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Pamela Nichols Galle, executive manager, Pi Productions

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Celebrated actor/director/producer Pam Galle has been a fixture on the Charlotte theater scene since her stage debut in the 1990 Theatre Charlotte production of Diviners, directed by Steve Umberger of the now famously defunct Charlotte Rep. When the well ran dry after several years of steady acting gigs, Galle took matters into her own hands. She saved funds for more than a year, then asked friend and writer Judy Simpson Cook to come up with a new play. Three weeks later, Cerulean Blues, and Galle's career as a producer, were born.

In the days that followed, Galle raised her three children, continued to act and did some co-producing with BareBones and Actors' Theatre, but eventually, she was determined to launch her own company. Again, Galle turned to friends for help; this time, playwrights Terri Collin and Anne Marie Oliva.

In 2005, Pi Productions, known for its edgy, thought-provoking work, debuted its first show, Michael Murphy's Sin: A Cardinal Deposed, a dramatization of the Boston Church sex abuse scandals, followed in 2006 by Terri Collin's Relationships & Other Natural Disasters. This year's crop of offerings has included the true-life, post-9/11 tale, The Guys (directed by Vito Abate, who has signed on as Producing Director), Eyes of God, an exposé on cults by Oliva (who has since left), and "Homemade Pi," a festival of new works by local playwrights.

Two of Pi's upcoming productions -- Killing Time, a slapstick ride with a slap-happy jury sequestered five months on a murder trial from the mother-son duo of Virginia Kates (who is 93) and Duke Ernsberger slated for Oct. 12-17 at Actors' Theatre, and Tweaks, another offering from Judy Simpson Cook due next spring -- were both cooked up at "Homemade Pi." Says Galle, "We do fun stuff, but what we're really about is dealing with political and social issues head on. We also want to put an emphasis on area writers. It's not uncommon for them to be more recognized outside of the area than in, and that's something we want to change."

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