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    From director, Jax Vadney:

    I want to thank you all for auditioning for EVITA. Some of you are veterans to this process, but there was a nice group of new names and faces. Welcome! You each gave me a lot to consider. I appreciate you sharing your talents. Casting is never an easy thing to do, and you made it challenging! There are only so many roles to go around and this show could have been cast in numerous ways. I am very excited to work with each of you on this production.

    Thank you once again for your auditions and congratulations, 


    Che – Zak Westfall
    Eva – Allie Leng
    Peron – Michael Haas
    Magaldi – Tom Barton
    Mistress – Margaret Bahm
    Ensemble – Kassie Carlson, Chad Cloonan, Mike Fujito, Megan Hamm, Karalyn Headley, Dominic Hipple, Brandon Saraniti, Jenna Sulecki




    Fringe Fest Logo - Design by Keefer Kopco

    FRINGE FEST ERIE 2016 - Gannon University’s Schuster Theatre’s springtime fundraiser for the theatre program’s participation in the International Collegiate Theatre Festival/Edinburgh (Scotland) Festival Fringe! Now in its 6th year, the Erie Fringe Fest has grown to include local producing theatres throughout Erie (the Schuster Theatre, All An Act, Dramashop, PACA, and The Playhouse). Our local Fringe is a taste of the experience of the Edinburgh Festival – smaller cast shows, “edgy” material, and non-traditional staging. For a few weeks at the end of winter, local stages explode with bursts of creativity. Fringe Fest Erie is not like anything else the theatres normally do!  NOTE: some productions, both on campus and off-campus, may contain adult language and situations.  All on campus productions are $5 admission.  All proceeds go to support the Schuster Theatre’s participation in the International Collegiate Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland in August 2017.  For more information about Fringe Fest Erie, please contact Fringe Producer Jax Vadney at



    SIX SIGMA - Written and Directed by Michael Haas

    Performances: Feb 22 & 23 @ 8pm

    Location:  Palumbo Academic Center 3rd Floor Lounge



    For our on campus productions, see the first two shows and get into the third FREE!  All you have to do is bring your programs from THE DOG LOGS and AN APARTMENT WITH GRAYSON with you and you will be admitted to see SIX SIGMA for FREE!!!!  (Please note, there are no Fringe Fest Erie Passes being sold this season.)



    LAZARUS LAUGHED - Written by Eugene O'Neill - Directed and Choreographed by Alaina Manchester

    Performances Wed Feb 17 - Sat Feb 20 @ 8pm and Sun Feb 21 @ 2pm

    Location:  Schuster Theatre Mainstage

    Written by American master Eugene O’Neill in 1925, this “Play for Imaginative Theatre” was and is one of the playwright’s most innovative and unusual plays. While O’Neill is better known for THE ICEMAN COMETH and LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT, LAZARUS LAUGHED is a powerful exploration of the events following the raising of Lazarus from the dead by Jesus, and the lives that this extraordinary event touched. The play moves from Bethany, to Athens, to the emperor Tiberius’ palace in Rome. It invites the audience to question their own faith and the strength of conviction in the face of tyranny and doubt. Directed by Alaina Manchester. 

    PLEASE NOTE: This production will be our on-campus main stage entry into Fringe Fest Erie 2016. 

    Performances Wednesday-Saturday, February 17-20 at 8:00 pm; Sunday, February 21 at 2:00 pm. 

    Admission is $7 or Free with a current Gannon faculty, staff, or student ID.

    For more information and to reserve tickets, please contact the Schuster Theatre Box Office at 814-871-7494.


    16 Black Coffee AAA    16 NEW AllAnAct logo

    BLACK COFFEE - Written by Agatha Christie and Directed by David Mitchell

    Produced by All An Act Theatre

    Starring:  JD Mizakowski * Adele Crotty Gross * Jawn Gross * Sue Hansen * Michael Hipwell * Wayne Gardner * Joe Butoryak * Dave DiCola * Stephen Salchli * Chad Santos * Eli Coppock

    From the Mistress of Suspense!  This little known mystery will surprise and delight Christie fans.  Written in 1934, the story concerns a physicist named Sir Claude Amory, who has come up with a formula for an atom bomb.  Sir Claude is poisoned and Hercule Poirot is called to solve the case.  He does so after many wonderful twists and turns in true Christis fashion.

    Performances:  Feb 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27, and March 4 & 5 @ 7:30pm

                                  Feb 14, 21, 28, and March 6 @ 3pm

    Tickets:  $12 Adults/$10 Seniors (55+) and Students

    For more information, ticket reservations, and questions, please visit All An Act's website


     16 BOISE Dramashop   Dramashop logo

    A BRIGHT NEW BOISE - Written by Samuel D. Hunter and Directed by Zach Flock

    Produced by Dramashop

    Starring:  JR Fabin * BJ Waide * Lacey Johnson * Nick Warren * Danny Desrochers

    In the bleak, corporate break room of a craft store in Idaho, someone is summoning The Rapture. Will, who has fled his rural hometown after a scandal at his Evangelical church, comes to the Hobby Lobby, not only for employment, but also to rekindle a relationship with Alex, his brooding teenage son, whom he gave up for adoption several years ago. Alex works there along with Leroy, his adopted brother and protector, and Anna, a hapless young woman who reads bland fiction but hopes for dramatic endings. As their manager, foul-mouthed Pauline, tries ceaselessly to find order (and profit) in the chaos of small business, these lost souls of the Hobby Lobby confront an unyielding world through the beige-tinted impossibility of modern faith.

    Performances:  Feb 26 & 27, March 4, 5, 11, & 12 @ 8pm

    Tickets:  $12 online in advance, $15 at the door ($5 with student ID)

    For more information about this production, about Dramashop, and to order tickets, please visit Dramashop's website.  


    16 PACA Mrs Head   PACA Logo

    THE MISERABLE MRS. HEAD - Written by Richard Boler and Directed by Mark Tanenbaum

    Produced by PACA - Lighting Design by Digg It Dave - Scenic Design by Dan Pruyn

    Starring:  Betsy Butoryak * Cheryl Horton * John Stockhousen * Camille Jones

    This original one act comedy is written by Rick Boler, author of the comedic plays "Spooks" and "The Bad Haircut".  This world premiere of his latest work humorously portrays the interconnection and disconnection of the human animal in our attempt to find relevance in an ever evolving technological world.

    Performances:  Feb 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 & 20 @ 8pm

    Tickets:  $10/BYOB with ID

    For more information, please visit PACA's event posting on Facebook





    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 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.  
     For more information and to keep up to date, please follow us on Facebook and on Twitter.  
  • Schuster Theatre

    Phone: 814-871-7494
    Toll Free: 1-800-426-6668

    Office Location:
    Scottino Hall
    620 Sassafras. St.