Tuesday, April 14, 2015, 9:00 p.m.
A film production team will transform a park in a Monroeville residential neighborhood into the scene of a Kentucky clan's struggle for its way of life to film 13 episodes of a new TV series this summer.
Henry Kaufmann Family Park in Monroeville will become Shay Mountain, home of the family that is the focus of “Outsiders,” John Adkins, a Pittsburgh area location manager, told Monroeville officials this month. Sony Pictures is producing the show for Chicago-based WGN America.
“They live there for six generations, and they kind of live off the grid,” Adkins said of the family in the series. “They've sort of established their own world there, and a big coal company comes into the community. They want to push this family off the mountain, which is federal land, and the family's just not having it.”
The park on Rosecrest Drive was selected out of about 25 locations that also included Braddock's Trail Park in North Huntingdon.
“Braddock's Trail Park would have been a great place to build the set, but the producers of the show feel that the site in Monroeville will work better because it's a little closer to Pittsburgh,” Adkins said.
Filming in the park — one of several set locations in the area — will start in late May. Adkins expects filming there to end in late September.
Adkins said summer camp will be in session at the park from June 22 to Aug. 21. During that time, the film crew plans to improve on an old access road from Poplar Street to enter and exit the set instead of using the main entrance.
The park belongs to the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh. JCC representatives couldn't be reached for comment.
Adkins said he has met with zoning officer Mark Ciufo to discuss production plans.
“We're speaking to people who live in (the area) right now as we speak,” Adkins said.
The series will be filmed two episodes at a time. David Morse, of “St. Elsewhere” fame; Ryan Hurst, who starred in the FX series “Sons of Anarchy,” and Thomas Wright, who starred in the FX series “The Bridge,” will be part of the cast.
Filming in the woods of the park will involve building a temporary compound that includes a barn, shacks and ramshackle houses. The pilot episode includes a scene in which characters joust on ATVs, Adkins said.
Gideon Bradshaw is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-871-2369 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff writer Tony LaRussa contributed to this report.