Gannon University Announces 2014-15 Schuster Theatre Season

Posted: September 18, 2014

For a quarter century, Rev. Shawn Clerkin, has been a teacher, mentor, director, and occasionally, a colleague on the stage of Gannon University's Schuster Theatre. Such an anniversary usually calls for a toast, but instead, the Schuster Theatre will dip into the bucket for its 2014-2015 season.

To celebrate his silver anniversary year at Gannon, Clerkin chose a "bucket list" of favorite plays, or productions that he has always wanted to mount.

The first of these is "Loot," the dark mid-'60s farce by Joe Orton, whom Clerkin places in a tradition of English wit that dates back to Shakespeare. "It's naughty but not so naughty we can't enjoy it," Clerkin said. "And a good comedy is a great way to start the year."

"Striking 12," is next on the schedule, Clerkin's first holiday show in a long time. "Striking 12," is a contemporary take on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Match Girl" created by the New York- based theatrical power-pop trio GrooveLily. It's an alternative holiday play that incorporates pop, rock and jazz influences.

According to Clerkin, he first listened to the original cast recording on a drive back fro Erie and was so moved by the "incredible music, lush harmonies, hysterical lyrics and moving seasonal tale that I had to pull over twice because I couldn't see the road, first from laughter and then from tears," he said. "I love this musical and am happy to be the first to bring it to Erie."

Clerkin was among the 10 Gannon University students and three faculty members who presented a play, "Whimsical Grimm," at the International Collegiate Theatre Festival, which runs concurrently and in coordination with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The festival in Scotland's capital city is the largest arts festival in the world, and in its spirit of inquiry and exploration, Gannon University's theatre department presents its own Fringe Festival of theater every year.

This year's edition will take place in February and several local companies will participate, including PACA, Dramashop and All An Act. Like its counterpart in Scotland, the performances in Gannon's Fringe Festival will take place in various venues in the city of Erie, including the Schuster Theatre.

George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion" will end the Schuster Theatre's season. "It has great characters, and asks pointed questions about what keeps us in our economic states. Those questions have not changed, and might be more urgent now," Clerkin says, adding "but it's also Shaw, with great comedy, but also a sense of social justice. ' Pygmalion' is a play for the ages. I can't think of no better end to my 'bucket list' season."

 


Production                                           Date(s)                                   Time

Loot                                                    Oct. 2-4                                  8 p.m.

                                                                 Oct. 9-11                                8 p.m.

                                                                 Oct. 12                                   2 p.m.


Striking 12                                         Dec. 4-6                                 8 p.m.

                                                                Dec. 11-13                              8 p.m.

                                                                Dec. 7                                     2 p.m.

 

Fringe Festival                            Feb. 1-24                                various times

 

Pygmalion                                     April 23-25                            8 p.m.

                                                               April 30 - May 2                   8 p.m.

                                                               May 3                                      2 p.m.