By JORDAN SEROKA
Drama is coming to Gannon in a big way. Sept. 28 is the opening day of the musical “Heathers,” an off-Broadway production about an Ohio high school ruled by a clique of beautiful, cruel, scrunchie-wearing girls named Heather, Heather and Heather.
Their reign and very lives are threatened by a newcomer to the group named Valerie, whose unstable boyfriend is out for blood.
Despite the macabre nature of the production, it is also a comedy that deals with issues such as teen suicide, murder, bullying, homophobia and gun violence.
“Heathers” is directed and choreographed by a 2017 Gannon alumna, Jenna Sulecki, and features well-known songs from the production, such as “Candy Store.”
Beth Kropf, a freshmen biology and psychology major, is a member of the ensemble.
“It’s been a whirlwind of many new things at once, especially since we only really have one month to build the show from top to bottom,” she said. “It’s been very special to grow close to the people in the cast who love the same things I do. I’m very excited to unveil our show in a couple weeks.”
The show has performances from the end of September to the first week of October.
After “Heathers” closes, auditions for “A Doll’s House” begin.
The play, directed by Alaina Manchester, highlights a housewife with a complete dependence on her husband.
When the wife forges her husband’s signature to pay a debt, he retaliates back at her with anger, and she finds that he is not the man she thought she knew.
Though husband and wife, they are also strangers, and in one of the most scandalous climaxes in all of nineteenth-century drama, a “good housewife” leaves her husband and children, determined to forge a new identity from the one she has always known.
Performances of “A Doll’s House” begin Nov. 30.
Another show coming to Gannon is “Placebo,” a play by Melissa James Gibson and directed by the Rev. Shawn Clerkin, which opens Valentine’s Day.
This play highlights the blurry lines between perception and deception, as a researcher runs a placebo-controlled study of a new female arousal drug and finds the same questions pertain more and more to her life at home.
Finally, with performances beginning April 19 at the Schuster Theatre, the play “One Man, Two Guvnors” concludes the spring semester.
The show is directed by Manchester and is based on the classic 1743 Italian comedy “The Servant of Two Masters,” by Carlo Goldoni.
The show, which commonly uses audience members and breaks the fourth wall, is about a failed skiffle player, Francis, who finds himself working for two guvnors.
One guvnor, Rachel Crabbe, is disguised as her dead gang member twin, and, the other, a pompous man from wealth named Stanley Stubbers, not only killed Rachel’s brother but is also her secret lover.
Neither boss is aware the other is in the English city of Brighton, as Francis bounces between them while simultaneously trying to hide the fact he works for the other.
For more information about this seasons productions at the Schuster Theatre, visit www.gannon.edu/Visitors-and-Community/Area-Attractions/Schuster-Theatre/.