Actors Circle to Present “Pygmalion”


Front row, from left: Lisa Chokola, Mark Fryer, Emma Ross, David Hunisch and Carol Davis. Standing, same order: Cathy Rist Strauch, director; Linda Chavez, Jeff Ginsberg, John McInerney, Dominick Azzarelli, Bernard M. Ott, Katie Von Bergen, Jane Foy, Maddie Giardina, Tricia Henning, David Alejandro Smith, Carol Arena, Corey Kelly, Lorrie Loughney and Amanda VanBuskirk.

Actors Circle is presenting Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw on May 2, 3, 4 and 5 at Providence Playhouse, 1256 Providence Road, Scranton.  Directred by Cathy Rist Strauch, shows are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12, general, $10 seniors, and $8

For reservations call: 570-342-9707, or email to  All reservations are held until 10 minutes before show time.  For more information, visit Actors Circle on facebook, or

Professor Henry Higgins, a linguistic expert, takes on a bet that he can transform an awkward cockney flower seller into a refined young lady simply by polishing her manners and changing the way she speaks.  One of Shaw’s best known plays, the play was also the basis for the musical version, My Fair Lady.

Members of the cast are: David Hunisch as Professor Higgins, Mark Fryer as Col. Pickering, Emma Ross as Eliza Doolittle, Dominick Azzarelli as Alfred Doolittle, Lorrie Loughney as Mrs. Pearce, Carol Davis as Mrs. Higgins, Katie Von Bergen as Mrs. Eynsford Hill, Maddie Giardina as Clara Hill, David Alejandro Smith as Freddy Hill, Jeff Ginsberg as Nepommuck. Additional cast members are: Bernard Ott, Jane Foy, Tricia Henning, Amanda VanBuskirk, Lisa Chokola, Linda Chavez, Corey Kelly, and John McInerney.  Carol Arena is costume designer.Jill Wetzel and her husband, Gerhed, will be performing as ballroom dancers for the special ballroom gala scene in this production. Others are: Don Strasburger and Kathy Venne, John McInerney and Carol Davis.


Leading actors in “Pygmalion” include, in front, Emma Ross as Eliza Doolittle. Standing: Mark Fryer as Colonel Pickering and David Hunisch as Professor Henry Higgins.

Director Cathy Rist Strauch, a native Dunmorean, has been active with Actors Circle for 32 years, serving on the board in several capacities, including president, secretary, ongoing publicist, and finance.  

She has been involved in theater for over 50 years, as well, including Anthracite Opera Company, Standing Room Only, Corner Bistro, Mount Airy Lodge, and most recently with Diva Productions in the One Acts.  

Cathy has been nominated for Northeast Pennsylvania Theatrical Alliance (NEPTA) Awards, both in acting and directing, and recently for her assistance in costuming for Auntie Mame, and set design for Actor’s Circle’s production of The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie.  

When not at Actors Circle (her second home, according to her husband) Cathy can be found working as a standardized patient for Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, where her daughter, Cecilia, is a second-year med student, or at the Tunkhannock office of the Wyoming County Press Examiner.

Mrs. Strauch’s other daughters are Janine, a nurse at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, and Allison, a sophomore business major at West Chester University. Cathy is married to Joseph Strauch, a school director for Lackawanna Trail in Factoryville.  

Cathy grew up on Clay Avenue in the Hollywood section of Dunmore.  She is on of children of the late Marion McCabe Rist, also a native of Dunmore, and the late Harold W. Rist.  Her siblings are Daniel, Sean (of Rist Construction), Maureen, and Mark. Cathy also attended the same school as her mother, St. Mary of Mt. Carmel. (now named Our Lady of Mt. Carmel).

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