Gannon University Faculty & Staff Talent Show to Benefit Students

CHESS Talent Show PosterPosted: January 17, 2014

t's an impulse that's as old as Sophocles (or at least the Little Rascals): Let's put on a show.

And when that show is a benefit for a group of Gannon University students who are traveling to Scotland this summer to, essentially, put on a show that makes this event unusually compelling.

It's the talent show put on by the College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (CHESS) on Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Schuster Theatre.

The show features the talents of CHESS faculty, staff and alumni, and while you might be able to guess some of the performers and what they will do (yes, the Rev. Shawn Clerkin will sing), others might surprise you.

Who knew, for instance, that English department professor Doug King played guitar and sang, or that the theatre department's Paula Barrett . . . well, we won't spoil that last one. It's going to be good.

And that's the point. There are so many talented CHESS pieces, past and present that it's surprising that the idea never came up until now. That it did is the result of the imagination and hard work of senior Cristen Manion, who is one of the students who will travel to Edinburgh to take part in the International Collegiate Theatre Festival (ICTF) in August.

ICTF is part of the Edinbugh Festival Fringe, thought to be the largest arts festival in the world. Taking the company of performers, faculty advisors, costumes and sets across the ocean is a huge undertaking, and students have been unusually creative in devising ways to raise funds for the venture.

"Cristen asked what we could do the first week of semester, which is normally a pretty slow time for campus events," said Jax Kubiak, the Schuster Theatre's technical director. "Cristen said, 'Students are always onstage, so what if we got faculty involved?' It was a great question."

The answer won't be fully known until Saturday evening as many of the performers are getting their acts together--literally--until the curtain goes up.

But Kubiak promises, "singing, monologues, poetry and some unexpected comedic surprises."

Tickets are $5 with all proceeds to benefit the Edinburgh trip, and only 146 remain. Tickets are available at kubiak004@gannon.edu or manion001@knights.gannon.edu.