The Pitt-Greensburg Theatre Company will present “Dracula,” by contemporary playwright Steven Deitz. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. November 15 through November 17, and 2 p.m. November 18, in Ferguson Theater (Smith Hall, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, 150 Finoli Drive, Greensburg, PA). Tickets, available at the door, are $10 (regular admission) and $5 (students/seniors/Pitt ID).
It is part of the company’s overall theme of Universal Monsters, which was selected for the 2018-2019 theatre season. “The theme refers to the monsters depicted in the main stage shows, and implies that those monsters, both appearing in films made by Universal Studios in the 1930s, exist among us in many forms,” said Campus Theatre Director Stephen A. Schrum, PhD. “These characters—the life-sucking vampire, the servile madman, the inquiring scientist, and the hapless creature cobbled together from various parts—are therefore well-known to us in the world even today.”
Deitz based his play on Bram Stoker’s well-known vampire novel, giving it a more modern structure. Director Schrum had originally considered taking his inspiration from the stage version that starred Bela Lugosi in his most famous role, but found that version somewhat flat. “If someone doesn’t know the film, they probably know a lot about vampires, both dark and sparkly, from contemporary culture, and I wanted to give the audience a few unexpected twists and turns, along with a chill or two,” Schrum noted. Borrowing from techniques used in 1930s radio drama, the play will be performed with a live musician providing mood music and sound effects.
The cast includes:
Belle Vernon, PA
Summer Lash (Professor Van Helsing) is a double major in Secondary English Education and Creative and Professional Writing. She appeared in musicals in middle school, and appeared previously as Marotte in “Precious Damsels,” the Camera Operator in “Shakespeare in Hollywood,” Veta Louise Simmons in “Harvey,” and Ariel in “The Tempest.” A junior from Belle Vernon, PA, Lash is secretary of the Performing Arts Society and a member of DPO.
Gavin Pasqualino (Dr. Seward), from Derry, PA, is a junior Criminal Justice major. While he did perform in high school plays, he is joining us for the first time and is making his Pitt-Greensburg debut with this show. He is a member of Phi Eta Sigma, the freshman honors society.
Ford City, PA
Kaitlyn Satterfield (Lucy) is a senior double majoring in Psychology and Occupational Therapy, with a minor in Theatre. From Ford City, PA, Satterfield appeared in high school productions of “Oliver,” “The Music Man,” “Once Upon a Mattress,” “Grease,” “Eve of Enchantment,” and “Willy Wonka.” With the Pitt-Greensburg Theatre Company she has confounded audience members as Sweetheart in “Middletown,” and amused them as the Horse (and Ensemble) in “Man of La Mancha,” as Céliméne in “Precious Damsels,” as the Cowgirl/Movie Extra in “Shakespeare in Hollywood,” and Mrs. Ethel Chauvenet in “Harvey.” Satterfield is secretary of the campus chapter of Delta Psi Omega.
Lower Burrell, PA
Courtney Cambal (Maid) from Lower Burrell, PA, is a junior double-majoring in Secondary Education English and Visual and Performing Arts (Theatre concentration). Last year she played Gonzalo in “The Tempest” and Betty Chumley in “Harvey;” before coming to Pitt-Greensburg as a transfer, her experience included participation in her high school drama club performances of “Annie Get Your Gun,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and “Chicago.” She has also appeared in productions of “Little Mermaid Jr.,” “Footloose,” “The Wedding Singer,” and “Seussical the Musical.” She is also secretary of the campus chapter of Delta Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honors Society.
New Kensington, PA
Brandon Farneth (Attendant 2) is a senior VAPA major (Theatre concentration). From New Kensington, PA, Brandon lists the following previous roles: Gavin Smith in “Caught in the Net” (Apple Hill Playhouse), Dean Hyde in “All Shook Up,” Judge Turpin in “Sweeney Todd,” Ensemble in “Rocky Horror” (Stage Right Productions), Edna Turnblad in “Hairspray,” Noah in “Children of Eden,” Mr. Bucket in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” and a Player in “Pippin” (Valley High School and The Theatre Factory). He has also done onstage and backstage work at Theater Factory and the New Ken Civic Theater, and is the recipient of the Westmorland Cultural Trust Achievement Award for Theater and the New Ken Civic Theater Holleran and C.T. Allen Awards for Theater Performance. On our campus he has played the Male Tourist and Freelancer in “Middletown,” Anselmo and Ensemble in “Man of La Mancha,” Gorgibus in “Precious Damsels,” famous director Max Reinhardt in “Shakespeare in Hollywood” and Elwood P. Dowd in “Harvey.” Last spring her served as assistant director for The Tempest, and will be directing “Young Frankenstein” for his senior capstone project in Spring 2019.
Cali Mulzet (Mina) is a Sophomore English Lit major from Phoenixville PA. She has had a variety in roles in productions of “The Green Bird,” “Hairspray,” “The Mouse that Roared,” “Taming of the Shrew,” and “Great Expectations.” Mulzet was also president of her high school theater guild.
Nicole Hill (Vixen 1) is a senior VAPA (Theatre concentration) from Pittsburgh, PA. Previously she appeared as The Ensign in “The Tempest,” as Ensemble Member in “Man of La Mancha” and served on the crew for “Harvey.” She is also a Community Assistant (CA) for the campus. In the spring she will be choreographer for the production of “Young Frankenstein” for her senior capstone project.
Terry Turk (Dracula) is a second-year Accounting major from Pittsburgh, PA. He made his theatrical debut as Francisco in “The Tempest.”
Plum Borough, PA
Logan J. Tomko (Renfield) is a junior History major from Plum Borough, PA. Before coming to our campus, he played the roles of The Traveler in “Picasso at the Lapine Agile” and Lloyd Dallas in “Noises Off,” and also served as the Plum High School drama club president. You may recall him yelling, “Stop thief!” as the Marquis de Mascarille in “Precious Damsels,” and returning as the Yes Man Daryl in “Shakespeare in Hollywood,” Wilson in “Harvey,” and Trinculo in “The Tempest.”
Cameron Scott Collins (Jonathan Harker) is a junior Secondary Education and History double major from Titusville, PA. Previously he has appeared in our productions of “Precious Damsels” as Du Croisy, “15 Frogs and Counting” as Ron Bickner, Dick Powell in “Shakespeare in Hollywood,” Lyman Sanderson, MD in “Harvey,” and Ferdinand in “The Tempest.” Prior to coming to Pitt-Greensburg, Cameron had roles in “Our Town,” “Twelve Angry Men,” “The Wiz,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Princess Whatsername.” Collins is a member of Delta Psi Omega, the national theatre honors society, and the treasurer for the Performing Arts Society.
Joe Fitz (Attendant 1) is a second year Visual and Performing Arts (Music concentration) major from Titusville, PA. Last year he played the roles of cabdriver E.J. Lofgren in “Harvey” and Sebastian in “The Tempest.”
PRODUCTION STAFF (Students)
Emily Buckel (Assistant Stage Manager/Vixen 2), from Republic, PA, is a third-year Creative and Professional Writing and English Literature double major (with a Theatre minor). Previously she played roles in “Les Miserables,” “42nd Street,” “Legally Blonde,” and “Grease.” At Pitt-Greensburg, she appeared as Desdemona in “When Shakespeare’s Ladies Meet,” as the Script Girl in “Shakespeare in Hollywood,” Myrtle Mae Simmons in “Harvey,” and Miranda in “The Tempest.” Buckel is also a member of Delta Psi Omega (DPO), the national theatre honors society.
Taylor Oberle (Production Manager) is a senior VAPA major (Theatre concentration, focusing on Tech Theatre) and is also working on the Arts Entrepreneurship Certificate Program. From Las Vegas, NV, Oberle had two years of tech experience in high school and various tech jobs outside of school, and served as the assistant stage manager for “Middletown,” the stage manager for “Man of La Mancha,” production assistant for the “Evening of One Acts” (in which she acted), production manager/scenic designer for “Shakespeare in Hollywood,” and production manager for “Harvey.” Oberle was almost a Biology major, but the siren song of Theatre brought her to us. She is also the President of Delta Psi Omega, the national theatre honors society, and for her senior capstone project will serve as production manager and lighting designer on “Young Frankenstein.”
Karen Ricco (Musician), originally from Wyomissing, PA, is a full-time Academic Advisor at Pitt-Greensburg. She earned a BA in Linguistics with a minor in Italian Studies in 2004 and an MEd in Higher Education Management in 2006, both from The University of Pittsburgh. She is currently pursuing a BS in Applied Mathematics at Pitt-Greensburg for fun. After graduating from high school, Ricco had not been involved in theatre until her directorial debut of Meg Hughes’ “A Waking” at Pitt-Greensburg in 2013. Since then, she has played percussion for “Man of LaMancha,” performed in the vocal “style” of Miss Tewksbury in “Harvey,” and provided live sound effects for “Shakespeare in Hollywood” and “The Tempest.” When not on campus, Ricco is a PIAA volleyball official and a member of the St. Paul Cathedral Choir (Oakland) and the Pittsburgh Diocesan Choir.
Dianna Bourke (Costume Designer) held a PhD in Anatomy and Cell Biology from the University of Pittburgh’s Medical School, but she also had a minor concentration in Costume Design and Construction as an undergrad at Penn State. The wife of Schrum, Bourke had designed costumes for most of Schrum's productions for the last 26 years, had freelanced for children's theatres, and had taken the occasional private commission. Prior to her unexpected death earlier this month, Bourke had taught Anatomy and Physiology at the Community College of Allegheny College’s Allegheny Campus.
Alicia DiPaolo (Makeup Consultant) is a 2014 graduate of Pitt-Greensburg with a Bachelors in Theatre and Psychology and she is excited to be back at the Pitt Greensburg stage once again; last spring she designed the makeup for “The Tempest.” Her stage managing and crew credits include stage managing “No Sex Please, We're British” at the Greensburg Civic Theatre, working video for “Carrie: The Musical” and working on the makeup crew for “Sideshow,” both with Splitstage Productions. DiPaolo also has performed onstage in “The Breakfast Club” as Allison Reynolds with The Shadowbox Players, “The Wedding Singer” as Linda at The Greensburg Civic Theatre, and “My Way: A Tribute to Frank Sinatra” as Woman 2 at The Theatre Factory. She is secretary of the Greensburg Civic Theatre and a board member of the Pitt-Greensburg Alumni Association. Makeup is one of her passions and she enjoys experimenting with looks for cons and theatre. Follow her Instagram (art.bysha) to keep up with her art. She sends special thanks to the cast and crew, directors, board members, family, friends, and audience who make these shows possible.
MK Hughes (Scenic Designer) is a scenic artist on staff at the Pittsburgh Playhouse. She holds an MFA in Scenic Design for the Theater from Southern Illinois University, and has done scenic art for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the Black Hills Playhouse, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and design at the McLeod Summer Playhouse. She has also worked as an instructor/designer at the University of Dubuque and Kansas State University. Since coming to Pittsburgh, M.K. has worked with the Hiawatha Theater Company, City Theater, Pittsburgh CLO, & Prime Stage. She is making her scenic design debut at Greensburg with “Dracula.”
Charles Lockridge (Technical Director/Lighting Designer), originally, from Atlanta, GA, has a degree in Technical Theatre from Greensboro College in North Carolina. He has served as master carpenter for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and as technical director for Theatre West Virginia. Charlie teaches Basic Stagecraft here on our campus and is excited to be with the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg for his second year.
Stephen A. Schrum (Director/Prospero) is Associate Professor of Theatre Arts at Pitt-Greensburg. Having celebrated 40 years of doing theatre in December 2017, he recently became an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, the professional union, and was profiled in Summer 2018 issue in the “Pre-Show/Post-Show” section of the “SDC Journal.” With a PhD in Dramatic Art from the University of California, Berkeley, Stephen is interested in digital filmmaking, virtual performance, and playwriting, and lists his current research focus as “Immersive Theatre.” As for playwriting, along with having two monologues from original plays published in anthologies, he performed his full-length monologue, “Immaculate Misconceptions,” a few years back, and also directed the world premiere of his musical “Dog Assassin.” He worked with Green Scholar Cletus McConville in creating documentary videos on the “Creation of A New Musical;” the videos are posted on the YouTube channel stephenschrum, along with several short films, including “Aliens! 3 Miles, Turn Left,” “Wash Hands, Save Lives?” and “They’re Among Us.” He also wrote a novel entitled “Watchers of the Dawn (A Steampunk Adventure),” and released the graphic novel “HellWish” in the summer of 2016. His podcast, “Audio Chimera” is now available on iTunes and GooglePlay. See his website MUSOFYR—pronounced “muse of fire”—at musofyr.com for more info, and check out some of his written work (plays, poetry, memoirs—including “Watchers of the Dawn” and “HellWish”) at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/musofyr.