Schuster Theatre

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     Shakespeare Summer Nights Auditions

     Monday May 23 and Tuesday May 24 at 6pm

     Performances will be July 11-13 and 18-20 at Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park.

     Jess Flock will be directing Hamlet.  

     Alaina Manchester will be directing Lee Blessing’s Fortinbras From director Alaina Manchester, "A modern dark comedy, Fortinbras begins moments after the climactic bloody sword fight of Shakespeare's Hamlet.  We follow Fortinbras as he assumes the role of king and attempts to expunge Denmark of all things rotten.  His journey includes  dealing with suspicious loyalists who want him ousted, confused Polish maidens who want him married, and temperamental ghosts who just want him." 

     Prepared monologues are welcome but not required.  Cold readings will be provided. 

     For more information, please contact Alaina Manchester at  alaina.manchester@gmail.com.

     


     BRAVO! 

    16 evita 

     Thank you to everyone who came to see EVITA.  If you missed the show you can read the review on GoErie.com.

      1 evita principals 

      16 evita Death 

    Photos courtesy of Rick Klein Photography.

     


    2016 GTX 


    ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: ALAINA MANCHESTER 

    Alaina Manchester is a visiting professor of theatre in Gannon University’s School of Communication and the Arts. Alaina graduated from Gannon University with her BA in Theatre and Communication Arts and she earned her MFA in Acting from the University of Florida. She earned her Actors Equity Membership Candidacy Card by performing at the Hippodrome State Theatre in Gainesville Florida in "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" (Hermia) and "A Christmas Carol" (Mrs. Fezzywig). Her directing credits include "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" for Gannon University Shakespeare Summer Nights, "Melancholy Play" for Gannon University, "All The King’s Women" for The Erie Playhouse, and "Dorian Grey" and "Seminar" for Dramashop. She has also performed internationally in Germany, Czech Republic, and Greece with UF’s International Theatre Program: "A Streetcar Named Desire" (Eunice), "Romeo and Juliet" (Nurse), and "Oedipus" (Servant).

     
     

    ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: NICOLE LOSSIE

     

    Nicole Lossie is the Enrollment Communications Coordinator for Gannon University. Nicole graduated from Gannon University with her BA in Theatre and Communication Arts in 2011.  After graduating from the School of Communication and the Arts, Nicole accepted a position with Cumulus Media in Erie.  She worked with Cumulus Media as a Promotions Assistant and On-Air Talent.  Prior to working at Cumulus, Nicole was a Promotions Assistant and Board Operator for Citadel Broadcasting.  During her time at Gannon, Nicole was the Editor-in-Chief for Edge Magazine, Programming Intern for KDKA in Pittsburgh, and On-Air DJ/New Media Director for Gannon's 90.5fm WERG.  

     

    ALUMNI PROFILE:  NICOLE GERENYI - Theatre (Class of 2003)

     Nicole G Headshot

     SCHUSTER THEATRE:  What was your major at Gannon (if not Theatre) and when did you graduate?

     NICOLE:  I graduated from Gannon in 2003 with a Theatre major and minors in Psychology and Advertising.  I returned in 2003-04 to get my secondary teaching certification in English and Communications (to teach Theatre).

     

     SCHUSTER THEATRE:  What made you choose Gannon and studying Theatre at Gannon versus going somewhere else?

     NICOLE:  I didn’t know I was going to study theatre when I got to Gannon.  I was signed up as “Elementary Education”, but this was mostly because I was undecided and my mother said this would be a good fit.  In high school, I danced pretty heavily and did the musicals at my school because it was another way to dance. I always LOVED being on stage, or taking charge of the skits and such we did in class for projects (in all grades), but I didn’t understand that theatre was my passion until I got to Gannon. As a freshman, I missed shows, and I went to the registrar and asked about the communications and theatre program. They sent me to see M.C., but she was out for the day, so I met Shawn Clerkin instead. That day changed my life, and I have never turned back since. Shawn took the time to show me the space, introduce me to the work studies who were in that day, and sat down to talk about why I wanted to change my major for sophomore year. He got to know me, and I know I wouldn’t have had that time and attention if it were a larger, and more commercialized, school.

     
    SCHUSTER THEATRE: What are some of your most valued lessons you learned from studying or being involved in the theatre at Gannon?
      

