SRU Theatre Department presents ‘Making Melrose’
Slippery Rock University Theatre Department will premiere “Making Melrose,” its first production of the spring semester for online performances Jan. 28-30. Cast members include (top) Alawna Mallory, a sophomore acting major from Crafton; Abby Malczon, a freshman acting major from Cromwell, Connecticut; (bottom) Corban Dunn, a freshman acting major from Grove City; and Shawn Faraoni, a sophomore acting major from Pittsburgh.
Jan. 25, 2021
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — The virtual curtain will soon rise on the Slippery Rock University Theatre Department's premiere of "Making Melrose." The first production of the spring semester will stage online performances Jan. 28-30.
Directed by Aaron Galligan-Stierle, instructor of theatre, "Making Melrose" follows main protagonist Melrose and a cast of other characters as they dive deep into the world of a fictional social media platform, Glitz!, where users can become who they wish to be with only a single click.
"Making Melrose" is an original, musical-comedy piece commissioned by the Theatre Department in an effort to give its students the opportunity to participate in a musical despite not being able to perform together in person.
The production was composed by Daniel Lincoln, a New York City-based music director, pianist, orchestrator/arranger and composer; with musical direction provided by Will Shuler, music director for Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope; and lyrical and writing assistance from Omri Schein, a New York City-based actor, lyricist and playwright.
"Because of the pandemic and social distancing guidelines to adhere to, we're very restricted in the ways in which we can perform a show while keeping everyone safe," said Galligan-Stierle. "That led us to decide on the commissioning of a piece that met our needs while still being able to produce and showcase the highest quality work possible."
The production investigates human connection in an increasingly online world where people still crave personal connection. The theme is meant to parallel the virtual conditions that people currently interact in as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Because of the pandemic, a lot of people are living almost solely through their devices," said Galligan-Stierle. "With this performance, we imagined a world where the hottest social media app is taking over the globe and people are doing everything through it. But through it all, the characters yearn for actual human connection, and, just like us, they have to learn to navigate this artificial world."
Cast, artistic staff, crew and staff include:
- Michael Boone, technical director for the College of Liberal Arts.
- Valerie Bowman, costume assistant, a sophomore acting major from Connellsville.
- Corban Dunn, playing Hermes Stool, a freshman acting major from Grove City.
- Coleton Edwards, playing Moreland Mattox, a junior acting major from McKees Rocks.
- Shawn Faraoni, playing Milo Jacobson, a sophomore acting major from Pittsburgh.
- Garette Fritz, assistant stage manager, a senior theatre major from Erie.
- Kate Frontz, playing Melrose, a sophomore music performance major from Pittsburgh.
- Sophie Geitner, public relations specialist, a junior communication major from Saint Marys.
- Mary Hodson, costume coordinator for the Theatre Department.
- Rachael Holfelder, prop master, a senior theatre major from New Wilmington.
- Kiersten Hope, playing Glitz Voice, a senior theatre major from Vero Beach, Florida.
- James Katz, assistant scenic/lighting designer and recording engineer, a junior theatre major from St. Louis, Missouri.
- Alicia Kim, an ensemble member, a freshman acting major from Saint Marys.
- Gwen Lillycrop, playing Imogene Halloway, a freshman acting major from Westminster, Maryland.
- Katelyn Loss, choreographer, a junior acting major from Montoursville.
- Abby Malczon, playing Cassidy Winters, a freshman acting major from Cromwell, Connecticut.
- Alawna Mallory, playing Jaime King, a sophomore acting major from Crafton.
- Leota McDivitt, co-costume designer, a senior theatre major from Ford City.
- Rebecca Morrice, costume designer, an associate professor and chair of the Theatre Department.
- Tyler Parsonage, sound designer, a sophomore theatre major from Murrysville.
- Gordon Phetteplace, scenic/lighting designer, an associate professor of theatre.
- AJ Sansonetti, associate director, a senior theatre major from Slippery Rock.
- Liz Sherman, assistant stage manager, a junior theatre major from Cayuga, New York.
- Laura Shope, public relations specialist, a senior theatre major from Venetia.
- Leyth Smith, assistant scenic/lighting designer, a junior physics major from Wexford.
- Libby Rock, an ensemble member, a junior dual music education and music performance major from Sewickley.
- Shane Treloar, pan ensemble member, a freshman acting major from McDonald.
- Denise Vonada, production stage manager, a senior dual theatre and psychology major from Nicholson.
Tickets are $10 for non-students and $5 for SRU students and can be purchased online. A link will be sent to each purchaser the day of the event and will only be active for that day's performance.
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