YSU Theater to present ‘Forum’

Staff report


Youngstown State University Theater will present the musical “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” opening Friday and running for six performances.

The show’s run is split over this weekend and Dec. 2-4, due to the Thanksgiving holiday. The performances will be in Ford Theater, on the first floor of Bliss Hall, on Wick Avenue.

Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

The music and lyrics of “Forum” are by Stephen Sondheim, and the book is by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart.

Directing the YSU production is Nancy Andersen Wolfgang, assistant professor in the theater and dance department.

An informal and free art walk, Blissful Beginnings, will take place from 6 p.m. until curtain time opening night. It is designed to showcase the College of Creative Arts and Communication. Theatergoers are invited to the opening reception at the adjacent McDonough Museum of Art for an exhibition of works by art students who are graduating in December. Visitors also can view works by guest artist Timothy Massey in Bliss Hall’s Solomon Gallery on the second floor, and enjoy music in the theater lobby before the show opening.

“Forum” takes place in Roman times, where Pseudolus – the laziest slave in Rome – has but one wish: to purchase his freedom.

When his master and mistress leave for the day, he finds out that the young master has fallen in love with a virgin in the house of Lycus, a slave dealer specializing in beautiful women. Pseudolus concocts a deal in which he will be freed if he can procure the girl for young Hero. Of course, it can’t be that simple, as everything begins to go wrong.

The cast includes Ben Mowrer, of Independence; Mac Callahan, Stoutsville; Simon Davis, Maple Heights; Stefon Funderburke, Farrell, Pa.; Katie Jerome, Westlake; Gabby Martin, Marysville; Jacob Emerson, Ashtabula; Aaron Gutauckas, Chesterland; Angelique Tanner, Waverly; AnnMarie Lowerre, Butler, Pa.; Halla Henry, Rochester, Pa.; Mia Colon, Youngstown; Jessica Hirsh, Pepper Pike,; Makenzie Moorman, Piketon; Jacob Nash, Canfield; Tristan Kile, Ashtabula; DJ Davis, Reynoldsburg; and Daniel Navabi, Columbus.

The professional staff includes Ellen E. Jones, scenic/lighting designer; Todd Dicken, production manager; Katherine Garlick, costume designer; Rebel Mickelson, costume shop supervisor; and Ian Leroy, musical director.

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