University Theater marks 50th anniversary

50th Anniversary University Theater

Seniors John Cruz, Joseph Alvey and Kelly Sullivan are the brain-trust behind “Celebrating 50 Years of University Theater: A Musical Commemoration” opening Friday, Nov. 8 in Ford Theater.

Music from a half-century of Youngstown State University theater productions, including West Side Story, Chicago, Carousel, Rent, and Guys and Dolls, will be featured in “Celebrating 50 Years of University Theater: A Musical Commemoration” opening Friday, Nov. 8 and running two weekends in Ford Theater on the YSU campus.

The show’s run is scheduled for Nov. 8, 9 10, 15, 16 and 17. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m., while Sunday matinee performances are at 2 p.m.

The live music show celebrates the more than 200 productions produced by University Theater since its inception 50 years ago.

“University Theater boasts a rich history of live theater produced throughout the past 50 years; this production will showcase some of the more memorable shows,” said Nancy Andersen Wolfgang, YSU musical theater instructor who directs the show. “Most will seem familiar, some might seem new, but it will definitely be a trip through the past.”

Bryan DePoy, dean of the YSU College of Creative Arts and Communication, added: “Over the course of the past 50 years, University Theater has brought live theater to tens of thousands of patrons in our community. We are fortunate to have such strong community support of our program, and our student performers reciprocate with their extraordinary commitment and sharing of talents. It is also important to note that in the past 50 years, many of our theater students, including Youngstown’s own Ed O’Neill, have gone on to successful careers in theater and other areas of the entertainment industry.”

The “Musical Commemoration” started as a senior project by students Rebecca Anderson of Cortland, Ohio, Joseph Alvey of Parma, Ohio, John Cruz of Mineral Ridge, Ohio; and Kelly Sullivan of Youngstown, Ohio. The finished product is 34 scenes and songs selected to present the best of what the YSU Department of Theater and Dance has produced over the last half century.

Students performing are: Joey Alvey, Parma, Ohio; Connor Bezeredi, Salem, Ohio; Justin Brown, Jefferson, Ohio; John Cruz, Mineral Ridge, Ohio; Katelyn Deladurantey, Boardman, Ohio; Rebecca Enlow, Youngstown, Ohio; Michael Free, Greenville, Pa.; Anthony Humphrey, New Castle, Pa.; Katie Jerome, Westlake, Ohio; Nikita Jones, Youngstown, Ohio; Matt Malloy, Beaver, Pa.; Carly Magnuson, Canfield, Ohio; Zara Markman, Amherst, Wis.; Natalie Martzial, Youngstown, Ohio; Emily Shipley, Struthers, Ohio; Eric Shonk, Canal Winchester, Ohio; Kelly Sullivan, Youngstown, Ohio; Kiyan Taghaboni, Boardman, Ohio.

Musicians are: Cory Davis, piano/conductor; Dan Kalosky, bass; and Troy Schaltenbrand, percussion.

Tickets may be purchased by calling the University Theater Box Office at 330-941-3105. Tickets are free for YSU students with ID; $10 for adults; $5 for senior citizens, YSU faculty and staff, high school and college students from other universities, Penguin Club members and YSU alumni. Parking is available in the Wick Avenue deck for a nominal fee.