Crimson Company takes a trip to Whoville with spring musical

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Poster design by Meghan McClarey (Credit: Brian and Dawn McGurl)

By Emily Fedor

The spring musical production from the Dunmore High School Crimson Company Drama Club is Seussical, a magical, musical extravaganza. The show will run March 31, April 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, and 9 at the Dunmore High School Auditorium. The curtain will rise at 7 p.m. each evening.

Tony Award winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty have lovingly brought to life all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant (Mark Nealon), The Cat in the Hat (Nico Summa), Gertrude McFuzz (Cessna Pendon), lazy Mayzie (Marisa Moraski), and a little boy with a big imagination—Jojo (Will Meade). The colorful characters transport us from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus to the invisible world of the Whos. Ultimately, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family, and community are challenged and emerge triumphant.

After seeing productions of the show themselves, Crimson Company directors Brian and Dawn McGurl both realized Seussical offers a lot of opportunity for creative expression.

“You can really put your own mark on it. It’s so imaginative, and the music is great,” said Dawn McGurl. “We just felt we could really do something fantastic at Dunmore with it.”

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For this show, the Crimson Company has partnered up with two local groups. The first is the Dunmore Elementary Center group called Pack Them with Love. The organization was founded in 2013 to provide children in the school’s free lunch program with nutritious treat bags to take home with them over the weekend.

The DHS auditorium will be a Pack Them with Love donation site for the run of the show. Additionally, one dollar from every ticket purchase made on Saturday, April 2, will be gifted to the organization. Some Crimson Company members will also trek over to the DEC to help pack up the weekend treat bags.

The drama club has also entered their second year of collaboration with Marywood University’s CMYK Club. Graphic design students submitted show poster concepts for last year’s spring musical South Pacific after Brian McGurl connected with Marywood associate professor John Meza during the recent Scranton Cultural Center production of Happy Elf.

Marywood students showed off their talents again this year with their Dr. Seuss inspired designs. All of the poster sketches submitted for Seussical will be displayed in the auditorium lobby during the show’s run, but junior Meghan McClarey’s design will be featured on the show’s posters, program covers and t-shirts.

“It’s great for Marywood students. They have a real-world project that they have to do for an actual show.” said Dawn. “And we love it, too. We’re definitely going to continue to do it.”

The Crimson Company will also be hosting their “Circus McGurkus” fundraiser from 10 a.m. until noon on Saturday, March 5 in the DHS Cafeteria. A $10 admission fee will provide fun activities and treats that the whole family can enjoy. Each attendee can also have their photo taken with the Seussical characters at the event compliments of Rich Banick Photography.

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Students ranging in years from freshmen to seniors make up this musical’s talented cast:

Kaitlin Ahern,  Allison Aronica, Alexandra Asman, Anthony Behler, Lauren Brown, Barrington Bucknor, Molly Butler, Ryan Carey, Madison Castellano, Lily Conboy, Arianna Costanzi, Tia Coyer, Gabrielle Crawford, Jack Culkin, Madison Eagen, Abby Errico, Joe Ferguson, Tabitha Getz, Luke Gratkowski, Tim Hopkins, Bobby Kersavage, Amanda Lucas, Annabella Massaro, Ariel Matticks, Lydia Meade, Will Meade, Aislinn McDonald, Tessa McDonald, Billy McDonough, Bobby McMynne, Riley McNally, Marisa Moraski, Mark Nealon, Sophia Norvilas, Cessna Pendon, Marchete Pendon, Cori Pietruszkiewicz, Mackenzie Senatore, Aleia Sileo, Emily Stedina, Nico Summa and Ian Wagner.

Dance captains are Alexandra Asman, Lauren Brown and Ashley Fischetti.  Caitlin McCafferty is the show’s production assistant in addition to co-stage manager with Melissa Schneider. Assistant stage managers are Molly Clouse and Molly Romeo.

Crew members include: Patrick Conway, Maeve King, Matt Kosak, Maddie Loftus, Nicole Marzzacco, Korral Mooney, Elizabeth Nolen, Grace Nolen and Michael Terry.

The Crimson Company directors joke that they regret picking the show because of how much work it entails to bring the world of Dr. Seuss to life, but they say the cast and crew are making the process well worth it.

“The kids, especially the leads, are just wonderful,” said Dawn. “Great voices. Great actors. It’s really going to be a great show.”