     NICOLE:  I learned so many things through my time at Gannon. I learned how to be in an ensemble, both play and musical, through shows like Hair, The Laramie Project, and The Other Shore. I learned how to move on from the loss of a roommate from the support of a department that loved her too (Jenine Mineo), and continue performing like a professional no matter what the outside circumstances are in Much Ado About Nothing. I learned how to do practical things, like build a flat and apply corrective stage makeup, but I also learned how to direct, be a leader, be a follower, be a friend, support and celebrate the arts, read and analyze a play. I learned how to be an adult, and a risk-taker being who lived life.  

     

     
    SCHUSTER THEATRE:  What show did you do here that stands out to you the most and why?

     NICOLE:  I think I grew the most in The Laramie Project and Blood Brothers. I had great experiences in those shows, that stretched me as an actor - and the directors had enough faith in me to cast me in meaty roles. Shawn cast me as Linda, in Blood Brothers, and it provided me the opportunity to work in a unique stage space (which inspired me just this year to stage The Importance of Being Earnest in an alleyway stage too), and go in depth with a character study. In Laramie, Paula pushed me as an actor and demanded more of me. I had to have unique physicalities and vocal qualities, and not rely on costume to get me by. Playing Reggie (the cop) was scary and exciting all at the same time - and isn’t that theatre in a nutshell?

     
    SCHUSTER THEATRE:  How would you describe your time at Gannon, in particularly your involvement in the theatre?

     NICOLE:  I want to go back and do it again. I met some of the most amazing human beings, who are still a part of my everyday life today. I grew as a person, learned to love learning, and contribute to a program I loved. I got directing opportunities at the age of 19, through Alpha Psi Omega, and the community of theatre around Gannon, who encouraged artists (The former Director’s Circle Theatre group, led by Michael).

     
    SCHUSTER THEATRE:  How did the faculty and staff of the Theatre program support and guide you through your education and onward to your career?

     NICOLE:They got me connected with other local theatres to help continue supporting my passions, let me assist with choreography and direction as a student, and always pushed me to do better. I teach, direct, choreograph, and lead because my professors modeled what it looks like to do those things.

     

     SCHUSTER THEATRE:  What have you been up to since you graduated?

     NICOLE:  I have my Masters in Theatre from Villanova University.  I am a tenured teacher in Pa, in Communications and English. I have taught 9 - 12 graders for 9 years in various English classes, dance classes, Theatre I, Honors Theatre II, Musical Theatre, Speech and Debate, and Creative Writing.  I direct and choreograph 3 shows a year at my thriving Theatre Department. I directed and produced a show at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival.  

     

     
    SCHUSTER THEATRE:  If you could speak directly to high school students looking at Gannon as a possibility, what would you tell them about why they should choose to study Theatre at Gannon?

     NICOLE:  If you are looking for a program that will take the time to find out what you want and need as an artist, push you to know ALL parts of theatre and not just performance, help you grow from teen to adult, and care - go to Gannon. I needed a smaller school because I needed accountability, the personal connections to my education and craft, and to grow my confidence and independence.

     



     

    ALUMNI PROFILE:  NICHOLAS ATTANASIO - Theatre (Class of 2003)

      16 Nick A

     SCHUSTER:  What was your major at Gannon and when did you graduate? 

     NICK:  My major was theatre and I graduated in 2003.

      

     SCHUSTER:  What made you choose Gannon and studying Theatre at Gannon versus going somewhere else?

     NICK:  The environment. When I came to visit I felt wanted. There was less concern about my talent and more emphasis on getting to know me as a person.

      

     SCHUSTER:  What are some of your most valued lessons you learned from studying or being involved in the theatre at Gannon? NICK:  Freedom to explore the characters you play in shows...which in turn makes you more responsible.

      

     SCHUSTER:  What show did you do here that stands out to you the most and why?

     NICK:  Blood Brothers. First, it was highly received and such a great piece. With the cast, Shawn Clerkin's direction...and the part itself being a challenge it's one of, if not my favorite show I've done. If I could go back in time and do it again? I would in a heartbeat.

      

     SCHUSTER:  How would you describe your time at Gannon, in particularly your involvement in the theatre?

     NICK:  I was only here for my Junior and Senior years. Before I came to Gannon I went to a strict theatre school that made me lose the passion for performing. Coming to Gannon I got that passion back again. It also opened the door for me to direct and write...which is now what I do the most.

      

     SCHUSTER:  How did the faculty and staff of the Theatre program support and guide you through your education and onward to your career? And what have you been up to since you graduated?

