Photo Essay: Pitt Tonight

The filming of the first episode of Pitt Tonight, a late night show for Pitt students by Pitt students.

On December 13th 2015 In the Studio Theater in the basement of The Cathedral of Learning, Jesse Irwin, host of Pitt Tonight, practices his entrance for the show which tapes its first episode on December 14th live in front of a studio audience.
While Irwin soaks up the spotlight, the rest of the 46 person team works behind the scenes. Pictured here, Jake Sam, Organization Producer, watches the rehearsal from backstage.
The house band, Allies of the Boulevard, provide musical accompaniment led by Music Directors Colin Grant, pictured here, and Ryan Salisbury.
After rehearsal, the writing team discusses which jokes worked and which didn’t.
Before the group disbands at 11pm on the Sunday before finals week, Irwin goes over his verbal cues for music with Grant.
On December 14th 2015, the day of filming, Irwin practices the opening monolog. During filming, the empty chairs in front of him will be filled with a sold out audience.
Josh Lorah, a member of acapella group Pitch Please, finishes his Law Ethics and Public Policy take home final backstage. The exam is due while the show is filming.
With less than half an hour to go before filming starts, Mason Lazarcheff, Head Producer, retrieves the Pitt Tonight logo from the hallway outside the theater.
A crew member hydrates backstage before filming starts. During the 1 hour live taping, none of the crew can take a break.
During filming, the action is captured by five cameras placed around the theater.
Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, the show’s first guest, arrives on the set.
Victor Dryer films Gallagher struggling to guess the meaning of popular slang terms such as “throwing shade.”
Pitch Please competes against rival acapella group, The Song Burghs.
Gallagher is joined by Surprise guest Ophelia Ferguson from Market Central. Chancellor and foodservice worker share the spotlight.
Ophelia makes the first shot in an oversized game of cornhole and the Oakland Zoo celebrates.
The audience gives the performance a standing ovation.
Writers Phil Forrence, center, and Raghav Sharma, left, hug after the show.
Irwin is congratulated by his family. Before leaving, his father, Steve Irwin, says: “Goodnight, you have a test tomorrow.”
The crew strikes the set and cleans the Oakland Zoo’s confetti after the audience leaves.
Ophelia changes into her Sodexo uniform, puts on her rain coat and leaves for Market Central saying: “Back to the real world.”
Kara Stenger removes the colored gels from the lights.
“Show and career aspirations aside, I got to play cornhole with the chancellor, Ophelia and McConnell-Serio. That has to be my top Pitt experience.”