:40 AM||comments (7)|
On behalf of the entire crew of Can't Stop the Serenity Pittsburgh, I want to thank everyone for helping to make this year's "Serenity Under the Stars" such a shiny and successful shindig. Our event raised $815.00 for Equality Now and the Women's Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh. I am all manner of grateful to all of you for that.
Special thanks to our long-time sponsors, Geek Frontiers, who covered the film licensing, and Jump Cut Theater, who handled ticket sales, as well as Academy Pittsburgh and Looking for Group (LFG), who provided the audio and visual equipment that made this year's outdoor screening possible.
Congratulations to our prize winners as well. Gianni Downs, Chuck Gould, Richard Franklin, Camilla Hendrych and Rebecca Carlson had the tickets that were drawn for our prize baskets. Susan Mazur won the "door prize," and Saturn Lange was the winner of our first-time viewers' raffle.
Please don't forget to visit our website frequently for updates on CSTS merchandise (we're still hopeful there will be an online t-shirt sale this year), CSTS events and other goings on that a Pittsburgh Browncoat would find of interest. Please take a moment to look at the "Links" page, which lists the many donors who make it possible for you to win prizes at our events. Please try to give them your patronage whenever its possible and appropriate. We also work hard to try to keep the calendar page up to date, because we know there's more to being a geek in the Steel City than CSTS. Speaking of which, there are some local events (and one not-so-local event) coming up that I want to let you know about.
Steel City Con will take place at the convention center in Monroeville (your vacation destination) next weekend, August 13-15. There are no Whedonverse guests scheduled to appear, but if you'd still like to take a look, you can get all the details at steelcitycon.com. The West Virginia Pop Culture Con will be in Morgantown at the Mylan Park Expo Center the weekend of August 28-29. Despite its name, this con is very much an old-school event that focuses on comics and video games. For more info, go to facebook.com/WVPop/. Also, Pittsburgh's inaugural Momento Con will be at the David L. Lawrence Center on September 4-5. Both Mark Sheppard (Badger from Firefly) and Clare Kramer (Glory from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) will be appearing at this one. For more information, visit momentocon.com.
And finally, if you're feeling a real case of geeky Wanderlust, this year's Browncoat Ball will be held in Salem, Massachusetts from September 10-12. If you're not familiar with this annual shindig, then you'd best head over to browncoatball.com/2021/ and learn what it's all about. I attended my first Browncoat Ball in 2017 in Gettysburg, and I can honestly say that every hardcore Browncoat should experience this at least once. (Though once you do, you'll want to do it again.) We do have a contingent of Pittsburgh Browncoats headed to the BCB this year, so if you go, you know you'll see some familiar faces in addition to making lots of new friends.
And depending upon the state of the 'verse as we head into the fall and winter seasons, we might not be done for the year yet either. We might not have any more in-person events, but we are looking at ways we might be able to keep doin' good works. The best way to stay up to date is to visit our website, where you'll find links on the homepage that'll help you find us on Twitter and Facebook too.
I think that's a wrap. Thanks again for a shiny "Serenity Under the Stars," and we look forward to seeing you again at CSTS Pittsburgh 2022 next summer. Until then, we'll see you in the world.
Cap'n Chris Tobias
PA Browncoats, Rivers & Bridges Brigade
Local Event Coordinator, Can't Stop the Serenity Pittsburgh
|Posted by Chris on February 12, 2021 at 8:10 PM|
Gong Hei Fat Choy!
Happy New Year of the Ox, everyone! Couldn't think of a better time to send a broadwave to my favorite brigade of Browncoats.
I'm writing to let you all know about two opportunities to snag some Serenity-related merch.
First of all, when most CSTS events were cancelled last year, global scrapped their plans to have individual events pre-order CSTS 2020 patches, which resulted in the order we'd placed to use as prizes at our events being cancelled. But thanks to our friends the Albuquerque Browncoats, the patches were resurrected, and you can now order yourself one online along with other CSTS 2020 merchandise at the CSTS store on the global website:
If the $15.00 price tag seems steep, remember that the patch is 6" and stitched in 11 colors! I ordered one and was really pleased with how fast it arrived and how shiny it looks. Although there was a deadline of January 31 mentioned on Facebook, as of tonight the website was still allowing orders. If you want one though, I'd suggest you order it right away.
