Venango Museum of Art, Science, and Industry

270 Seneca Street Oil City, PA 16301
(814) 676-2007

Oil on the Brain Characters and Cast

Character: Mother (Madame) Wood - 1874

Performer: Joann Holloway of Oil City, PA

Jo has worked for both the Venango Museum of Art, Science and Industry and Drake Well Museum during the past eight years. She is active in Civil War re-enacting and living history presentations, being involved in these activities for the past eight years. This award winning historical seamstress is well-known for her reproductions of Civil War uniforms and women's period clothing. Some of Jo's uniforms were used in the soon to be released TV movie Andersonville. She also made the costumes for the cast of "Oil On The Brain" and the crew of the "Pine Knot."

Performer: Paula Weingard of Tionesta, PA

A retired human resource counselor, Paula is active in church and community affairs. As a member of the Forest County Historical Society, she has been most recently involved in creating an oral history library for the Society. Paula helped research her husband's (Lew's) ancestry, which led to her participation and interest in building the "Pine Knot." She was also involved in "Search For Yesterday," an expedition down the Allegheny, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans in the spring and summer of 1992, on a 45 day trip to learn about the life and ports of call that early river folks from the upper Allegheny might have encountered on their trips downriver.

Character: William Phillips - 1867

Performer: Lew Weingard of Tionesta, PA

A retired IBM executive who is keenly interested in researching the lives of his paternal grandparents who immigrated to Tionesta, Pa, via Pittsburgh from Germany in 1862. They were farmers, tradesmen and river men who earned their living along the Allegheny River. Lew, with the help of others in Tionesta, designed and built the "Pine Knot," the Venango Museum's replica of a 19th century packet boat, a type of vessel that was formerly used on Oil Creek to carry passengers and oil. Lew has four years experience aboard the "Pine Knot" as both crew member and captain. He and his wife completed a river trip to New Orleans in 1992 to research early river history.

Performer: Ken Hall of Oil City, PA

Ken is a free lance musician and composer. His love of water and adventure began at an early age when he built rafts from old wooden pallets to float down Pine Creek to rendezvous with the Monongehela River in Washington County. Alas, the art of boat building was not his forte, as time and time again the soggy river lad swaggered back inland to soothe his raging wanderlust behind the helm of an old upright piano. Today Ken is well known in Venango County as a local musician. He is currently completing a "jingle" that will be used by the Oil Heritage Region Inc. to promote tourism to the Oil Region.

Character: Patrick Boyle - 1865,1918

Performer: Sean Miller of Oil City, PA

Sean, born in Oil City, PA, has maintained a permanent residence there. Always active in the theatre, he performed for the first time on stage when he was six years old in The Oakland Elementary School's production of "The Sweet Shop." Since then he has worked with a variety of theatrical companies which include: The Pitt Players at Titusville; The Ashland University Players; The Solothumer English Theater; The Berner English Theater and The Oil City High School Theater.

Miller is a skilled Storyteller. His repertoire includes both tales from the Celtic-Irish tradition as well as local Pennsylvania lore. He has practiced this craft at the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival, The Old Mill Festival and several others.

Sean has been a student of local history most of his life, learning much from the friends of his Grandparents and other Venango County historians. In 1994, he founded Greycloud Studios, which produces museum quality reproductions for historical reenactors. Currently, his client list includes people from many periods of history including: Medieval Europe, Renaissance Europe, The Spanish Main, The American Revolution, The French & Indian War, The Civil War, The Great Mongol Horde, The American Old West and The Fantasy Gaming Genre associated with all these eras.

Behind the Scenes

William C. Jacka, Jr., Technical Director

Jacka's technical directing credentials include the following past productions; Tom Sawyer (1995), Once Upon A Mattress (1995), Stone Soup (1994) and Let's Put On A Show (1994). Bill, who is from Oakmont, Pa. has also provided technical support for Media Production Services of Pittsburgh, a technical production company servicing stage, film, videos, television, industrials and exhibits. His background includes experience with sound systems, lighting, television production, video recording, editing and reproduction.

Barbara Perlstein

Barbara Perlstein, Director of the Venango Museum of Art, Science and Industry is also the president of Oil Heritage Region, Inc., a non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and interpret the historical and cultural resources of the Oil Region and create new attractions to make the area's heritage accessible to residents and visitors while providing substantial benefits to the communities within the region.

During her five-year tenure at the museum, Barbara has concentrated her efforts on the production of educational materials for local schools. The production of film documentaries that span the significant contributions made by the oil region to the history of Pennsylvania and the nation, to upgrading the facility she manages and to educating the public about the recreational, environmental and historic aspects of the Allegheny River.

Perlstein is active in many community organizations and serves as team leader for the Waterfront Committee, a sub-committee of Oil City's Revitalization Committee. This committee is actively engaged in annual waterfront cleanups and was responsible for having a new boat launch installed at the local marina this spring for use by area fishermen and river enthusiasts. This committee is currently seeking funds to build a canoe landing in Justus Park, Oil City to boost and encourage increased recreation on the Allegheny waterway.

Perlstein is a native of Western Pennsylvania. She has a bachelor's degree in Art History from Seton Hill College in Greensburg, Pa., a master's degree in Administration and Planning from the University of Pittsburgh and completed course work toward a PhD in Social Welfare Research, afterwards attending a summer session at the Sloan School of Management at M.I.T. in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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