Tour to perform ‘Antony and Cleopatra’

Just when we thought that the much loved and respected Cambridge American Stage Tour (CAST) was not going to be able to perform at Gannon University, alas, they will be here Thursday.

At 8 p.m. the Schuster Theatre will host CAST’s performance of the Shakespearean tragedy “Antony and Cleopatra.”

This will mark the 13th year that CAST will perform for the Gannon community. The performance is one night only.

Senior theater and communication arts major Allison Kessler said that having a common love of theatre and performance and being able to share many experiences is a wonderful and special time for both Gannon’s theater students and CAST.

For any person who chooses to take on the task of performing, Kessler said, and most especially on the scale that CAST has, it’s inspiring and rewarding.

“I can relate firsthand to the daily regimen that is required to put a performance together,” Kessler said.

Kessler, who recently returned from a summer stock job in Virginia at the Blue Ridge Dinner Theatre, has a connection.

“In regard to the strenuous schedule and the demands that are placed on actors,” Kessler said, “I can appreciate the long hours and the time after the performance when we share stories.”

Kessler has performed in shows at Gannon and is in the upcoming show “Lives of the Saints,” which opens Sept. 27.

There has always been a great connection between the cast and the members at Gannon, Jax Kubiak, theater communication and tech design coordinator at Gannon, said.

Kubiak said sharing the different aspects of theatre and the many diverse experiences that accompany it has been a common thread in all the past visits from the Cambridge students.

“From years past,” Kubiak said, “the students have transformed Shakespeare and all people from any background and age group are able to relate and appreciate the performances.”

Kubiak said she remembers that the many different ways that the Gannon students and CAST connect makes it truly a rewarding experience for everyone involved in this event.

Paula Barrett, an instructor of communication arts, had a different way of describing CAST.

“They are not theater majors,” Barrett said, “but they love theater.

“Taking time out of their college careers to produce and perform Shakespeare for us is wonderful. You can really feel the energy.”

She also said the creativity is obvious in the way the performances have been adapted in recent years.

Barrett said she is planning on attending the Thursday night performance of “Antony and Cleopatra.”

The play was first printed in 1623.  The plot follows the relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony.  Many consider the role of Cleopatra the most complex role in Shakespearean work.

The one-night performance is at 8 p.m. Thursday. Call the box office at 814-871-7494 for tickets. They will also be sold at the door before the performance.



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