Steel City charity screenings for Equality Now


view:  full / summary

CSTS Pittsburgh is tomorrow!

Posted by Chris on July 29, 2016 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

CSTS Pittsburgh 2016 is TOMORROW at the Hollywood Theater at 5pm!


We've already told you all the logistics, and told you what you can win and how to go about winning it. Let's talk about the other entertainment at the event.


First off, we have a special "Browncoat Photo Station" at this year's event, courtesy of the fine folk at Firefly Cargo Bay. For one credit on your Blue Sun credit card, you'll be able to take a photo of yourself as the Mutant Enemy "Zompire," or get a couple of friends to pose with you as the Fruity Oaty Bar girls. 1 credit gives you the chance to snap either or both pictures, and our volunteer will do the honors for you, because nobody has arms long enough for a selfie at that distance! To see the boards in action, head on over to our Twitter feed (@csts_pgh) later today.


For them as might be interested, we'll also have a petition on hand that we'll be sending to SpaceX, asking founder and CEO Elon Musk (the real Tony Stark) to name SpaceX's first Crew Dragon spaceship, which will launch next year, after Serenity. This petition was inspired by the activism of takebackthesky.net, but even if you've done something through their site before, you'll still want to sign this petition, as it is unique to this year's CSTS Pittsburgh and will be mailed to SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell following our event. Look for it in the lobby, or ask a volunteer where you can find it.


And finally, we're all manner of proud to be bringing Browncoat singer/songwriter Sean Faust back to the 'Burgh this year! Sean has played CSTS Pittsburgh twice before, but he's promising an all new show this year, including the CSTS Pittsburgh debut of a new song he co-wrote with Mikey Mason (of "She Don't Like Firefly" fame) called "A Guy Named Jayne." And of course, he'll still be playing Browncoat standards like "The Ballad of Serenity" and his Serenity-inspired song "Signal." (Sean donates 50% of all sales of "Signal" to Equality Now, and everyone who buys a ticket to see the film on Saturday will get a card with instructions on how you can download the tune.) And of course no Sean Faust show would be complete without the whole house joining him in a rousing rendition of "The Hero of Canton" for the finale! Sean isn't a one-trick pony though. He plays non-Browncoat material too, and if you're a fan of the Grateful Dead, Phish, Yes or Toad the Wet Sprocket, you are guaranteed to like his style. Sean takes the stage at 6pm, so be sure to get there in time. You don't want to miss it. (Also, Sean will be donating a bundle of his music as a raffle prize again this year, and he'll sign the CD's for the lucky winner.)


So, to recap, here's your shindig:


5pm- doors open

5:15pm- the games begin

6pm- Sean Faust takes the stage (sale of Blue Sun cards ends)

6:30pm- games close (no new players)

6:45(ish)- "Hero of Canton" sing-along

7pm- Big Damn Movie

9(ish)- Raffle drawings


No more waitin'. We aim to misbehave!


See you Saturday. Until then...


Keep flyin',




2 Days Until CSTS Pittsburgh: Let's Talk Games and Prizes

Posted by Chris on July 28, 2016 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)



With just 2 days to do until our big damn shindig at the Hollywood Theater, I conjure it's time to focus on the shiny prizes you'll be able to win and how you can go about winning them.


First of all, we'll have plenty of gaming action at CSTS Pittsburgh again this year, with the return of some old favorites and a new and improved grenade toss (yep, we brought 'em). Here's the line-up:


Badger's Dodgy Dice

Zoe's Shooting Gallery

Jayne's Grenade Throw

River's Mind-Readin' Genius Trivia

Wash's Leaf on the Wind


We'll be using Blue Sun credit cards for the games again this year, so you just purchase them in the lobby and don't have to worry about the exchange of cashy money while you're gaming. You'll be able to win tickets for our raffles at the games (or just purchase them in the lobby), but there are lots of other prizes too, including:


- Tickets for the PA Rebellion, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Steel City Roller Derby, Washington Wild Things and Wheeling Nailers.

- Movie passes for Carmike 6 Galleria, Carmike 10 South Hills Village, Phoenix Chartiers Valley Stadium 18 and the Hollywood Theater.

- Pirates and Steelers merchandise.

- All manner of comics, books and graphic novels.

