Youngstown State University Theater ‘Gemini’ has sitcom spirit

Staff report


Youngstown State University Theater will present Albert Innaurato’s dramatic comedy “Gemini” for two weekends, beginning Thursday, in Spotlight Arena Theater, inside Bliss Hall.

Set in the mid-1970s, the play takes place in the backyard of adjoining houses in South Philadelphia. One is occupied by Fran Geminiani, a laborer, and his son, Francis, a Harvard student; and the other by a boisterous, earthy divorcee named Bunny and her overweight, asthmatic son, Herschel.

It is the eve of Francis’ 21st birthday, and suddenly he is paid a surprise visit by two friends from college, a brother and sister who set up a tent in the backyard. The friends, Randy and Judith, are wealthy, attractive and from an elevated social background that contrasts painfully with Francis’ own humble circumstances. In addition, while Judith is in love with Francis, he is infatuated with Randy — or at least thinks he is.

“Gemini” is directed by W. Rick Schilling, associate staff designer in the department of theater and dance.

“Situation comedies of the 1970s, such as ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons,’ introduced TV audiences to provocative and taboo themes,” said Schilling. “In a similar way, Innaurato’s play utilizes many different theatrical styles ranging from slapstick physical comedy to intimate dramatic scenes played out like a soap opera. Today, audiences have parodies of those shows, such as ‘Family Guy’ and ‘American Dad,’ which served as inspiration for this production.”

The roles of Bunny and Lucille Pompi are double-cast. The cast includes Cameron Beebe (Cortland) as Randy; Stacie Campbell (East Liverpool) as Lucille Pompi; John Cruz (Mineral Ridge) as Francis Geminiani; Rebecca Anderson (Cortland) as Bunny; Anna Steeb (Columbiana) as Bunny; Carly Magnuson (Canfield) as Judith; Alex Samuels (Worthington) as Herschel; Josh Fleming (Canfield) as Fran Geminiani; and Natalie Martzial (Youngstown) as Lucille.

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