‘Striking 12’ warms hearts

New Year’s Eve is one of the most exciting holidays of the year – unless you’re one of the main characters in “Striking 12,” the musical being presented by the Schuster Theater over the next two weekends.
In the show, “The Man Who’s Had Enough” has reached the end of his temper with the holidays and just wants everyone to leave him alone. So, naturally, nobody does.
He is then referred to read “The Little Match Girl,” as a way of getting back into the holiday spirit and it works. At the end of the story, in which a little girl spends her New Year’s Eve trying to survive the cold, he realizes just how important it is to reach out to those around you, especially during the holiday season when people can and will return the favor.
“Striking 12,” opens Thursday at the Schuster Theatre, and the whole cast is excited. Kayla Scully, a senior occupational therapy major is especially thrilled to be a part of the production.
“The show is a quirky, fun and moving show about ‘What you’re gonna do on New Year’s Eve,’” Scully said. “The show challenges the audience members to ask themselves the same question: Will you stay inside and become a grump during the holidays, or will you go out and make a difference in this world?”
The answer, in terms of Scully’s character, is to go out and have a good time, as everyone is supposed to.
Scully said she has taken a liking to her character after all the preparation she has put into the show.
“I find my character of ‘Space-Invading Girl’ so much fun to play,” Scully said. “I keep my intensity up by doing something new every time we perform. This way, the audience should have something new to laugh at every night.”
The audience will have plenty to marvel at aside from the individual characters.
Tying in choreography, music and sound effects performed live by Zach Hyman, the show has a lot of elements that will keep audiences engaged in the production.
Even when there is a group scene, there is an additional story being performed in the background.
However, the cast knows that the focus should stay front and center.
Scully said when there is movement occurring on the stage while other characters are talking, the cast members try their best to be discrete while moving to their place.
“We do this by moving quietly – no elephant feet – and by keeping our own focus on the characters talking,” Scully said. “This way, if an audience member looks at us, their attention will be drawn to where the cast is looking at, which should be the main characters talking.”
The show performs at 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday and 8 p.m. on Dec. 11-13.
For more information, visit the Schuster Theatre website at http://www.gannon.edu/Visitors-and-Community/Area-Attractions/Schuster-Theatre/ or call the box office at 814- 871-7494. Tickets are free for Gannon students and $7 for regular admission.

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