- Buffy the Vampire Slayer items including a signed photo from Clare Kramer (Glory).

- Firefly Monopoly and Fluxx games.

- Action figures from Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

- Custom Firefly, Serenity, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog pillows.

- Firefly/Serenity acrylic neon signs.

- All manner of "plushies."

- All manner of buttons, prints, Christmas ornaments, CD's, t-shirts, coffee mugs, gift cards, tote bags, etc.

- Special Kaylee- and Jayne-themed items.

- A custom metal print by Pittsburgh photographer Dave DiCello.

- A pet basket courtesy of Burton's Total Pet.

And still more shiny loot... we still have a few surprises you'll just have to be there to see.

Do we have your attention yet? Good.


Then we'll see you in a couple days at the Hollywood Theater. And remember, if you need any information, you can find it here. Also, for previews of some of our prizes, check out our Twitter and Facebook pages. You'll find links to them on the homepage of this site.


Next time, I'll talk about the pre-movie entertainment, including Browncoat singer-songwriter Sean Faust, who'll be back with an all new show this year.


Until then, keep flyin',



CSTS Pittsburgh 2016 Update: 5 Days Until the Big Damn Shindig

Posted by Chris on July 26, 2016 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Our 11th annual CSTS Pittsburgh shindig at the Hollywood Theater is just days away! I'll be checkin' in from time to time this week to let you know some things you ought to know if you're planning to misbehave with us this weekend, as well as to tease some of the shinier aspects of the event.


First of all, let's talk about transport. Some of you may know that Potomac Avenue (the street where you'll find the Hollywood Theater) has been under construction for some time, and if you drive by there during the week, you'll find there's no access. I've been assured that on the weekends they do open the street to traffic though, and I have it on good authority that on a Saturday evening we'll all have vehicular access to the Hollywood.


As for parking, the construction will no doubt affect the available parking on the street, but there is a pay-to-park lot on West Liberty Avenue near the intersection with Potomac, and if you'd rather not deal with meters, the fine folk at North Way Christian Community Church have once again very generously allowed us the use of their parking lot (almost directly across from the Hollywood) for the evening.


So everything's shiny, not to fret.


What about food, you ask? Well, keep in mind that the Hollywood only sells standard movie concessions, so if you are a firm believer that man cannot live on popcorn alone, you may want to grab something to eat before the event. There are all manner of restaurants on Potomac Avenue-- pizza, gyros, you name it-- and there's an Eat N Park on West Liberty within walking distance of the theater too. The crew and I plan to grab a bite at Fredo's Deli right next door to the Hollywood before we get to work. I cannot recommend them highly enough. Not only have they generously opened their back room to us for CSTS events in the past, but their food is simply delicious. I had a Ranchero steak hoagie there last week that I'd arm-wrestle a Reaver for! Think Kaylee biting into that strawberry. Yeah, that good! But why take my word for it. Stop in and see for yourself.


Now, for them as might want to imbibe some of the best of beverages that make you blind at this year's CSTS Pittsburgh event, here is the Hollywood Theater's alcohol policy:

1. It's all BYOB.

2. Only beer and wine are permitted.

3. No alcohol is permitted in the balcony of the theater.

And here are some reminders from CSTS Pittsburgh:

1. In this corner of the 'verse, you still have to be 21 to drink, so don't bring or drink any alcohol if you're not at least 21 years old, and if you are 21, don't provide any to anyone who's not. If you do and you get pinched by the "purple bellies," we will not come to your aid. Dong ma?

2. "When you can't run you crawl, and when you can't do that, you find someone to carry you." We Browncoats look out for one another, and that means if that quote from "The Message" starts to apply to you because you've had a bit too much of the "stupid fluid," we will not let you leave the Hollywood even if it means we have to get one of our "public relations" boys to take your keys while we call you a cab. So don't give us any trouble, or we might just have to explain to you what the chain of command is (politely--- for your own good, of course).

3. We want to maintain a good partnership with the Hollywood Theater, so if you bring in any bottles or cans, please dispose of them properly when you've emptied them.


That's it for now. Look for more updates coming soon, including a preview of some of the games you can play and prizes you can win as well as a few words about this year's live performance by Sean Faust.


Until then, keep flyin'.


