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The June Bard Bulletin

It’s June, so Scranton Shakespeare Festival is preparing for its 13th season with the

theme of “Motherhood.” This theme will be carried out in portrayals of many variations of

mothers. In our mainstage productions, these include the ultimate stage mother Rose

(KARLA JOAN RIVERA) in the classic musical “Gypsy,” the bipolar Diana (NADJA

TOMASZEWSKI) in the Tony-winning musical “Next to Normal,” Hermoine in

Shakespeare’s “A Winter’s Tale,” and the unfaithful Tamora (KELLY JEAN GRAHAM) in

“Titus Andronicus. Our Youth Ensemble continues the theme with a plethora of mothers

such as the Baker’s Wife, Jack’s Mother, Cinderella’s Mother, Fairy Godmother, and Evil

Stepmother in “Into the Woods” and the unseen witch Sycorax in “The Tempest.”

Make free reservations for all of these shows beginning June 10 at ScrantonShakes.com.


Looking back to May, many current and past players came together for “Help! A Tribute

to the Beatles” held as a fundraiser for our summer season and under the direction of

MICHAEL BRADSHAW FLYNN, with music direction by BRIAN McGURL, who also

performed in the concert with the band QBall. Audiences loved this trip back in time

which featured outstanding performances by MICHAEL FLYNN, ERIN MALLOY,

MADDIE CASEY, BOURKE HUTCHINSON, KELLY JEAN GRAHAM, LATOYA MARTIN,

JOE McGURL, and many, many more. Our special event committee headed by DAWN

McGURL with assistance from THERESA KAPLAN, TRACI-LYN CASEY, WARREN

SHOTTO, DONNA SEBOLKA, PATTI McDONALD, and KELLY JEAN GRAHAM, did a

great job with the reception featuring Beatles-inspired goodies such as Strawberry

Fields Salad (donated by Stirna’s Restaurant), and homemade items such as I Want to

Hold Your Ham Sandwiches, Twist ‘n Shout Pretzels, Let It B-LTs, Yellow Submarine

sandwiches, I Am the (Deviled) Egg Man, Dip -La-Dee Dip-La-Da hummus and veggie

tray, and Love Me “Honey” Do fresh fruit tray topped off with Marmalade Skies pies and

They Say It’s Your Birthday cupcakes for dessert, and drinks including Blue Meanie

Lemonade, Wine My Guitar Gently Weeps, Eleanor Rumby punch and a Sgt. Pepper

cocktail. We can’t wait to see what creative music and food these people come up with

next spring!




As our current cast and crew arrive in Scranton for the 2024 season, many of our

favorite alumni are busy with other productions, including LUKE ANTONY NEVILLE

(SSF: Footloose, Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Troilus & Cressida, Cabaret, How to Succeed in Business) who has left the Big Apple for a year-long

national tour in “Back to the Future” in which he plays Mr. Strickland, the principal

…Before leaving, Luke made time to attend a one-woman show “Nobody Cares’

featuring Tony Award-winning Broadway star LAURA BENANTI, of which his good pal

(and one of SSF’s favorites) BILLIE AKENS TYERS (SSF: The Tempest, Pirates of

Penzance, How To Succeed in Business, Cabaret, Footloose, Hood: The Musical) is

associate director.


Another SSF favorite, NICOLE WEITZMAN (SSF: Ragtime, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Into the Woods, How to Succeed in Business, Footloose), is appearing from

June 4-16 in North Shore Music Theatre’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof.” …NICK

GREVERA, who appeared in “Strange America,” SSF’s entry in last fall’s Scranton

Fringe Festival, will spend this summer appearing in the musical “I Love You, You’re

Perfect, Now Change” at Lake George Dinner Theater July 12-August 31…CATE

McDONALD (SSF: Jack & the Beanstalk Panto) is currently playing the Baker’s Wife in

“Into the Woods” for the Pennsylvania Theatre of Performing Arts.





Tons of best wishes to native Scrantonian QUINN HEMPHILL (SSF: Troilus & Cressida,

A Midsummer Night’s Dream) who attended the world premiere of her latest movie “Bad

Boys: Ride or Die” starring WILL SMITH and MARTIN LAWRENCE, and then tied the

knot on June 1 with childhood sweetheart DR. JAKE McDONALD in a gorgeous

wedding held (appropriately) at The Scranton Cultural Center where her grandparents,

former Scranton MAYOR JIM CONNORS and wife SUSIE were particularly proud and

beaming!

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