Secondly, our good friend and longtime supporter Sean Faust has a limited number of download cards for his song "Signal" (which was inspired by Serenity) available for purchase. The download card is $5.00 and comes with a sticker, and 50% of the sale goes to charity, with 25% going to Equality Now and 25% to the Ramapo Bergen Animal Refuge. Those who are interested in purchasing a card can find more information here:
Get 'em while you can, because they won't last long.
And finally, I don't want anyone to think that the crew and I aren't very aware of the current controversy surrounding Joss Whedon. And yes, given the nature of that controversy, the irony that we're screening one of his films for the benefit of Equality Now isn't lost on us. At some point CSTS global might address this, but we're not going to hold our breath until that happens, because there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of anything in the way of communication coming from global at this point. As I mentioned before, we were the only city to hold a live screening last year, and if you go to the global website, it looks like 2020 never happened and there's no mention of a 2021 campaign. To be honest, we don't know what this might mean for the future of CSTS globally, but we still love Serenity, its story, its characters, and everything they have come to represent. We still believe in the Browncoat fandom, their generosity in helping folk who need it and their enduring love that "keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down." While we would not condone or defend abusive behavior of any kind, nothing will change how we feel about the film and the fandom even if all of the allegations against Joss turn out to be true. We will of course defer to CSTS global, but at this time we have no intention of modifying our events here in Pittsburgh in any way.
What we do want to do is hold another event in 2021, and it's our hope that we'll be able to see you all at a mighty fine shindig this summer.
In the meantime, take care, stay safe and keep flying.
--- Cap'n Chris
|Posted by Chris on September 8, 2020 at 12:45 AM||comments (0)|
Just wanted to send you a quick wave to say thank you for a really shiny "Serenity Under the Stars" 15th annual Can't Stop the Serenity Pittsburgh charity screening. Your love kept her in the air even in the face of a global pandemic, and I for one can't help but feel humbled and very grateful because of your overwhelming support of the event. We had Browncoats in attendance from as far away as Philadelphia, State College, Cleveland and even Orlando!
Congratulations once again to the winners of our raffles:
Basket #1: Leslie Pelakh
Basket #2: Christine Anderson
Basket #3: Leslie Maynard
Jayne-Themed Door Prize Basket (courtesy Audrey Hackett of the Delaware Valley Brigade): Kyle Hibler
First-Time Viewers' Raffle (DVD copy of Serenity): Hilary Brown
I realized after the fact that I forgot to tell everyone the contents of the three raffle baskets. Here's what they contained:
We don't have an exact donation figure yet, because we're waiting to see if we're going to have to ship any prizes to winners who were not present at the event, but you can look for an announcement soon on this website, Facebook and Twitter.
Thanks again to our sponsors, Geek Frontiers and Jump Cut Theater, as well as the donors of the projection and sound equipment for this year's screening, Academy Pittsburgh and Looking For Group (LFG).
And thanks once again to all of you. If anyone is not on our email list and would like to be added, just send me a wave and let me know. We hope to see you all next year for the 16th annual CSTS Pittsburgh!
Stay safe and keep flyin',
|Posted by Chris on August 13, 2020 at 5:40 PM||comments (0)|
Howdy! I hope everyone is safe and healthy.
I'm sending this wave to give you some exciting news. Thanks to our friends and sponsors at Jump Cut Theater, movie and raffle tickets for our 15th annual CSTS Pittsburgh screening of "Serenity Under the Stars" are now available in exchange for appropriate donations to Equality Now and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
To make your donations and secure your movie reservations and raffle entries, go to the Tickets/Merchandise page and click on the link for Jump Cut Theater's site.
A couple of quick notes about the movie and our raffles:
1. Your $15 donation reserves one spot for you at our screening. It does not allow you to bring guests. One $15 donation = one person watching the Big Damn Movie. If others are coming with you, they have to make their own $15 donations. Anyone who shows up at the screening without a prior reservation will be asked to leave... politely.
2. Only 50 attendees are permitted due to COVID-19 restrictions. That includes me and my crew, so the actual number of available "tickets" is just over 40. That means if you want to reserve a spot at the screening, faster would be better.
3. Your $15 donation gets you 5 entries in each regular raffle and 1 entry in the "door-prize" raffle. If you've never seen the film before, you'll also be entered in our "first-time viewers" raffle.
4. If you have a reservation for the screening, you'll be notified approximately 24 hours in advance of the exact time and location of the event, either by email or text message or both.
