Posted: Tuesday Apr 1, 2014
April 1, 2014
Saint Vincent College’s Gilbert and Sullivan Players will present W.S. Gilbert’s two-act comic opera, Ruddigore, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 4 and 5 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 6 in the Robert S. Carey Student Center Performing Arts Center. Admission is free but donations will be accepted.
Ruddigore is one of the Savoy Operas and the 10th of 14 comic operas written together by Gilbert and Sullivan. It was first performed in London in 1887.
The Saint Vincent production will be directed by Mark Harris, a junior music major from Belle Vernon, who is making his directorial debut with this show. Saint Vincent Theatre artistic director Colleen Reilly and technical director Penny Lin Lambright are assisting the students with the production.
“For the past several productions put on by Saint Vincent Gilbert and Sullivan Players, we have made it a goal to creatively reinvent the show we select into something the operetta has not been originally,” Harris explained. “As a student-run college theatre group, we strive to interpret and present the timeless works of W.S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan in a way that is fresh, something enjoyable and entertaining for not only G&S enthusiasts but also for the everyday college theatre goer. We get artsy, but we always make sure we maintain the silly atmosphere of Gilbert’s topsy-turvydom, because boy, do we love to be silly and nonsensical.”
“Last year, we took the dark, magical and whimsical identity of The Sorcerer and transformed it into a fantastical Victorian Goth rock adventure,” Harris continued. “Last fall we gave The Palace of Truth, our very first straight play, an aesthetic touch-up, bringing new life to the show using the nostalgic beauty of the American 1950s. This year’s Ruddigore receives this treatment as well. Ruddigore has turned out to be our most artful and most ambitious project yet. As patrons will see, we breathed the glitz and glamour of 1930s/1940s classic Hollywood into this production, invoking an old film, right down to the musical style. Many of the original numbers of the operetta have been rearranged into jazz and swing arrangements, and some numbers even have swing dancing. One scene features the talent of members of the SVC Swing Dance Club. Many characters in the show are loosely modeled in appearance after some very famous film stars including Rita Hayworth, Clark Gable, Bela Lugosi, Hedy Lamarr, and a number of other greats. In many ways, this is no longer an operetta and instead is a musical.”
The all-student cast includes Mitchell Magiera, a sophomore political science major from Jefferson Hills, as Robin Oakapple (a.k.a. Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd); Carolyn Smith, a senior music performance major from Houston, as Rose Maybud; Matt Elam, a senior English major from Greensburg, as Richard “Dick” Dauntless; Dan Bell, a senior psychology major from Latrobe, as Old Adam Goodheart; Casey Ciocco, a senior criminology, law and society major from Latrobe, as Mad Margaret; Jordan Ralph, a junior English major from North Huntingdon, as Sir Despard Murgatroyd; Maria Kegg, a freshman arts administration major from Irwin, as Dame Hannah; Steve Sherman, a senior political science major from Butler, Sir Roderic Murgatroyd; Mary Yeckley, a freshman physics major from Greensburg, as Zorah; Katie Nemchik, a freshman computer science major from Latrobe, as Ruth and Lady Jasmine Murgatroyd; Cameron Smith, a junior history major from Kittanning, as Sir Lionel Murgatroyd; Anna Hubbel, a senior communication major from Rochester, N.Y., as Lady Gillian Murgatroyd; William Brown, a freshman English major from East Orange, N.J., as Sir Mervyn Murgatroyd; Leanne Lovasz, a junior sociology major from Springdale, as Lady Athena Murgatroyd; Anna Hubbel, a senior communication major from Rochester, N.Y.; Maria Sunseri; Alexandra Yanosick, a sophomore communication major from McDonald; and Hannah Galvin, a freshman early childhood education major from Charles Town, W.Va., as bridesmaids; and Erika Anstead, a senior biology major from Potomac, Md.; Carly Mazzone, a freshman biochemistry major from Hagerstown, Md.; Amanda Thayer, a freshman undecided major from Grand Valley; Elizabeth Scroggins, a junior early childhood education major from Doylestown, Ohio; Ryan Lewis, a junior computer science major from Greensburg; Adam Warburton, a senior physics major from Mount Pleasant; and Logan Tautkus-Berry, a junior physics major from Derry, as wedding dancers.
The stage crew includes Jonah Berkley, a freshman English major from Newark, N.J.; Brandon Snyder, a senior biology major from Laughlintown; and Lis Karnes, a junior history education major from Washington, backstage crew; and Benjamin Riddle, a freshman computer science major from St. Marys, sound.
The creative team includes Mark Harris, director, co-lyricist for “Gangster Stories” and script revision; Matt Elam, assistant director and script revision; Anna Hubbel, producer; Casey Ciocco, music director, music arrangements and lyrical revisions; Andrew DeBroeck, a continuing education student from Latrobe, assistant music director and rehearsal accompanist; Mitchell Magiera, technical director; Amanda Schrott, a senior studio arts major from Latrobe, wardrobe mistress; and Erika Anstead, choreographer.
The Gilbert and Sullivan Club officers include Mark Harris, president; Brittany Lambermont, a junior graphic design major from Lower Burrell, vice president; Dan Bell, secretary; Casey Ciocco, treasurer; and Anna Hubbel, public relations. Club advisor is Penny Lin Lambright.
Further information is available by contacting Harris at 724-216-2414.
Photo: Saint Vincent College Gilbert and Sullivan Players rehearse for upcoming production of Ruddigore.
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