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The May Bard Bulletin

Gillian Geurts, who played the lead in Scranton Shakespeare Festival’s production of “Romeo and Juliet” is making her Broadway debut in “Mother Play: A Play in Five Evictions,” a world premiere drama written by American playwright Paula Vogel which debuted on April 25 at the Hayes Theater as part of Second Stage Theater’s 2023-2024 season starring Jessica Lange, Celia Keenan Bolger and Jim Parsons. A native of Australia, Gillian has also been seen with SSF as Isabelle in “Measure for Measure” and as Lady Anne in “Hood: The Musical” by Douglas Carter Beane.




Sevon Askew

Sevon Askew, who was still a student at the University of Michigan when he impressed SSF

audiences as Coalhouse Walker Jr. in “Ragtime” in 2021, has been touring nationally with the hit musical “Hadestown,” and he got the nod to go on as Hades when the show was playing last month in Philadelphia!


Burke Michael Hutchinson—who will return to Scranton for SSF’s upcoming Beatles tribute

fundraiser, “Help” on Saturday, May 18, will have just finished up a run in the musical “Ragtime” at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre in Lancaster, PA. Among other roles, Burke shined in our production of “We Will Rock You!” a few seasons ago…Local performers who will appear in the benefit include Brian and Joe McGurl, Kelly Jean Graham, Madelyn Casey, LaToya Martin, Michael Bradshaw Flynn, Sarah Pugliese, Molly Cerep and Erin Malloy. Go to scrantonshakes.com for tickets.


The complete cast is set for the North American tour of Back to the Future: The

Musical, opening June 14 at Cleveland’s Playhouse Square following preview performances

starting June 6 at Proctors in Schenectady, NY. The production will travel to over 25 cities, with additional stops to be announced. As previously announced, the tour will star Caden Brauch and Don Stephenson as Marty McFly and Doc Brown, respectively, and SSF veteran Luke Antony Neville as Principal Strickland. Luke has just finished an Off-Broadway run in

“Titanique.”


Billie Aken-Tyers, a favorite director/actor with ScrantonShakes audiences (and she has also

penned both of our very popular Panto productions (Snow White & the Seven Scrantonians and Jack in the Beanstalk), writes: “Very, very thrilled about my next adventure-can’t wait to start rehearsals! I’ll be Associate Directing for the wonderful Annie Tippe on superstar Laura

Benanti’s one-woman show “Nobody Cares” at the Off-Broardway Minetta Lane Theatre in the coming weeks! Get your tickets-Laura’s a bloody genius!” @laurabenanti @audibletheater


Isabella Snyder, another SSF favorite (most recently in our Panto), has joined the

teaching staff at Rising Star Academy Wilkes-Barrre. A seasoned theatre professional with a

diverse skill set encompassing acting, directing, singing, dancing, choreography, teaching

artistry, writing, and design, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre from Marywood

University. At the Scranton Shakespeare Festival, Isabella says she loves helping provide free

professional theatre to the community.


Danielle Dunbar tells us that she is bursting with pride that her daughters Tierney Violet Joyce and Chloe Bluebell Joyce, both are going to be in the musical “Into the Woods” this summer with the SSF Youth Ensemble. This will be Tierney's third year participating in the YouthEnsemble, and Chloe's first.  Both girls had the opportunity to sing in Times Square on April 20th with their voice studio for the Broadway Green Alliance's celebration of Earth Day. Danielle says it was an awesome day for the girls to have the opportunity to sing alongside Broadway performers. 


Jason Nadal, last summer’s lead in “Othello” has been making his mark in commercials

recently, including two new ones-- an ESPN BET commercial, during which he says he had a lot of fun working with Scott Van Pelt from SPORTS CENTER. He is also in a “Find Your Summer Wow in New Jersey” commercial where he is seen riding a roller coaster! AND, he has the possibility of a lead in two different television shows. We’ll let you know if that dream come true happens so you can tune in.




Gianna Porfano

Gianna Porfano---who has appeared in “Rent” and “We Will Rock You” with Scranton Shakes, says she is saying goodbye to Elsinore as the Shakespeare in the Schools tour sponsored by the Utah Shakespeare Festival comes to a close. Gianna, who played Ophelia, says, I’m so thankful for this experience, for all the students I got to meet, and for this company. Looking forward to doing more things that I never thought I could”…Scranton favorite Lorenzo Pugliese will release his next single “IDK” on May 17.







Henry Howland

Olivia Rose Barresi is appearing in “The Cause” by Else Went at the Pipeline

Festival….Henry Howland—who starred last season at SSF in “Rent” and “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” is now featured in “The Match Game” at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati…




And the new trailer is out for Quinn Hemphill’s new movie “Sally, Get the Potatoes Out” which will premiere at the Big Apple Film Festival from May 20-23! AND, her


John Roman Vachino

Sony Pictures movie“Bad Boys: Ride and Die” starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence premieres June 7. While still a student at Syracuse University, Quinn played the lead in “Troilus and Cressida” with Scranton Shakes…And don’t miss John Roman Vachino in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”---no not with the Shakespeare Festival but with Ballet Theatre of Scranton on Friday, May 3, at the Theatre at North! It’s been awhile since he played the Boy in “Ragtime” with SSF…Morgan Evans Dreger is director, choreographer and music director for “Beauty and the Beast” at Good Shepherd Academy Guardians Guild in Kingston May 3-5.

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