Gannon University Presents a Summer of Shakespeare at Frontier Park
Posted: July 9, 2017
Madness, power and the destructive force of flattery all come to
the stage for an innovative production of Shakespeare's "King Lear"
at Gannon University's Shakespeare Summer Nights series of free
classical theater productions.
Directed by 2017 Gannon graduate Jenna Sulecki, the production
features several innovative concepts.
The aging Lear, who divides his kingdom among his three
daughters to tragic effect is played by a young man, Gannon student
Michael Haas. Lear's faithful daughter Cordelia, is played by Josh
Lapping, who also takes the role of Edmund. Lear's fool, portrayed
by Gannon student Chase Miles, is a director of sorts for the
play-within-a-play concept devised by Sulecki.
Her direction of the Shakespeare classic was informed by her
experience as an exchange student at Mary Immaculate College in
Limerick, Ireland. Sulecki was one of 22 students in the world, and
three in the United States, to be awarded a Government of Ireland
International Education Scholarship.
"I fell in love with the process of devising and adapting and
creating something fresh and inventive from nothing within an
ensemble," Sulecki said of her experience in Ireland. "When I was
asked to direct a show for Shakespeare Summer Nights, I knew I
wanted to put my devising skills to the test and take a risk and
try something new by challenging the plot of a beloved Shakespeare
classic. It was a beautiful challenge that I couldn't imagine
conquering with a better cast."
The cast is rounded out by Steve DeJohn, JJ Hodges, Abraham
Masone, Jesse Olszewski, Claire Perritano and Andrew Roseman.
One evening later, laughter followed tragedy with a production
of Shakespeare's beloved pastoral comedy of love and forgiveness,
"As You Like It."
The production is the directorial debut of by Karalyn Headley, a
senior theatre and communication arts major at Gannon. Of the
production, Headley said, "At first glance, 'As You Like It,' can
seem a bit disjointed . . . but on review, I saw that the first two
acts set up the remainder by establishing our hero's truth and
bravery and giving our heroine a reason to rebel."
Headley will take the dual roles of Adam and Martext while her
fellow Gannon students Lizzy Merski (Phebe and Amiens) and Megan
Hamm (Duke Frederick and Jacques de Boys) will join her
Gannon University adjunct professor of history Alexandra
Holbrook, takes the role of Rosalind, and Katrina Buchanan, Jasse
Camacho Vera, Steve DeJohn, Matthew Fuchs, JJ Hodges, Josh Lapping,
Ben Robson, Andrew Roseman and Ella Santillano also appear.
"King Lear" will be presented July 10, 12 and 18 at 7 p.m., and
"As You Like It" on July 11, 17 and 19 at 7 p.m. at the outdoor
amphitheater at the Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier, 1501 W. Sixth
St. Admission is free. In case of rain, performances will be held
at Gannon University's Schuster Theatre, 620 Sassafras