About hobnob theatre

The phrase, "hob nob" first appeared in printed form in Act 3, Scene 4 of William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, where Sir Toby tries to frighten Viola by describing Sir Andrew as a ruthless knight:

He is a devil in private brawls...
Hob nob is his word, give't, or take't.

Sir Toby and Sir Andrew in Twelfth Night

The phrase derives from the older English, "hab nab," "have or have not", and Shakespeare alters the meaning slightly to "give or take." The expression caught on, and soon became a drinker's phrase used when toasting: "Here's to you! No, here's to you!" Eventually hobnob became the verb form we use today, meaning to socialize, fraternize, talk informally, or share a drink with.

We love the "give and take" of theatre: the way it asks questions without providing the answers; the way it holds a mirror up to ourselves to remind us of who we are, or who we may become; the illusion of seeing oneself portrayed by another, and the way we both lose ourselves, and find ourselves in that illusion.

We love the conversation of theatre: the way it brings people together, sharing ideas and passions; the beauty of language, the inspiration of dialogue; the way it builds community.

We love imbibing theatre: the enjoyment and satisfaction of a wonderful work of art. Whether it's a full-bodied Shakespeare tragedy, a light, crisp modern comedy, or even a rustic, organic homebrewed original play.

Please join us as often as you like: we hope you'll give some, and take some; we hope you'll join in the conversation; we look forward to clinking a glass of fine theatre together. Here's to you!


hobnob theatre company is a 501(c)(3) Non Profit Organization incorporated in the State of Pennsylvania which seeks to engage and enrich the community with a dynamic array of theatre as an art form by producing: popular and forgotten classic plays, modern plays of exceptional merit, extraordinary musicals, original works, and theatre for young audiences.

Staff and Board

Production Staff

Elizabeth Smith (Artistic Director), co-founder of hobnob theatre company, and studied theatrical performance and directing at Calvin College, where she was able to study performances on London and Stratford upon Avon stages. She performed in The Three Sisters and The Two Gentleman of Verona, was member of the Calvin Theatre Company and the Calvin Alumni Theatre Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she won "Best Director" for her direction of Jonathan Reynold's farce, Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, Part 2, or How We Got America's Most Wanted and The New York Post. She has worked locally with the Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, The UnSeam'd Shakespeare Company, and the McKeesport Little Theater. She directed Hobnob's 2012 and 2013 performances of A Christmas Carol. Elizabeth earned a B.A. in Theatre and English from Calvin College.

Kenneth Smith (Managing Director), co-founder of hobnob theatre company, has performed in Othello, Julius Caesar, and Our Town; he has worked as performer with Saltworks and Latshaw Productions in Pittsburgh, and Sight and Sound in Lancaster, PA. He has worked as musical director for musicals at several colleges and community theatre groups. He directed Hobnob's 2013 production of Shakespeare's The Tempest and 2014 production of Oscar Wilde's A Woman of No Importance. His original one-act play "Peace and Quiet" was selected for a staged reading at the 2012 Pittsburgh New Works Festival. Kenneth holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts.

Board Members

Delia Bianchin, General Counsel for Penn United Technologies

Neil Convery, District Office Manager for PA House of Representatives

Henry Marquiss, Senior Vice President of Finance at PNC Bank

Rob Bianchin, President and CEO of Cabot Guns

Jim Lilley, Rehabilitation Counselor for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania