Gilbert and Sullivan operas open this week in Ford Theater

Cast members of "Trial by Jury" include, from the left, Matthew Malloy, Rebecca Enlow, Kathie Steeb and Anthony Humphrey and, at the top, Joseph Alvey.

Cast members of “Trial by Jury” include, from the left, Matthew Malloy, Kathie Steeb, Rebecca Enlow, and Anthony Humphrey and, at the top, Joseph Alvey.

Youngstown State University’s Donald P. Pipino Performing Arts Series and the Dana School of Music present Gilbert & Sullivan’s two one-act operas, “Trial By Jury” and “Cox & Box,” this weekend in Bliss Hall’s Ford Theater on campus.

Performances are Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 24, 25, 26 and 27. Thursday through Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m. The Sunday matinee performance is at 2 p.m.

An Opening Night Dinner will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 24, at the MVR, 410 N. Walnut Street. Dinner & theater package tickets are $20 for season ticket holders and $30 for non-season ticket holders. Advance reservations and payment are mandatory by calling the University Theater Box Office at 330-941-3105. No walk-ins will be permitted.

The performance is the first opera at YSU staged under the auspices of the Donald P. Pipino Performing Arts Series made possible by Christine and Edward Muransky in honor of Christine’s father. The Muransky family donated $100,000 in October 2013 to support the Performing Arts Series and the YSU opera in perpetuity. The Performing Arts Series was renamed as a result of that gift.

Show tickets may be reserved by calling the University Theater Box Office at 330-941-3105. Ticket prices are $5 for YSU students, $15 for adults, $10 for senior citizens, YSU faculty and staff and high school and college students from other universities. University Theater season ticket holders receive a special rate of $5. Parking is available in the Wick Avenue deck for a nominal fee.

“Trial By Jury,” is based on a book by W. S. Gilbert with music by Arthur S. Sullivan. It showcases a jilted bride who exchanges “I do” for “I sue” as she takes her faithless fiancé to court. The comic opera launched Gilbert & Sullivan as one of the longest and most successful collaborations in musical theatre history.

In “Cox & Box,” based on a book by F. C. Burnand with music by Arthur S. Sullivan, a landlord comes up with a novel solution to the housing shortage, and a way to double his rental income. Sullivan’s delightful melodies are set to a pre-Gilbert libretto.

The opera program director is Allan R. Mosher; musical theater program director and conductor is Nancy Andersen Wolfgang; stage director/scenic designer is David Vosburgh; assistant director for “Trial By Jury” is Dean La Salandra; assistant director for “Cox & Box” is Kathie Steeb; lighting designer is Kevin Wolfgang; costumer is Barbara Luce; and production manager is Todd Dicken. In addition, others assisting with the production include Girard City Schools Youth Chorus, Sue Ellen Harris Davis, director; stage manager, Devin Whitehouse; musical preparation, Jerry Rezanka; and master carpenter, Frank Bongen.

Each one-act opera is double cast.

The “Trial By Jury” cast includes:

April 24 and 26
Dean La Salandra (Austintown, OH); Patrick Niess (Warren, OH); Anthony Humphrey (New Castle, PA); Gabriel Talanca (Warren, OH); Rebecca Enlow (Youngstown, OH)

April 25 and 27
Dean La Salandra (Austintown, OH); Joseph Alvey (Cleveland, OH); Matthew Malloy (Beaver County, PA); Victor S. Cardamone (Apollo, PA) Kathie Steeb (Columbiana, OH)

All performances
Megan Anderson (New Castle, PA); Carly Magnuson (Canfield, OH); Zara Markman (Amherst, WI); Kelly Sullivan (Youngstown, OH); Eric Shonk (Lancaster, OH); Josh Fleming (Canfield, OH); Alison R. Dolphin (Poland, OH); Diane L. Pack (Antwerp, OH); Erika Walker (Canfield, OH); and Emily Shipley (Struthers, OH)

Students from the Girard City Schools include Ricky Marsico, Mia Barber, Selena Williams, and Dante Byrne.

The “Cox & Box” cast includes:

April 24 and 26
Eric Shonk (Lancaster, OH); Dean La Salandra (Austintown, OH); Diane L. Pack (Antwerp, OH); Megan Anderson (New Castle, PA); and Victor S. Cardamone (Apollo, PA)

April 25 and 27
Anthony Humphrey (New Castle, PA); Gabriel Talanca (Warren, OH); Diane L. Pack (Antwerp, OH) Alison R. Dolphin (Poland, OH) and Patrick Niess (Warren, OH)

Josh Fleming (Canfield, OH) is the Bouncer understudy.