--- Chris


CSTS 2016 Logo Patches

Posted by Chris on July 11, 2016 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (0)

I regret to inform everybody that we have been notified by CSTS global that this year's logo patches will not go into production until after our July 30 screening.  As a result, they will not be available as prizes this year as they have in the past, and we will also have to suspend our online sale of the patches in our webstore (since shipping would be prohibitively expensive and they won't be ready in time to be picked up at the screening).  We haven't received any orders up to this point, so it doesn't look like it's going to inconvenience anyone in that regard, but if you're one of those Browncoats who looks forward to trying to win a patch at our events every year, we're very sorry to disappoint you.  We thank you for your understanding though, and hope that won't discourage you from coming out to the Hollywood on July 30, because we'll have plenty of other shiny prizes up for grabs.  See you then!

 --- Cap'n Chris

Just one month until CSTS Pittsburgh 2016!

Posted by Chris on June 30, 2016 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)

With the 11th annual CSTS Pittsburgh charity screening of Serenity at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont, PA just one month away, the crew and I reckon it'd be a good time to let y'all know what's in store for those who plan on coming to this year's shindig.

First of all, we're all manner of pleased to announce that Browncoat singer/songwriter Sean Faust will return to play an all new show at this year's event.  He's planning a shiny set that will include original material, covers, and of course the old standards that every Browncoat wants to hear, so if you enjoyed his show last year, you're in for a treat again this time around.  (And if you missed him at our last two events, you really ought to make it a point to come out to hear him this year.  You won't regret it.)

And oh yes, there will be games, including a couple of games that are making their return to the line-up this year.  Those who come early will be able to win shiny prizes when they try their hand at Zoe's Shootin' Gallery, Badger's Dodgy Dice, Wash's Leaf on the Wind, River's Mind-Readin' Genius Trivia and Jayne's Grenade Toss.  And for those who aren't the gaming sort, there will of course be all kinds of raffle prizes too.  (All proceeds from the sale of raffle tickets and "Blue Sun credit cards" for the games go to Equality Now.)

New this year will be the "Browncoat Selfie Station."  For a small donation to Equality Now, you can take a selfie as one of the Fruity Oaty Bar girls or the Mutant Enemy zompire, courtesy of the shiny folk at Firefly Cargo Bay.

So, here's the schedule of events for the Big Damn Shindig (it's still subject to minor changes, of course):

5:00pm- Doors open at the Hollywood Theater

5:15pm- Games open for play

6:00pm- Sean Faust performs live in the theater (sale of Blue Sun game cards ends)

6:30pm- Games close to new players

6:45pm- Interactive performance of "The Hero of Canton" in the theater (all Browncoats unite for this one!)

7:00pm- Screening of Serenity

Raffle winners will be announced following the movie.

And in case you were wonderin', admission to CSTS Pittsburgh is still free, but a minimum $10 donation to Equality Now is required if you want to see the Big Damn Movie.

So there you have it, a little taste of what's on tap for our event in exactly one month's time.  Don't forget to check back in over the next few weeks though, because we're always conjurin' new ways to misbehave in the name of doin' good works.

See you in a month.  Keep flyin'.

--- Cap'n Chris

CSTS Pittsburgh 2016- July 30 at the Hollywood Theater

Posted by Chris on May 8, 2016 at 1:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Pittsburgh's 11th annual Can't Stop the Serenity charity screening returns to the historic Hollywood Theater in Dormont, PA on July 30, 2016.  Doors will open at 5pm for a shiny evening that'll include games, raffles, live music, a special "Browncoat selfie station" and a 7pm showing of Serenity on the big screen.  And of course 100% of the proceeds from the event will go to help the shiny folk at Equality Now.  Admission to this mighty fine shindig is free, but a minimum $10 donation to Equality Now is required if you want to see the Big Damn Movie.  More information will be coming soon! 

CSTS Dr. Horrible: Thanks for another great shindig and a great year!

Posted by Chris on September 28, 2015 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

On behalf of the entire CSTS Pittsburgh crew, I'd like to thank everyone who attended our CSTS Dr. Horrible event at the ToonSeum on September 26.  It was a more intimate gathering than our Serenity screening, but it was nonetheless a very good time, and we managed to raise an additional $237.25 for Equality Now, which was enough to bring our total for the year to $1,400.25 and surpass last year's total of $1,280.  Congratulations to everyone for doing such a shiny job of doing good works this year!

