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The July Bard Bulletin

July is a star-spangled month—and our Scranton Shakes actors past and present are

starring in outstanding productions. If you haven’t seen it yet, there’s one more

opportunity to cheer for our presentation of “Gypsy” on July 27! Our mainstage season

also includes “The Winter’s Tale (July 5-7 and 27); “Next to Normal” (July 11-14 and 26)

and “Titus Andronicus” (July 19-21 and 28), all at The Shakes Space at the Marketplace

at Steamtown. Tickets are FREE but reservations are necessary and are available at’s acclaimed Youth Theatre Ensemble opened its season with “The Tempest” which will be repeated July 25, and will round out the YTE summer season with “Into the Woods” August 1-3. Lizzie Gumula is director of both plays. Which reminds me that when I am showcasing actors, I often forget about the great professional directors SSF

attracts, including Michael Bradshaw Flynn (Gypsy and Titus Andronicus); Sam

Morales (The Winter’s Tale) and Victoria Rae Sook (Next to Normal).

SSF Company 2024

The SSF family is thrilled that Gianna Porfano is playing the title role in “Always…

Patsy Cline” at Hunterdon Hills Playhouse in New Jersey this summer from July 23-

August 10. Gianna was in Scranton this June to work as a teaching artist with our Youth

Ensemble. She is well-remembered by our audiences for roles including Scaramouche

in “We Will Rock You!” two seasons ago….Another SSF favorite Luke Antony Neville

is now on the road in a national tour of “Back to the Future”…And Billie Aken Tyers,

our Panto playwright, is heading to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival later this month.

There really are no people like show people---I love that Jeremy Kemmerer returned

from a trip to Iceland with his students one night and showed up the next day to

rehearse his role filling in as Herbie in “Gypsy”!....Another fan favorite from last season

has been very busy ever since. Henry Howland, a New York City-based actor from

Cincinnati is thrilled to be making his Winnipesaukee Playhouse debut. In “Jersey Boys”

from June 21-July 6. He has worked across the US in regional productions including

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and “Rent “at Scranton Shakespeare Festival;

“Cinderella” at Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre, and “Cornelia Street “at The

Actor’s Studio NYC. Later this summer, he will be playing Lefou in Cortland Repertory’s

production of “Beauty and the Beast.”

I love staying in touch with Jason Nadal who played the lead in SSF’s production of

“Othello” last season because he always showing up on commercials as varied as those

for veteran’s causes as well as for a Jersey amusement parks and various products.

This time he outdid himself with a shower video, for which he cheekily complains on

Facebook: “Can I take a shower in peace please? LOL. Ever since I chose this on-

camera life, I can't seem to get a moment to myself! Two new national spots coming

soon. Stay tuned…” He is kidding about the attention, of course, because he is really

living the life! Elsewhere, the Pennsylvania Theater of Performing Arts is also

presenting “Into the Woods” July - July 14, at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m.

Sundays, at the JJ Ferrara Center, 212 Broad St., Hazleton. Cate McDonald of Scranton, who filled in at a moment’s notice for our Panto production of “Jack and the Beanstalk” last season, is playing the Baker’s Wife in this show. Incidentally, this December’s Panto production will be “Cinderella.”Hollywood actress Quinn Hemphill appeared in several of Scranton Shakespeare Festival’s early productions while a drama student at Syracuse . A Scranton High School graduate, Quinn says playing a part in the fourth film of the “Bad Boys” franchise with Will Smith is her “big break.” Quinn was also married in June, but with such tremendous highs has come a terrible blow as Quinn’s grandfather, the late Mayor Jimmy Connors, just passed away. Michael Bradshaw Flynn, our artistic director penned the following heartfelt tribute to the late mayor.:

“…… a great friend to the arts of Scranton has been set to rest. Mayor Jimmy Connors

attended the premiere SSF performance in Nay Aug Park, our 10th season at the Iron

Furnaces, and was one of the select few who caught our performance of Troilus &

Cressida. Mayor Connors always promoted the arts in the city he loved so much, and

encouraged others to enjoy and participate. His warmth, interest, and enthusiasm

validated our company and their hard work. He was a gifted storyteller and a great man.

Our thoughts are with Jimmy’s family and the many in our town who are grieving this



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