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The February Bard Bulletin

BIG NEWS! Scranton’s own Lorenzo Pugliese is returning to his hometown the first

weekend of March portraying Sonny Bono in “The Cher Show.” A 2015 graduate of

Scranton High School, Lorenzo credits many, many Scranton area mentors for his

success in theatre, including SSF artistic director Michael Bradshaw Flynn, who

offered Lorenzo his first professional jobs in the industry. The multi-talented actor

returned with Scranton Shakes last summer as Roger in our sell-out production of

“Rent.” Tickets are available for this musical at the Scranton Cultural Center.

BROADWAY NOTICE: Luke Antony Neville, a Scranton Shakes alum, writes: “In a

total twist of events, I’ll be joining the incredible Broadway company of “Back to the

Future -The Musical” at the Winter Garden for the next few weeks, standing by for

Strickland! Thankful to the team at Tara Rubin and to others for keeping me sane

throughout the absolutely joyful, surreal, insane, wonderful madness!” Neville most

recently appeared in the Off-Broadway musical “Titanique.” Coincidentally, Luke also

appeared with Lorenzo several years ago in the SSF production of “Footloose.”

ALL OVER THE MAP: Jason Nadal, who played the title role in last season’s “Othello”

at the Scranton Shakespeare Festival, just received notice that he has been chosen for

an ESPN ad which is being produced in Washington, DC as this is being written. Jason

also tells us that the advertising campaign for Olly is officially live!. He says, “This was

such a cool experience! Had to fly out to Warsaw, Poland, to shoot for this commercial.

It is now airing on all streaming services, internet, print, and TV. I want to thank the cast

and crew for trusting me to stay in the pocket with only two hours of sleep and jet

lagged on the day of the shoot after flying in from Aruba!”

LOCAL PLAYS: Two of our stalwart performers for Scranton Shakes are appearing this

month in a production of “Pippin” for Ovation Playhouse at its new black box space in

Plains. Kelly Jean Graham, who starred as “Sweet Charity” with SSF is The Leading

Player while Camille Reinecke portrays Catherine. The show runs February 9-18. And

tickets are available by calling 570-846-0707 or at

Isabella Snyder, last seen with SSF in our holiday Panto production of “Jack and the

Beanstalk,” is now appearing as Hodel in the Music Box Dinner Playhouse production of

“Fiddler on the Roof,” which will run Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from February 9

thru 25. To grab your seats, email or call 570-283-2195.

HAMLET STARS: Two other SSF favorites, Gianna Porfano (as Ophelia) and Darin F.

Earl II (as Claudius/Ghost) are performing in “Hamlet” with a touring company of the

Utah Shakespeare Festival featuring nine professional theatre artists and educators

visiting schools to bring one of the world’s most recognized plays to K-12 students

across the Intermountain West. Darin appeared with Scranton Shakes in “Love’s

Labour’s Lost” as Ferdinand and in ‘Sweet Charity,” while Gianna has been featured as

Scaramouche in “We Will Rock You”, Costard in “Love’s Labour’s Lost”, The Narrator

in “Into The Woods”, and Mustardseed in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”  Hamlet will

tour February 1st - April 20. Visit to learn more.

AND STILL MORE: Congratulations to Michele Conaboy McGrath who welcomed her

second daughter, Faye Elizabeth, on January 8. Baby’s older sister is Posie….The

Maggie Allessee Department of Theatre and Dance will present “Drowning Ophelia" by Rachel Luann Strayer. As its Winter 2024 Student Stage production, The show will be

March 1, at 2 p.m. and March 2 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. A synopsis says "Jane doesn’t

know what to do with the literary character who has taken up residence in her bathtub.

Ophelia delights in singing songs about death and valentines...” Rachel and her

husband Jonathan formerly ran the Shakespeare in the Park in the Abingtons for years.

YOUTH PROGRAM REGISTRATION: Scranton Shakespeare Festival has announced

its Youth Education programs for the Summer 2024 season---which has greatly

expanded due to volume of interest! Join us this summer for our first-ever middle school

introductory drama program: Youth Ensemble Foundations for students ages 11-13.

For designers and technicians, we have established our Youth Designers program,

meant to immerse students in production processes with professional mentors.

An additional new facet is our Youth Orchestra, a program for intermediate student

instrumentalists to play in the orchestra pits of our season musicals alongside

professional pit musicians.

And our high school Youth Ensemble acting program returns this year to produce our

student-collaborated cabaret, the Player’s Piece. We’re delighted to announce two full

productions available to students as well: Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Stephen

Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods. 

Applications are now open through March 17. Link in our bio to apply and learn more!


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