Still On Book
Fall theater season picks up steam in late September
Unlike the southwest desert or the pacific northwest regions, northeastern Pennsylvania fits so neatly into the traditional four seasons that even adults well beyond formal schooling keep rhythm with the back to school schedule. The result is a programming void in the late summer as regional theaters — no matter how they’ve spent their summers — seem to take a simultaneous deep breath before heading into pre-production on shows that will inevitably run over the same couple of weekends.
School’s barely begun but our local colleges and universities are already begun casting this fall’s plays. The University of Scranton Players wraps auditions for the Craig Lucas play Prelude to a Kiss on Thursday at McDade Center for Literary and Performing Arts. Bob E. Gasper is directing the show scheduled to run Sept. 28 through October 7.
Other Players programs this fall include Nov. 9-18 run of Recent Tragic Events by Craig Wright under the direction of Sheila Stasack, and a student directed presentation of the yet to be written The 24 Hr. Musical! on Dec. 8. King’s College Theatre also held auditions last week for Little Shop of Horrors. The show runs Oct. 4-19. Farther south, Pocono Shakes auditioned this past weekend for its production of Much Ado About Nothing running Oct. 26 through Nov. 3 at a location TBA.
Holding us over until late September are Theatre at the Grove’s My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra opening Sept. 7 and a couple of particularly intriguing shows at the North American Cultural Laboratory (NACL) Theatre in Highland Lake, NY. (a little over an hour North of Scranton). This Sunday, NACL’s own Tannis Kowalchuk and Brett Keyser will present a work-in-progress performance of their new multimedia play STRUCK, inspired in part by Kowalchuk’s own stroke and subsequent recovery. Next weekend, the theater will welcome NYC-based company The Margolis Brown Adaptors who will present two performances of Pulling Strings, a visceral human puppet theatre built on iconographic storybook imagery. See our calendar listings for more information.
Later this month Actors Circle will present the John van Druden romantic comedy Bell, Book & Candle at Providence Playhouse Sept. 20-30 under the direction of David Hunisch. Also running from Sept. 20-30 in North Scranton at The Olde Brick Theatre is The Jason Miller Playwrights’ Project second annual invitational. Dyonisia ‘12: Apocalypse features two alternating programs of six new plays each, all written this summer by writers residing in The 570. The Music Box Players opens its run of The Great American Trailer Park Musical on Sept. 21. The company first presented the “white trash” musical comedy back in April 2010. It follows in October with a copyright fearless piece titled The TV Guide Musical, conceived by the company’s own Dana Feigenblatt and featuring dozens of familiar TV theme songs.
Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble’s 35th anniversary season opens Oct. 4 with a three weekend run of Ken Ludwig’s Moon Over Buffalo followed up a four-program Christmas season that includes Dickens’ A Christmas Carol as well as another encore of the David Sedaris-penned The Santaland Diaries. Other shows already on the radar are Pennsylvania Theatre for the Performing Arts new production of the musical Cabaret under the direction of John Schugard on Oct. 19 and Applause Theatre Company’s The Wizard of Oz opening Nov. 9. Broadway Theatre League of NEPA won’t open its 2012-2013 season until the Nov. 2-4 run of West Side Story. Keep reading electric city/diamond city for more on these shows and others yet to be announced.