Powerful Musical ‘Parade’ to be Staged Nov. 7-11

GENESEO, N.Y. -- SUNY Geneseo's Department of Theatre and Dance and Department of Music are collaborating to stage the Tony Award-winning play "Parade" Nov. 7-11 in Brodie Hall's Alice Austin Theatre. The Nov. 7-10 performances begin at 8 p.m. The Nov. 11 matinee begins at 2 p.m.

The musical, with book by Alfred Uhry and music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, tells the true and tragic story of the life and death of Leo Max Frank, the only Jew ever to be lynched in the United States, after he was tried and wrongfully convicted of the brutal rape and murder of 13-year-old Mary Phagan in Atlanta in 1913. The issues that drove the case - the intersections of race, religion, gender and class - continue to resonate in American society. The musical also recounts a touching love story of Frank and his wife Lucille, tracing the growth of their relationship as they mature to understand the profound power of their relationship - but too late.

Theatre Professor Randy Barbara Kaplan is directing the production with student assistance from Kimberly R. Olsen, a junior, who is serving as associate director, dramaturg and co-choreographer. Olsen also has created an informative exhibit outside the theater to enhance the production with photographs and interactive displays that provide historical context for the musical.

Music Professor Gerard F. Floriano is music director for the production with assistance from Louis Lohraseb, a senior, who is serving as associate music director. Junior Rachel Press is stage managing the production, assisted by Lauren Costello, Elizabeth MacWilliam and Emily Scioli.

Russell James Allen, a senior theater and speech pathology double major, plays Leo, and Alexandra Rae Mendes, a senior musical theater major, plays his loyal wife Lucille. Together they lead an ensemble of 22 student performers indluding junior Zach Ellingham as Governor John Slaton; senior Jonathan Mushock as Prosecuting Attorney Hugh Dorsey; sophomore CJ Roche as an aging Confederate Soldier and the virulently anti-Semitic newspaper editor Tom Watson; sophomore John Turner as Newt Lee, the night watchman who discovers Mary's body, and leading witness for the prosecution John Conley; sophomore Liam Enright as the Young Confederate soldier and Britt Craig, a reporter for the Atlanta Georgian who finds himself caught up in a case gone out of control.

Sophomores Alyssa Conte and Gretchen Goble along with first-year student Alexandra Imbrosci-Viera play a trio of young factory workers whom Dorsey drafts to accuse Leo. Sophomore Christa Souza plays Mary Phagan alongside senior Joshua Horowitz in the role of her "boy chum" Frankie Epps and senior Elizabeth Sackett, who plays her grief-stricken mother. Rounding out the cast in a variety of ensemble roles are Louis DiPaolo, Sarah Dukler, Robert Kahrs, Melissa, Niknam, Alexandra Priore, Elyssa Ramirez, Amanda Skinner, Shawn Ward, Kevin Weber, and Emily Withers

"Parade" features set design by Steven Stubblefield, associate professor and chair of the Department of Theatre; lighting and sound design by Johnnie J. Ferrell, associate professor of theatre; and costume design by Crystal Ferrell, visiting assistant professor of theatre. Professors Stubblefield and Kaplan collaborated on the complex projection sequence that accompanies the production.

All tickets for the production are $10 are on sale at both the Student Association Box Office in the College Union (245-5873) and the Brodie Box Office (245-5833). Tickets also are available online.

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