5. If you come to the screening, you must wear a mask and observe social distancing. No exceptions!
6. If you select the "donation only" option, you'll receive 2 entries in each of the regular raffles for every $5 you donate. You cannot enter the "door-prize" or "first-time viewers" raffles by selecting this option, but you don't have to be present to win one of the regular raffles if you select this option either.
7. Each of our regular raffle prize baskets will be unique, but they'll be as similar as possible in value and shininess. We know we're asking you to purchase entries for our raffles sight-unseen this year, so you have our word as Browncoats that we'll make 'em worth your while (and money).
8. All raffle winners will be chosen in advance using a random number generator and announced at the screening.
9. The deadline for getting your movie reservations and raffle entries is 6pm EDT on Friday, September 4.
That about covers it. I hope to see you in South Park on Saturday, September 5 for "Serenity Under the Stars."
Stay safe and keep flyin'.
-- Cap'n Chris
|Posted by Chris on August 9, 2020 at 3:55 PM||comments (0)|
I hope everyone is staying safe and doing well. I wanted to give you another update on what we're doing to bring a Can't Stop the Serenity charity screening to Pittsburgh this year.
With the help of our sponsors Geek Frontiers (who generously paid for the licensing of the movie) and Jump Cut Theater (who is assisting with online ticket sales) we are all manner of pleased to announce we'll be presenting "Serenity under the Stars" on Saturday, September 5 in Allegheny County's South Park, with all proceeds benefiting Equality Now and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
We'll be screening the movie outdoors in a field adjacent to a grove in South Park. Attendees will have to bring their own blankets or chairs to sit on, as well as their own food and beverages. No alcohol or glass containers will be permitted, by order of the Allegheny County Parks Department.
We will still have a limited number of raffles, including a "door prize" and our traditional raffle for those seeing the movie for the first time. All donations will be made electronically prior to the event, so the need for "cashy money" at the screening will be completely eliminated. We are currently working with Jump Cut Theater to set up online donations through their website. The plan is that there will be a donation option to "purchase" admission to the film, which will include automatic entries in the raffles, as well as a raffle-only donation option for those who can't make it to the screening or just want to purchase additional raffle entries. Those who have made the appropriate movie donation will be sent the time and location of the screening electronically in advance of the event (similar to London's famed "Secret Cinema" events). I will send everyone a wave when movie and raffle tickets are available online, but in the meantime, keep checking the home page and the "Tickets/Merchandise" page of this site for updates. (Sorry, but for the health and safety of all in attendance, there will be no games this year, only a screening and announcements of the raffle winners.)
We are required to follow all PA health and safety guidelines with regards to COVID-19 as a condition of our licensing agreement. That means that we will have to limit our attendance to a maximum of 50 individuals (which includes me and my crew). Also, social distancing and the wearing of masks will be required at all times. Let's talk about that for a minute. I'm the Cap'n, and this isn't the ruttin' town hall. When I say masks are required, I ain't sayin' that with a wink and a nod. I mean it! No exceptions! We had to go to a lot of trouble to arrange for this event, including paying a licensing fee that was 50% higher because we're screening the Big Damn Movie outdoors. Wearing a mask isn't bending the knee to the powers that be; it's protecting yourself and your fellow Browncoats. The way I see it, masks are body armor for your lungs, and Zoe Washburne would tell anybody that a real soldier isn't too proud to put on body armor. So, I'm asking everybody to mask up so we can have a good time together watching a movie we all love, without any casualties besides those on the screen. I have it on good authority that Pittsburgh is currently the only city in the world that has a live CSTS screening planned, but in order for that to happen, it's going to take everyone's cooperation in making sure we all follow the mandated health and safety guidelines. If there's a reason why that won't work for you, then I reckon you're someone who might want to select the "raffles only" option when we get the ticket sales up and running.
And while you're waiting for those ticket sales to go live, don't forget that Can't Stop the Serenity has finally kicked off its global merchandise sale for 2020, which is a great way to show support for the organization and your Browncoat pride while generating revenue for Equality Now. There is a link to the global merchandise sale on the Tickets/Merchandise page of this site. They are promising a much faster turnaround time for orders this year (I ordered one last week and have already been notified that it's on its way), and as in past years you can choose the style and color of the shirt you want to order. This year's logo is shiny, and the shirts have a two-sided design again this year. I urge you do give 'em a look and consider supporting Equality Now by picking one up.
