Cast Spotlight: Nina Rusnock

by stephaniejankowski on April 14, 2016

It’s impossible not to notice Nina’s classic beauty and Jackie O-esque poise. After listening to her story, though, you’ll be gut-punched by her horrifying circumstance and from that moment on, you’ll look at her and only see the strength of one mother’s love for her son.


Nina Rusnock grew up in New Hampshire and studied at the University of Pittsburgh and Chatham University. She married her college sweetheart, Brett, and together they have a rambunctious toddler boy named Rowan. Nina is a physician assistant in primary care who loves Beachbody workouts, hot yoga, her family & friends, and good food.

Photo by Ashley Mikula Photography

Photo by Ashley Mikula Photography



Q: How did you discover LTYM?
A: I discovered LTYM on a blog written by a friend of a friend. She posted the video of her performance. It brought me to tears. And then I started thinking about my own story to share. I wrote my piece in my head for months before I signed up to audition.


Q: What is the craziest thing you remember your mother saying to you?
A: “Pick up the dead chicken by the feet and hand it to me!” My poor mother. We always tease her about this. I grew up in NH and we had chickens. The chickens had a covered area that they could run around in, but it was only accessible through a little chicken house. One time, a chicken died in the middle of the penned area. So my Mom lowered me down through the chicken house trap door by my arms and had me wear leather wood stove gloves. And then my job was to retrieve the dead chicken and give it to her. I’m not really scarred, I’m just not the biggest fan of birds!


Q: When did you first start thinking about your parents as individuals and not just “mom and dad?”
A: I first started thinking about my parents as individuals after my husband and I became parents ourselves. We had this “aha” moment that our parents had lives BEFORE we were born! They used to have hobbies and dates and go places WITHOUT KIDS. It was shocking to us!!! And then very humbling that my parents put their lives on hold for so long so that my siblings and I would have healthy meals, a cheerleader at our soccer games and spelling bees, and someone to watch movies, do puzzles, and play games with on the weekends.


Q: What do you love most about Pittsburgh?
A: The food!!! I love love love all the new restaurants popping up all over the city! And Amazing Yoga. It’s a life changing practice.


Q: If you could only ever eat at one restaurant in the ‘Burgh, what would it be and why?
A: Cocá Cafe! I could eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner there! Their menu is always changing and has delicious seasonal items like ramp pesto and burrata in summer tomatoes. The doughnuts for brunch or dessert at dinner come to the table warm!! And it’s byob. Could you ask for anything else??

Nina and family

Q: If you were mayor of Pittsburgh for a day, what law would you enact/change/do away with and why?
A: Free Dave and Andy’s ice cream for everyone all day! It would have to be delivered, though, because my husband hates waiting in lines.


Mr. Rowan will be in the audience to watch his Mama’s performance–will you be there?! Get your tickets HERE!

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