Scranton Shakespeare Festival Gears up for Seventh Season

shakespeareThe Scranton Shakespeare Festival (SSF) announces its seventh season — an ambitious program featuring two Shakespeare comedies, two musicals, a new devised work, and its annual Youth Theatre Lab piece. Audiences will have the opportunity to catch all the shows in repertory during the festival’s signature last weekend, July 27 – 29.

For its seventh year, the Scranton Shakespeare Festival will present “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” June 28 through July 1, and one last time July 27. Directed by Bobby Temple, the musical will be performed at The Marketplace at Steamtown Mall, continuing the festival’s exploration of location-specific theatre, a nod to last year’s “Damn Yankees” at PNC Field.

shakesRandolph Curtis Rand returns to the festival to direct an abridged, four-person version of Shakespeare’s “Tempest,” double-billed with Brenna Geffers’ devised work “Sycorax,” specially commissioned by the festival and inspired by a character briefly mentioned in “Tempest.” “Tempest/Sycorax” will go on July 6 through July 8, and July 28 at Scranton Prep.

“As You Like It,” directed by festival newcomer Emma Rosa Went, will go up the following weekend, July 13 through July 15, as well as July 29, at Scranton Prep.

The festival’s second musical, “Footloose,” directed by Artistic Director Michael Bradshaw Flynn, will perform July 19 through July 22, and July 29, at Scranton Prep.

The Youth Theatre Lab is set to perform its original adaptation of “Hansel & Gretel” July 7, 14 and 21, at Scranton Prep.

As in previous years, the Scranton Shakespeare Festival continues to push boundaries and expand its reach, exploring a variety of relevant themes and echoing national conversations on challenging the status quo and the youth movement sweeping the country. The Scranton Shakespeare Festival is a not-for-profit, government recognized 501 (c)3 organization. Founded by a board of local community members and theatre professionals who hail from Northeastern Pennsylvania region, the Scranton Shakespeare Festival is now in its seventh season of professional theatre that is free to the public.

SSF is made possible by the generosity of local businesses and institutions, the support of grants of both state and national standing, the dedication of our talented company of actors and technicians reigning from

Northeast Pennsylvania, New York City, Philadelphia, and beyond, but most importantly through the patronage and donations of our community.

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Scranton Shakespeare Festival Ends Season with Cast Party

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Paolo Lepri, seated at left, owner of La Cucina Restaurant, Dunmore, is shown with host John Hart and members of the Scranton Shakespeare Festival at a season-ending cast party.

La Cucina donated food to the event which followed a successful SSF season that included Measure for Measure, Two Gentlemen of Verona, the musical Damn Yankees, and two one-act original plays, Cheeks and Skin of the Teeth.

Scranton Shakespeare Festival Gets Set For Sixth Season

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David Merten, left, and Jon Steiger, right, star in “Two Gentlemen of Verona.”

The Scranton Shakespeare Festival announces its sixth season —a daring lineup of single-gender casts for both Shakespeare plays and a baseball musical performed in a ballpark.

Randolph Curtis Rand is directing an all-male cast production of “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” featuring Grant Chamberlin, Derek Grabner, Conor McGuigan, Joe McGurl, David Merten, Lorenzo Pugliese, Gerome Samonte, Jon Steiger, Jonathan Strayer, and Bobby Temple.

Maura Malloy is directing a seldom attempted all-female cast version of “Measure for Measure,” featuring Jazmine Alexandria, Danielle Cohn, Jillian Geurts, Jenna Hokanson, Veronique Jeanmarie, Sarah Keyes, Donovan Lockett, Camille Reinecke, Maddison Ridley, Tamara Sevunts, Olivia Stevenson, and Constance Wookey.

Both Shakespeare shows will be performed at Scranton Prep, making a departure from their usual venue at the University of Scranton’s Royal Theater.

Artistic Director Michael Bradshaw Flynn is directing “Damn Yankees” at the PNC Field, in neighboring Moosic, a bold step up from previous years’ outdoor performances at Nay Aug Park.

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The cast of “Measure for Measure” will feature Jill Geurts, foreground, and Tamara Sevunts, at rear.

The show will feature Jazmine Alexandria, Grant Chamberlin, Danielle Cohn, Mollie Downes, Michael Gilbert, Colin Holmes, Jillian Kemmerer, Sarah Keyes, Kiley Lotz, Matt Lynady, Kylo Martin, Joe McGurl, Juliana Pillets, Lorenzo Pugliese, Timothy Quinn, Gerome Samonte, Micah Scroggins, Jacob Shrimpf, Jonathan Strayer, Logan T. Sutton, Jerica Tallo, and Bobby Temple.

The festival opened in June with two original one-acts: one-woman show “Cheeks,” from Philadelphia-based theatre-maker Lee Minora, and one-man show “Skin of the Teeth,” an award-winning play from London-based FAT CONTENT theatre company, featuring Daniel Holme, at The Olde Brick Theatre in Scranton.

This sixth edition revealed itself to be ballsy (pun intended), as well as all-American, in more ways than one; “Damn Yankees” is being performed in the New York Yankees’ affiliate stadium, the PNC Field, combining the most decidedly American of all things — baseball and musicals.

On the other hand, one might venture to say that in giving two lesser-performed Shakespearean comedies a single-gender flair, the festival is addressing the way in which gender roles are everchanging in America, and joining a heated debate on the subject.

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Show Dates:

Two Gentlemen of Verona: July 22, 8 p.m. at Scranton Prep

Measure for Measure: July 6, 7, 8, and 21 at 8 p.m. and July 9 at 3 p.m. at Scranton Prep

Damn Yankees: July 14, 15 at 7:30 p.m. and July 16, 23 at 5 p.m. at PNC Field

All performances are free. Tickets can be reserved online.