‘All Together Now’ makes global impact

Schuster Theatre students participate in MTI benefit for theater groups


Ali Smith, Arts & Leisure Editor

The Erie Playhouse participated in a global event of appreciation for local theater over the weekend with the production of the musical “All Together Now!”

This local production included performances Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.

Alaina Manchester, director of the Schuster Theatre and an assistant theatre professor at Gannon University, said that “All Together Now!” was part of a national fundraiser put on by MTI, Musical Theatre International, for local theater communities.

The production was staged so that communities could “come together after the trials and tribulations that COVID-19 had and continues to have on our theater families,” Manchester said.

According to the Erie Playhouse, the show featured performers from a wide range of local theater groups, such as All An Act, Dramashop, PACA, The Station Dinner Theatre and actors from Gannon’s Schuster Theatre.

Actresses involved in the “All Together Now!” performances from the Schuster Theatre were Grace Dibble, Breanna Womble and Lydia Nemeth.

“It was a very fun show to be involved with, especially being surrounded by theater professionals,” said Nemeth, a junior electrical engineer major.

The performance featured many numbers from world renowned musicals like “Mamma Mia!” and “Newsies.”

My personal favorite musical salute was to “Annie.”

Other musicals that were paid tribute at the show were MTI’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Godspell,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Into the Woods,” “My Fair Lady,” “Once on This Island” and “Waitress.”

The references within the production were not limited to these titles, however, and were plentiful in number and strength.

Reflecting on the production, Manchester expressed her gratitude for the community event.

“I think it was a testament to our community that so many of our theaters share the same group of performers, designers and technicians, and putting on this concert seemed like a natural fit for the Erie Theater community,” said Manchester.

“I am thankful for Kate from the Erie Playhouse for spearheading this event.”

In order to keep their local theater open, as it is an important outlet for actors and patrons of the theater, the Erie Playhouse mandated that all in attendance had to be vaccinated. For those who were not or could not be vaccinated, the playhouse required proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the performance, according to the theatre’s COVID-19 policy. Masks were also required for those 2 and older.