Commissioners organize holiday food drive

In the spirit of giving and sharing with others, the Lackawanna County Commissioners are organizing a system-wide food drive in order to stock local food pantries to help residents enjoy a traditional holiday season dinner with their families.

“This is a great opportunity for the County’s staff to help others.  There is great need in our community.  Many families are going through some difficult times,” said Commissioner Jim Wansacz.  “This drive will help them in a small way to enjoy the holidays and worry a little less about the issues impacting their lives.”

“This is all about taking care of others in their time of need.  It is also important that we care for our children and not let them go hungry during the holidays,” explained Commissioner Patrick M. O’Malley.  “Our employees have much to be grateful for, and we are asking them to share a little bit with others.”

“This is a difficult time of year for many as the cold and winter sets in.  This is our way of helping people get back on their feet and enjoy a holiday dinner with their families without any additional worries,” noted Commissioner Edward G. Staback.  “The drive represents a great way to share the holiday spirit with the less fortunate of our community and to grasp the true meaning of the season.”

The drive will run from now to Dec. 18 with containers being placed on the floors or vestibules of all County offices in central city, greater Scranton, Mayfield and Jessup along with the Airport, COLTS and the Visitors Bureau.  

County employees and residents are asked to bring in non-perishable canned fruits, vegetables and sauces, coffee, tea, rice, pasta, stuffing, potatoes, soup, peanut butter, condiments, cookies, crackers, or snacks to drop-off in the containers.

The bins will be checked and emptied by the County’s Buildings & Grounds Department and stored in one central location for distribution before Christmas.

Once the drive is over, the goods will be divided-up according to the food categories that were donated.  The food will then be delivered to area organizations, pantries, shelters, disaster relief agencies, emergency and food assistance spots, church groups, schools, voucher programs, soup kitchens, rescue missions, and community centers throughout the County for these operations to use or distribute to their clients.

 

Green Ridge Youngsters Team up with Fidelity to Help Fire Victims

By Steve Svetovich

These youngsters sponsored a lemonade stand in conjunction with the efforts of Fidelity Bank to help victims of a fire in Green Ridge. The kids raised $177.64 for the cause. Shown from left are: Maggie Young, Gabe DeScipio, Olivia DeScipio and Corgan Carr.

These youngsters sponsored a lemonade stand in conjunction with the efforts of Fidelity Bank to help victims of a fire in Green Ridge. The kids raised $177.64 for the cause. Shown from left are: Maggie Young, Gabe DeScipio, Olivia DeScipio and Corgan Carr.

A group of young children offered to serve free lemonade at the Green Ridge Branch of Fidelity Bank Saturday, June 27, to raise money for the victims of a fire May 16 at East Market Street, Scranton. There were seven families affected by the fire.

The children served free lemonade from from 9:30 to 11:30 a,m. and asked visitors to consider donations of money or gently used household and cleaning supplies to help victims of the May 16 fire at East Market Street by Green Ridge corners. Seven families were displaced and lost almost all their possessions. Only one of the families had renter’s insurance.

Fidelity Bank branch manager Jill Valenti worked with local business woman, Therese Brunetti, from Brunetti’s Pizza, to make the Green Ridge branch of Fidelity Bank a collection site for the seven affected families. Patty DeScipio, marketing communications officer for Fidelity Deposit and Discount Bank, was there with Valenti and Brunetti during the fund raising event.

“Jill Valenti, our branch manager, came up with the idea along with our neighbors from Brunetti’s Pizza,” said DeScipio. “Brunetti’s Pizza took up a collection and posted it on their Facebook page. They have kept people informed to drop of collections and household items at the drop off at the Fidelity Bank Green Ridge branch.

“The lemonade stand is part of an initiative program with kids at the Fidelity Bank. I handle the donations. It is being done as part of the summer initiative program for children. It is a fun way for the children to sell lemonade and help the families who were victims of this terrible fire. The fire also affected some local businesses. These families don’t even know where to start from. Everything they owned is gone. The lemonade fund raising event was a win win situation. It was a great way for the children to learn a lesson about helping others while having fun at the same time.”

“This fire affected so many families, so many people and had an impact on several Green Ridge businesses. The children did a wonderful job helping out the victims with the lemonade stands.”

If anyone else wants to help, there is a drop off box at the Green Ridge branch of Fidelity Bank.