So, that's how it is. I'll be in touch again as soon as online ticket sales go live. Until then, stay safe and keep flyin'.
|Posted by Chris on August 6, 2019 at 8:15 PM||comments (0)|
Just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who attended this year's Can't Stop the Serenity event at the Parkway Theater on August 4. Although there weren't as many people in attendance as there were a year ago, we still managed to raise $679.00 for Equality Now, which confirms what we already knew--- Pittsburgh's Browncoats are a small but devoted group with all kinds of heart! Thanks to my crew and to all who attended for making it a mighty fine shindig and helping us do good works, and thanks again to our sponsors, Geek Frontiers and Jump Cut Theater.
Congratulations to the winners of our raffles:
Mal's loot- Brandon Ketchum
Jayne's loot- Susan Mazur
Zoe's loot- Karen Tobias
Wash's loot- Karen J. Hay
Kaylee's loot- Paul Bialozor
River's loot- Rikki Cherry
Simon's loot- Sara McClelland
Shepherd Book's loot- Stephen Wojtowytsch
Inara's loot- Karen Tobias
Serenity's cargo- Kate Zingarelli
Firefly Fluxx- Chris Anderson
Online Only Early-Bird Door Prize (leather bound Firefly journal)- Paul Bialozor
If you were at the event this year, we'd be all manner of grateful if you'd take a few minutes to give us your feedback by filling out the following survey:
Please be truthsome. Your honest comments help us make the event better for you moving forward. We'll be collecting responses until August 14.
That's it for now, but we are conjuring a couple of additional events to get the brigade together in a more social capacity in the coming months. Once we have a plan (or even like 12% of a plan), I'll be sure to send y'all a wave.
Until then, keep flyin',
|Posted by Chris on July 30, 2019 at 4:50 PM||comments (0)|
It's hard to believe that our 14th annual Can't Stop the Serenity charity screening is less than a week away. Before we commence misbehavin', there are a couple of things I want to let you know about.
First of all, Can't Stop the Serenity is selling patches with the 2019 logo design on their global website. The patches are $15.00 each, but the price does drop somewhat depending upon how many you order. They are a high-quality, multi-color, iron-on patch, and shipping is included in the price. We will not have any available as prizes for this year's Pittsburgh event like we have in the past, because they just went on sale and will not ship in time, so if you want one, you have to go about gettin' it your own self. Here's the link:
While you're there, you can also by CSTS apparel and posters. I'd talk up the shirts, but you'll see I've apparently already done that on the global page. One note about that: I am not a 14-year veteran CSTS captain. I'm only a 6-year veteran captain. Pittsburgh is a 14-year veteran CSTS city. That was global's error, and no disrespect was meant to Cate or Miche, who were doing mighty fine captainy things before I was even a member of this brigade. CSTS global was contacted about the error. Hopefully they'll correct it soon.
And that brings us to this Sunday. Don't forget: doors at the Parkway Theater in McKees Rocks open at noon for games and raffles, movie screens at 2pm. We'll have lots of shiny prizes, and there's a bar (with the kinds of food and drinks bars have) and a microbrewery on site. An advance "ticket" requires a $25 donation to Equality Now (because them's the folk for whom we do what we do) and will get you a movie ticket, an 8-play Blue Sun game card and 10 raffle tickets, and it'll also enter you in an early bird online-only raffle for a shiny door prize. You can always get tickets at the door, but remember, the theater only seats 45, so if you want to be sure to have a seat for the Big Damn Movie, buy early. You can do that on the calendar paget at the website of our sponsor, Jump Cut Theater: http://www.jumpcuttheater.org
That's all. Hope to see you Sunday.
|Posted by Chris on June 5, 2019 at 8:20 PM||comments (0)|
Anyone who wishes to purchase a CSTS 2019 t-shirt, tank top, sweatshirt, hoodie or poster can do so now through represent.com. Profits from the sale of CSTS apparel will go to Equality Now, and now you can choose not only the style of your shirt, but the color as well. This year's design is two-sided and even mentions CSTS Pittsburgh! The sale of official CSTS 2019 merchandise has already begun. This year, items will begin shipping on June 12 and will ship on a rolling basis, so you won't have to wait for the end of a production run as was the case for the past two years.
You can order your official CSTS merchandise at https://represent.com/store/cantstoptheserenity
That is all. As you were.
|Posted by Chris on March 31, 2019 at 4:35 PM||comments (0)|
Can't Stop the Serenity is holding a vote for artwork for the 2019 CSTS logo. This is the design that will be used for all CSTS advertising and merchandise this year, including t-shirts and patches. Those who would like to vote for their favorite design can do so now through April 8 by clicking on the following link: