SBU Theater tries its hand at comedy in “Story Theater” this weekend

By Sean Lynch 

[Image courtesy of sbu.edu]

St. Bonaventure University Theatre performed its production of “Story Theatre” for the last time on Saturday night. The show premiered on Wednesday March 25, and the final performance took place on Saturday March 28 capping the last of four performances. The production was based on ten stories from the Grimm Brothers fairytales and Aesop’s Fables.

“We thought it would be fun to kind of do something that was a flat out comedy,” said Dr. Ed Simone, director of SBU Theater and “Story Theatre.”

The theater program previously chose more serious productions and performed more dramatic pieces last spring and this fall.

Sophomore journalism and mass communication major Dakota Ward, who played several roles in the show including the fisherman, enjoyed the comedic aspects of the show.

“I do more of the comedy aspect. I started the Laugh Pack here, so all comedy is all me,” he said. “So, when he said to me that this was improvisational comedy, I said, ‘Hell yeah – sign me up!’”

The cast was versatile in the way that they switched from scene to scene. Members of the ensemble who were not part of the story helped create background noises like cows mooing or the wind of the storm blowing. The cast also acted as pieces of the set – like tombstones in the cemetery or pieces of furniture in a home.

The band, which was led by professor of visual and performing arts Laura Peterson on keyboard, was composed of percussion, woodwinds, a trumpet and a trombone. The band provided some of the sound effect for the show as well as providing the music for the transition from story to story.

Despite the simplicity of the set, the theater department’s dedication was anything but effortless.

“[The production is] usually eight weeks of rehearsals and blood, sweat and tears from the actors from auditions to the day we open,” said stage manager Chernice Miller, a junior journalism and mass communication and theater double major.

For senior Victoria Lanzillo, journalism and mass communication and theater double major, “Story Theatre” was her last performance with the St. Bonaventure Theatre program.

“It’s been fantastic. I’ve gotten the opportunity to do so many things: a wide variety of dramatic and comedic roles,” she said about her time participating in the program. “I’ve definitely grown as an actress over the past four years.”

The class of 2018 dominated many of the roles in the production of “Story Theatre.”

Freshman theater major Taquan Brown said, “Theater here is pretty awesome. There [are] a lot of different things here like set building. The teamwork here is a lot better, and the professionalism is a lot better too.”

“Everyone at SBU theatre was so inviting,” said freshman journalism and mass communication and theater double major Bryce Spadafora. “It’s such a great community to be a part of. I would definitely recommend it.”

SBU Theater will take a brief hiatus until next semester’s production which has yet to be announced.

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