     NICK:  Gannon had some of the best staff and faculty around. If I ever had a question or concern, or if I just wanted to talk...their doors were always open. After I graduated, I still stayed in touch with most if not all my professors. Since I graduated, I went on to earn my Masters in Education. I currently work at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY. Theatre-wise..I went on to perform professionally for many, many years. I also ran the theatre program at Farmingdale State College. Directed over 50 shows and wrote two Off-Broadway Plays. I've openly admitted that it would be a dream of mine to come back and work for Gannon. Will that happen? We'll see.

      

     SCHUSTER:  If you could speak directly to high school students looking at Gannon as a possibility, what would you tell them about why they should choose to study Theatre at Gannon?

     NICK:  Gannon Theatre gives you the freedom to explore. Some theater programs are very "cookie cutter" and want you to act or perform a certain way. Personally, I feel the only way to grow was an actor, director, writer is to have that freedom to explore, make choices with strong guidance from your professors.

     


     

     

    ALUMNI PROFILE:  KATHLEEN CAHILL - Theatre/Communication Arts (Class of 2011) 

      Kathleen Cahill
     Schuster Theatre:  What was your major at Gannon (if not Theatre) and when did you graduate?

    Kathleen:  Theatre/Communication Arts ---2011 

     

     
    Schuster Theatre:  What made you choose Gannon and studying Theatre at Gannon versus going somewhere else?

    Kathleen:  I actually came to Gannon for nursing and auditioned for "The Bald Soprano", directed by AJ Miceli, just for fun. I grew to realize that while nursing was great, my love for theatre, the arts and media drove me to change my major.  

     

     
    Schuster Theatre:  What are some of your most valued lessons you learned from studying or being involved in the theatre at Gannon?

    Kathleen:  I will never forget the day that Fr. Shawn Clerkin called me on my cell because I had overslept and was late for his class.  He told me I better get to class. Afterwards, he pulled me aside and, while my oversleeping was not intentional, he explained to me how unprofessional it was and that I needed to be more careful of how I presented myself.  I have used the words from my professors to hold myself to a higher standard of professionalism and to keep myself accountable for my work responsibilities, choices and duties. 

     

     
    Schuster Theatre:  What show did you do here that stands out to you the most and why?

    Kathleen:  My sophomore year, I was cast as an understudy/Gingy the dancing gingerbread man in "A Tuna Christmas", directed by Jax Vadney. I was told I would get to perform in one show as the multiple characters I was understudying for, but the rest of the performance, I was donning tap shoes and a terrifying gingerbread man mascot costume that I couldn’t see out of. I had my shot at the performance I understudied for with only one rehearsal under my belt. This show made me realize that no matter what the circumstances, I can do anything I put my mind and heart to.  

     

     
    Schuster Theatre:  How would you describe your time at Gannon, in particularly your involvement in the theatre?

    Kathleen:  The Schuster Theatre gave me more memories in four very short years than the rest of my life. The friendships I formed here are long-lasting and have given me more joy than I could’ve imagined. I learned lessons that can apply in everyday life, not just stage life.  

     
    Schuster Theatre:  How did the faculty and staff of the Theatre program support and guide you through your education and onward to your career?

    Kathleen:  The faculty and staff knew I had a passion for performing arts. They loved that about their students. They took it a step further for us, though and made sure that while I was a performer, I was also learning to be a writer, producer, director, communicator, and speaker. They made me a well-rounded performer and made sure I had the skills to survive in this dog-eat-dog world of communication arts. 

     

     

     Schuster Theatre:  What have you been up to since you graduated?

    Kathleen:  After I graduated, I served two years as an AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) at a local non-profit agency working with children and youth. After my two years, the agency I volunteered at offered me a Marketing, Communications and Community Outreach Coordinator position. Currently, I am working as the Assistant Director of Service-Learning right here at Gannon University!  

     

     
    Schuster Theatre:  If you could speak directly to high school students looking at Gannon as a possibility, what would you tell them about why they should choose to study Theatre at Gannon?

    Kathleen:  What I loved about studying theatre at Gannon is that you have more stage time than anywhere else you could go to.  Sure, going to New York is every theatre kid’s dream, but be prepared to sit on the sidelines while the seniors show you how performing is done.  The hands-on experience I received on Gannon’s Schuster Theatre stage was more beneficial because I had four complete years to find myself as an actor and hone in on my skills.  The professors engaged me my entire four years. They also knew who I was as a person, outside of the classroom and helped me along the way to graduation.  

     
    Thank you Kathleen for taking the time to tell us about your experience studying Theatre at Gannon University.  
     
     
     
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  • Schuster Theatre

    Phone: 814-871-7494
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    Email: clerkin@gannon.edu