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    University Players Present "Bright Star"

    Rehearsing for The University of Scranton Players’ production of “Bright Star,” which will run Feb. 22-24 and March 1-3 are, from left, Werner Christensen, Reilly Charles, Amy Black and Michael Friedman, Ph.D.
    February 12, 2019

    The University of Scranton Players will present the regional premiere of “Bright Star” directed by Michael O’Steen with music, book and story by Steve Martin, and music, lyrics and story by Edie Brickell. The show runs Feb. 22-24 and March 1-3 in the Royal Theatre of the Joseph M. McDade Center for the Literary and Performing Arts. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 8 p.m., and Sunday performances begin at 2 p.m.

    “Bright Star” is a musical about love, perseverance and fate set in 1920s and 1940s North Carolina. It follows the story of Alice Murphy, a successful newspaper editor in Asheville, North Carolina in the 1940s. She is approached by Billy, a young aspiring writer hoping to get published in the Asheville Southern Journal. Alice feels strangely connected to Billy and finds herself having flashbacks to growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the 1920s as a wild and free 16-year-old girl.

    Martin and Brickell’s musical received many accolades including five Tony nominations, five Drama Desk Award nominations and a Grammy nomination. The musical won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music and the Theater World Award for Carmen Cusack’s portrayal of Alice Murphy. “Bright Star” opened at Cort Theatre in New York in March 2016.

    The production features University students Reilly Charles, Rockaway Park, New York, as Alice Murphy; Zac Rosencrans, Kingston, as Jimmy Ray; Kayla Oberholtzer, Stevens, as Margo; Zachary Richard, Flanders, New Jersey, as Billy; Ali Basalyga, Scranton, as Lucy; Hannah Mackes, Tafton, as Didi/3 Spirits; Werner Christensen, Branchville, New Jersey, as Daddy Murphy; Victoria Pennington, West Wyoming, as Florence/Government Clerk/3 Spirits; Meg Sweeney, Scranton, as Edna/3 Spirits; and Jason Galarza, Massapequa Park, New York, as Max/Stanford/Dr. Norquist; as well as University community members Amy Black, secretary in the philosophy department, as Mama Murphy; and Michael Friedman, Ph.D., professor of English and theatre, as Daddy Cane/Mayor. Local students include Basalyga, a graduate of West Scranton High School; Sweeney, a graduate of Scranton Preparatory School; Pennington, a graduate of Wyoming Area Secondary Center; Rosencrans, a graduate of Wyoming Valley West High School; and Mackes, a graduate of Wallenpaupack Area High School.

    For tickets, contact the Players box office at 570-941-4318 or visit us at thescrantonplayers.com. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for senior citizens, students, and University of Scranton faculty and staff. Second weekend is free for first-year students at the University.

    For more information, contact players@scranton.edu or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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    The University of Scranton Players is an academic theatre program that brings exceptional theatre to Northeastern Pennsylvania every season. The Players’ productions feature University of Scranton students in a mix of classical and contemporary works under the direction and mentorship of award-winning faculty and guest artists.

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