Congratulations also to the winners of our "nerd raffle baskets," Christine Anderson, Julia Angotti, and Bob Averell, as well as John Angotti, who won a DVD copy of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog in our "first-time viewers" raffle.

Special thanks are in order to Anthony Letizia of Geek Pittsburgh and the ToonSeum Board of Directors, who made this year's Dr. Horrible screening possible by arranging for our use of the venue.  (Our special ToonSeum raffle basket raised $65.75 for the ToonSeum, and we appreciate that the Browncoats stepped up to show their appreciation, but really we can never thank Anthony and the ToonSeum enough.)

Also, we'd like to thank Michelle Vos and Christine Anderson, who planned the plan and followed through on our interactive team "evil invention" building game.  The results were as hilarious as they were creative, and we hope to have some video of the unveiling of the evil inventions (along with some pictures) on this website and our Facebook page soon.  Thanks again to Miche and Chris for making that part of the evening's entertainment so much fun.

Finally, thanks to Bob Averell, Ed Sauerland and Michael Tobias for stepping up and doing the work at the raffle, merchandise and concessions tables.

And with that, our 10th annivesary season of CSTS Pittsburgh comes to a close.  We hope to see you next summer for the 11th annual Can't Stop the Serenity Pittsburgh.

Keep flyin',

Cap'n Chris

Final Reminder: CSTS Pittsburgh's Dr. Horrible this Saturday!

Posted by Chris on September 23, 2015 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Just wanted to remind you all that CSTS Pittsburgh's screening of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is this Saturday at Pittsburgh's ToonSeum from 7-10pm. A $10 donation to Equality Now will get you through the door starting at 7pm, and there will be plenty more to do than just watching the movie (though that on its own is reason enough to come).


We'll have some time early in the evening for Browncoats to mingle and check out the ToonSeum's galleries and exhibits, and Miche Vos and Christine Anderson are planning an interactive game (there may be blood, but there will be prizes!) for those who feel like showing off their qualifications for the Evil League of Evil. And then of course we'll have the screening of the movie, and we'll also be raffling off three "Nerd Baskets," with the proceeds from two of the baskets going to Equality Now and the proceeds from the third (a special "ToonSeum" edition basket) going to our hosts the ToonSeum. We also plan to have a special raffle for anyone who's seeing the movie for the first time Saturday night. There will also be a limited number of 10th anniversary CSTS t-shirts available for sale, as well as Whedon-themed buttons courtesy of Firefly Cargo Bay.


A couple of reminders:


First of all, there is no parking at the ToonSeum itself, but there are plenty of parking garages in the vicinity. Both Pitt and the Pirates are playing on the road Saturday, so unless the local theatres are a lot more packed than usual, there should be plenty of parking available.


Secondly, as with our Serenity screening, we'll only have movie concessions available, so if you're looking to eat something more substantial, make sure you plan to do so before or after the event. Of course, there are plenty of restaurants in the area too, if you're so inclined.


If anybody has any questions, feel free to send me a wave at [email protected] We're very close to surpassing our donation total from last year, so I hope to see more than a few of you Saturday night as we continue to misbehave in the name of doin' good works.


We've planned the plan, now let's follow through!


Keep flyin',



CSTS Dr. Horrible at the ToonSeum this Saturday!

Posted by Chris on September 20, 2015 at 7:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Sing it with us...

We're all manner of grateful for all those coats of brown,

And we don't mean to be hateful or to bring you down,

But we're servin' up a plate full of Evil in this town.

Music, humor, no remorse-- a shindig worthy of Bad Horse.

So you raised a lot of money and had a lot of fun,

But we're here to tell you honey that the job ain't done.

The outlook may be sunny, but the battle isn't won.

A second show, a funding source:  it's Dr. Horrible, of course!

Yes, we're at it again-- CSTS Pittsburgh, in partnership with the ToonSeum, will hold a charity screening of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog this Saturday, September 26 from 7-10pm at the ToonSeum in downtown Pittsburgh. There will be a mixer, CSTS merchandise for sale, raffles, a comically competitive interactive game and a screening of the brilliantly funny musical by that genius guy whose name rhymes with boss, starring those actors who need no introduction (you know... the kid doctor, the cute gamer and the ship's captain turned ruggedly handsome writer). Costumes and evil inventions are encouraged. A minimum $10 donation to Equality Now is required for admission.  See you there! 


(Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog screened by permission from Time Science Blood Club, LLC. ©Time Science Blood Club, LLC. All rights reserved.)


Challenge Coins Presented to CSTS Pittsburgh's "Big Damn Heroes"

Posted by Chris on August 3, 2015 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Challenge coins are a military tradition. Here's the basic idea if you're not familiar with it:

"The challenge, which can be made at any time, begins with the challenger drawing his/her coin, and slapping or placing the coin on the table or bar. In noisy environments, continuously rapping the challenge coin on a surface may initiate the challenge. (Accidentally dropping a challenge coin is considered to be a deliberate challenge to all present.) Everyone being challenged must immediately produce the coin for their organization and anyone failing to do so must buy a round of drinks for the challenger and everyone else who has their challenge coin. However, should everyone challenged be able to produce their coin, the challenger must buy a round of drinks for the group." - Wikipedia

I think it was a right shiny idea of CSTS to produce challenge coins commemorating the 10th anniversary of Can't Stop the Serenity, and while I think was appropriate that they were made available for sale in this instance, one of the reasons I like challenge coins is that they're generally earned, not purchased.  It's a great honor to be presented a challenge coin by a dignitary or your unit.  That's why CSTS Pittsburgh presented 10th anniversary CSTS challenge coins at our shindig on August 1 to the following "Big Damn Heroes" who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to keep CSTS Pittsburgh flyin' over the past decade:

  • Ed Sauerland (current crew)- First Mate for CSTS Pittsburgh 2015; Manager of the CSTS Pittsburgh Facebook page for the past three years; has worked tables at cons in three states on behalf of CSTS.
  • Michael Tobias (current crew)- First Mate for CSTS Pittsburgh 2013 and 2014; Designer and builder of the games currently in use at CSTS events and tables at cons; worked CSTS tables at cons in two states.
  • Randy Tobias (current crew)- "Numbers cruncher" for CSTS Pittsburgh; responsible for allocation of prizes and development of probability chart for the "Badger's Dodgy Dice" game; worked CSTS tables at cons in two states.
  • Anthony Letizia- Creator and manager of Geek Pittsburgh; responsible for Geek Pittsburgh's sponsorship of CSTS Pittsburgh events for the past three years.
  • Bob Averell- Long-time brigade member and CSTS supporter; made substantial prize donations to CSTS Pittsburgh over the past several years; worked tables at cons in multiple cities on behalf of CSTS; responsible for naming our local brigade and managing membership on the PA Browncoats message boards.
  • Jeff McClelland- Local comic book writer who has worked with the likes of Ben Edlund and contributed numerous signed and limited edition items from San Diego Comic-Con to CSTS Pittsburgh for use as prizes at our events the past several years.
  • Sara McClelland- Contributed numerous unique, handmade items as well as special edition items from San Diego Comic-Con to CSTS Pittsburgh events for many years.
  • Miche Vos- CSTS Pittsburgh organizer for several years; introduced the idea of carnival-style games to CSTS Pittsburgh events, as well as the "Blue Sun credit cards" used to pay for game play; created the current CSTS website and the original brigade Facebook page; continues to be involved in CSTS Pittsburgh's Dr. Horrible events.
  • Christine Anderson- First Mate for CSTS Pittsburgh under Miche Vos; has been recognized by CSTS global for her unique and creative contributions to CSTS Pittsburgh's events, such as 2014's "Damp Lung Awareness" ribbons and her crocheted "Ma Cobb" items.
  • Cate Stevens-Davis- Original organizer of CSTS Pittsburgh; responsible for roughly the first half-decade of CSTS events in the Steel City.
  • Sean Faust- New Jersey singer/songwriter who has traveled to numerous CSTS events across the country at his own expense in order to perform live shows there; donates 50% of the profits from his song "Signal" to Equality Now; performed live at CSTS Pittsburgh in 2014 and 2015.
CSTS Pittsburgh salutes these individuals.  It's their love that's kept us in the air for ten years!

--- Cap'n Chris