The Curtain Falls on Gannon University’s Summer of Shakespeare at Frontier Park
Posted: July 18, 2017
The final productions of Shakespeare's "King Lear" and "As You
Like It" conclude Gannon University's Shakespeare Summer Nights
series of free classical theater stagings on July 18 and 19
respectively. The series, first conceived in 2004 by Fr. Shawn
Clerkin, interim co-director of Gannon's School of Communication
and the Arts and director of the Theater program, includes four
performances each of the two classic plays
Directed by 2017 Gannon graduate Jenna Sulecki, the production
of King Lear 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."
"As You Like It" marks 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.
The final performance of "King Lear" will be presented July 18
at 7 p.m. and the concluding performance of and "As You Like It" on
July 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 St.