Meet Alaina Manchester, Visiting Professor of Theatre and Father Shawn Clerkin, Director of Theatre here at GU as they introduce the exciting 2016-2017 Schuster Theatre season!
FORTUNATE VICTORY, by Alex Clemente and Shawn Clerkin, directed by Shawn Clerkin. Originally produced during the Perry 200 celebrations, the Schuster Theatre has been invited by the Flagship Niagara/Niagara League to reprise its production, this year co-produced with the Erie Playhouse, during the 2016 Erie Tall Ships special event. This forty-minute play examines the passion and patriotism of Oliver Hazard Perry and others as they built the fleet that would defeat the English in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. All proceeds from this production will support the Schuster Theatre’s participation in the August 2017 International Collegiate Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. Performances September 9-11, 2016. NO AUDITIONS – participation by invite only. If interested, contact Fr. Clerkin.
CRIMES OF THE HEART, by Beth Henley. Directed by Shawn Clerkin. This 1981 Pulitzer-Prize winning comedy tells the story of three sisters, Meg, Babe, and Lenny Magrath, brought together after Babe has shot her husband. A wonderfully dysfunctional Southern family, the play facilitates the surfacing of family secrets and the reconciliation of the women, if not to others outside the family, at least to one another. Performances September 29-October 9, 2016. Auditions Thursday & Friday, August 25 & 26 at 6:00 pm.
IT’S ONLY LIFE: THE SONGS OF JOHN BUCCHINO, music and lyrics by John Bucchino. Directed by Alaina Manchester. This wonderful song cycle celebrates both the creative joy of early adulthood and the sometimes disillusioned realities of middle age. Written by the Tony nominated composer/lyricist, this production explores the challenges to urban relationships, yearning, heartbreak, as well as fulfillment and healing. NOTE: John Bucchino will be joining us as a guest artist, accompanying the cast, and providing expert master class for participating students. Performances December 2-3, 2016. Auditions Monday & Tuesday, October 3 & 4 at 6:00 pm.
FRINGE FEST ERIE – This year marks the 7th Annual fringe, bringing in productions from theatres around Erie as well as unusual student produced productions on our own campus – this is our own answer to the “Three Weeks” in which our theatre program engages every three years. Student productions will be determined during the fall 2016 semester. Fringe Fest Erie goes from Wednesday, February 1, through Friday, February 24. Auditions for on-campus fringe productions are Monday & Tuesday, December 5 & 6 at 6:00 pm.
THE WHITE SNAKE, a Chinese fable adapted by Mary Zimmerman. The title character has left her mountain home to explore human civilization, and falls in love with a human and ignites his passion,. The couple is sent on a long journey to keep their happiness in the face of a wicked scheming. NOTE: Our third mainstage production will be directed by December 2016 graduate, Jenna Sulecki, who will be applying to MFA directing programs during the spring semester. February 15-19, 2017. Auditions are Sunday & Monday, November 20 & 21 at 6:00 pm.
ALEX CLEMENTE FUNDRAISER – Each year, since 1996, the theatre program holds its annual fundraiser for the Alex Clemente Fund for Performing and Related Arts, which provides support for guest artists who either visit the campus to work with our students, or provide master classes and workshops away from campus when our students travel. This year, in conjunction with the Erie Playhouse’s year-long 100th anniversary celebration, THE GLORIOUS ONES, book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty, will be our Clemente show. This musical comedy follows a commedia del’arte troupe and its madcap adventures in Renaissance Europe. This production will be entered in the national civic theatre competition, celebrating the best in community theatre. The Erie Playhouse and the Clemente Fund will share proceeds for special showings of the production preceding its state and national competition bid. Performances at the Erie Playhouse are on March 10 & 11, 2017.
APE/ESSENCE, adapted from Aldous Huxley by Shawn Clerkin. Directed by Alaina Manchester. This new adaptation of the 1948 dystopian novel examines the post-atomic warfare world, employing surreal imagery of a satirized human society incapable of holding on to decency and mutuality. The themes of hopelessness and self-annihilation pervade this modern morality tale. NOTE: This production will be our theatre program’s entry into the 2017 International Collegiate Theatre Festival / Edinburgh Festival Fringe. April 21-30, 2017. NO AUDITIONS – participants are those enrolled in the Scotland Trip Production and Performance class during the Spring 2017 semester. For more information, contact Alaina Manchester.