Marywood University’s to present Our Town

Marywood University’s department of music, theatre, and dance will present “Our Town” by American playwright Thornton Wilder. The show will be guest-directed by Maura Malloy and performed at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2 and Saturday, Oct. 3 in Marywood’s Sette LaVerghetta Center for Performing Arts.

Admission is $10 per person. Special admissions prices include: $8 for seniors, $6 for students and free admission for IHM Sisters and those with a valid Marywood ID.


Dana Jackson of Dunmore, Kenneth Doyle of Oceanside, New York and Jade Litaker of Andes, New York, will perform as Emily Webb, George Gibbs and Mrs. Soames, respectively, in Marywood University’s production of “Our Town.” Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on October 2 and 3 in the Sette LaVerghetta Center for Performing Arts.

Dana Jackson of Dunmore, Kenneth Doyle of Oceanside, New York and Jade Litaker of Andes, New York, will perform as Emily Webb, George Gibbs and Mrs. Soames, respectively, in Marywood University’s production of “Our Town.” Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on October 2 and 3 in the Sette LaVerghetta Center for Performing Arts.

Over the course of three acts, “Our Town” explores the lives of the citizens of a small fictional American town, called Grover’s Corners, at the turn of the last century. The play is divided into three aspects of the human experience: Daily Life, Love and Marriage, and Death and Dying. Wilder spoke of his play as, “the life of a village against the life of the stars.” He was awarded the 1938 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The cast includes: David Zarko as Stage Manager; Travis Murray as Dr. Gibbs; Phoenix Sixto as Joe Crowell, Jr.; Markis Blackwell as Howie Newsome; Ashley Bohn as Mrs. Gibbs; Sarah Wagner as Mrs. Webb; Kenneth Doyle as George Gibbs; Amanda Merrill as Rebecca Gibbs; Max Snyder as Wally Webb; Dana Jackson as Emily Webb; James Langan as Professor Willard; Nick Grevera as Mr. Webb; Tiffany Atkins; Alexa Creavy and Matthew Murphy as various town folks; Darren Cementina as Simon Stimson; Jade Litaker as Mrs. Soames; James Malloy as Constable Warren; Rebecca Darling as Samantha Craig, Chris Norton as Joe Stoddard, Taylor Patullo as Wedding Soloist, and Patrick Hein as the Fiddler.

The production team for the play includes: Maura Malloy, director; Chuck Gorden, theatre program director/producer; Robert Lozada, lighting design; Judy Snyder, production manager and scenic designer; Mary Ann Swords-Greene, costume design; Patrick Toomey, technical director and sound design; Amanda Hirschler, assistant director; Kristin Stewart, stage manager; Markis Blackwell, assistant stage manager; Jessica Lochie, wardrobe supervisor; Tiffany Atkins, wardrobe assistant; Amanda Hirschler, lighting technician; Kenneth Doyle, lighting assistant; Erin Wagner, sound technician; Samuel Mitschele-Dauenhauer, properties master; Jade Litaker, properties assistant; Delaney Malloy, wrangler; Katherine Bischak, and Tatiana Tell, house managers; Rebecca Darling and Dana Jackson, box office; Kristin Stewart, Darren Cementina, Markis Blackwell, Amanda Hirschler, Nick Grevera, and Kenneth Doyle, lighting crew.

Ticket purchases with a credit card, can be made by calling Marywood University’s Box Office at (570) 348-6211, extension 6097.  To purchase tickets at the performance, cash or check payments (made payable to Marywood University) will be accepted. Credit card payments will not be accepted at the door.

Money Matters: 10 Open Enrollment Mistakes to Avoid

By Nathaniel Sillin

How much time do you spend reviewing your benefits before open enrollment each year?

If your answer is “not much,” you’re not alone. A recent survey by insurer Aflac says that 90 percent of Americans choose the same benefits year after year and that 42 percent forego up to $750 annually by making poor choices.

Rushing through annual benefits updates or making such uninformed decisions in insurance, retirement or other workplace-based benefits are actually part of a bigger story. Open enrollment is just one part of an overall financial plan: Unfortunately, too many employees see it as the only financial planning they have to do all year.

In reality, a safe financial future depends mostly on the savings, investing and spending decisions you make outside the workplace. As many employers are looking to shrink or discontinue the retirement and health benefits they offer, it’s time to take a fresh look at open enrollment.

Here are 10 benefits mistakes you might want to avoid:

  1. Not having an overall financial plan. Your company may offer excellent benefits now. However, a 2013 study published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that average worker tenure at U.S. companies is only 4.6 years. So the biggest open enrollment mistake might be assuming your current benefits assure your financial future. It’s important to work alone or with qualified advisors to determine the right work-based benefits as part of overall spending, savings and investment activities throughout your lifetime.
  2. Making choices at the last minute. Your benefits are important and deserve time for consideration. Put your open enrollment dates on your personal calendar with a reminder a few weeks ahead of time to coordinate with qualified advisors if you have them.
  3. Forgetting to coordinate with your spouse or partner. Many employers are planning big changes to spouse/partner benefits. While the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) lets parents keep children on their health plans until they turn 26, more employers are instituting “spousal surcharges” or excluding spousal coverage altogether if they already have access to employer health insurance.
  4. Ignoring your state’s Health Insurance Marketplace. Even if you have employer health insurance, things change. If you lose a job or cannot stay on your spouse or partner’s health plan, it might be worthwhile to familiarize yourself with your state’s ACA-mandated health insurance marketplace ahead of time.
  5. Underestimating how big life events might affect your benefits. Salary changes, marriage, divorce, serious illness or starting a family are big signals to check your benefits, preferably well in advance of open enrollment. Think through every potential situation you might face and ask questions about how those changes might affect your benefit selections.
  6. Passing on flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs). FSAs are workplace-based accounts that allow you to set aside money on a pre-tax basis to help you pay for healthcare and dependent care expenses during the calendar year. HSAs, if you qualify, also allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars in a qualified investment or savings account for long-and-short term medical expenses not covered by insurance. They don’t require you to spend out those funds every year. Your workplace benefits counselor, qualified financial advisor and Internal Revenue Service Publication 969 can assist with eligibility, types of accounts, contribution limits and tax issues associated with these choices.
  7. Leaving retirement selections unchanged. As the Aflac data indicates, many individuals don’t change their investment focus in self-directed retirement plans for years. That’s why reviewing options in advance is essential.
  8. Overlooking wellness options. Many employers pay for exercise, cholesterol screenings, weight loss, smoking cessation, immunizations or related benefits that can make you healthier, save money and possibly lower health premiums.
  9. Bypassing transportation breaks. If you drive or take public or company-sponsored transportation to and from work, you may qualify for specific discounts or tax deductions. IRS Publication 15-B covers these programs and how to use them most effectively.
  10. Forgetting education benefits. If an employer is willing to train you to advance in your career, don’t pass it up. However, get advice on the possibility of tax liability for these benefits. Separately, check out employer-sponsored education grant or scholarship awards for you or your kidsthat can be free money.

Bottom line: Open enrollment is just one piece of a well-organized financial puzzle. Make sure your employer provided benefits choices compliment savings, investing and spending decisions you’re making on your own.

Nathaniel Sillin directs Visa’s financial education programs.
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Tim Ruddy Reflects on Life After the NFL

By Patrick Schuster

*Originally published on Football Dialogue.*

(Credit: Football Dialogue)

(Credit: Patrick Schuster, Football Dialogue)

As the leaves slowly start to change in northeastern Pennsylvania, you can listen close on most Friday nights and hear the cheers from local high school football stadiums across the county as students, parents and alumni all gather to root for this year’s teams.   One former local football star is my former Dunmore High School classmate and good friend Tim Ruddy, who took what he learned from his parents, family, and teachers to the professional level in the National Football League.

Recently, I had the chance to check in on Tim and see how life has been treating him since his days with the Miami Dolphins ended in 2003.


Patrick Schuster: Since the NFL fans last saw you on a field, what have you been up to?

Tim Ruddy: Currently, I am the CEO of Vista International Technologies, Inc., a small renewable energy company specializing in tire recycling and gasification.

PS: What has been the biggest adjustment since your career ended?

TR: If I get mad at someone, I can’t hit them, or I will go to jailor worse, be shamed in social media.

PS: What is your fondest memory from your days in college or the NFL?

TR: Tough to pick just one. A lot of the playoff and bowl victories were special. When Notre Dame won the Cotton Bowl in 1994, it was particularly special because we thought we had a shot at the national championship. Instead, it went to Florida State, whom we had beaten head to head a few weeks earlier. I think that scenario was one of the “final straws” that made the NCAA move to the BCS [Bowl Championship Series] system.

Lou Holtz with the captains of his 11-1 Notre Dame team in 1993: Jeff Burris (9), Bryant Young (97), Aaron Taylor (75) and Tim Ruddy (61). (Credit:

Lou Holtz with the captains of his 11-1 Notre Dame team in 1993: Jeff Burris (9), Bryant Young (97), Aaron Taylor (75) and Tim Ruddy (61). (Credit:

PS: Have you had the chance to go back to Notre Dame to see a game?

TR: I went back for the spring game once, but not a regular season game.

PS: What are your thoughts on players like Patrick Willis, Chris Borland, Jake Locker and Jason Worlids walking away from the NFL?

TR: To each his own. Everything has risks, football included. You have to make a decision as far as risk versus reward. I believe that some players are much more susceptible to brain injury than others, just as people have different bone structure, muscle density… However, it would seem to me that the time to quit would have been when you were in high school. By the time you get to the NFL, a lot of the damage is already done. In addition, with the lack of two a day practices and the NFL coming down on vicious hits, the NFL is “safer” now than it’s been in years. I don’t think all the science is in yet, either.

PS: As a player who always excelled in the classroom as well as the football field, how were you able to balance school work with your football life during your playing days?

TR: No real secrets. It was a lot of hard work and dedication to both areas, but obviously it can be done. I give a lot of credit to my parents and siblingsand the coaches and teachers I had along the way.

PS: Take me back to your draft day. What is the one memory you have of that day, and what advice would you give any players waiting for that call this spring?

TR: I actually had an engineering project due the next day, so I was working from my dorm room. I didn’t get drafted until almost midnight on the first night, so there was considerable time to wait. As far as advice to a potential draft pick, at that point all the data is in, and the teams have made up their mind on who they like, right or wrong. It’s important to be grateful to be in that position and to enjoy the process.

PS: From the outside now, what would you say has been the biggest change in the NFL since your career ended?

TR: The league has been hollowed out considerably, with teams having a few (10-15) stars, and then trying to fill in the remaining roster spots with lesser, often subpar players, to get under the cap. This started when I was in the league but has gotten worse since I left. Because of this, protecting those “stars” has become priority number one, hence the series of rule changes making most vicious hits illegal.

PS: Knowing you as well I do, I am betting the answer is no, but have you joined the social media world?

TR: No, I don’t do social media. I don’t have the time, and I’m not all that “social” to begin with.

Tim Ruddy (61). (Credit:

Tim Ruddy (61). (Credit:

PS: Some former teammates have gotten into broadcasting and coaching. Do you have any thoughts of entering either of those worlds?

TR: Not really, I like coaching kids and helping them learn. As far as broadcasting, I definitely have a face for radio, so that limits my prospects in broadcasting. Although I guess that hasn’t stopped Willie McGinest. (Just kidding there.)

PS: Best advice you ever received during your playing days?

TR: Find a good fight, and get in it.

PS: You were known for your being a workout guy, especially weight lifting. Still hitting the gym and showing the younger guys how it’s done?

TR: I try, but at this point in life, the years are not my friends.


Tim played college at the University of Notre Dame, and his entire NFL career with the Miami Dolphins, but was not satisfied with just sitting around feeling like life was over just because his football days were done. Tim is a prime example of the countless players who have moved on after years in the league to become valued contributing members of society.

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