Cast Named for Carlow’s Production of Our American Cousin

Cast announced for Carlow University Theatre’s production of “Our American Cousin.”

University Communications For Immediate Release
Drew Wilson, Director, Media Relations March 17, 2015
412.578.2095 (phone)
412.260.6807 (cell)
412.578.2080 (fax)
agwilson@carlow.edu

Community Theatre Veterans Join Carlow Students, Alumni, Faculty, and Staff

PITTSBURGH, PA – Carlow University Theatre has announced the cast for its production of Our American Cousin, which will be presented April 14 through April 19, 2015, in the Rosemary Heyl Theatre in Antonian Hall, located on the Carlow campus. Curtain times are 8 p.m., Tuesday, April 14 through Saturday, April 18, with 2 p.m. matinee performances on April 18 and Sunday, April 19.

“Carlow students, faculty, staff, and veterans of community theatre are coming together to make this production a historical experience for all,” said Steve Fatla, the director of Carlow University Theatre, as well as the director of the play that will open on the 150th anniversary of one of the most tragic events in United States history.

Fatla plans to take the audience back in time to 1865 by keeping the play as historically true to the spirit of the times – complete with audience members who will react in a manner in keeping from that era.

The cast (listed in alphabetical order) includes:

Michael Brewer, from Shaler, who has a BFA in acting from Montclair State University, is playing Asa Trenchard, the American cousin.

Steve Bucilli, from Penn Hills, who is a veteran of several Carlow Theatre productions, is playing Mr. Binny, the butler.

Tara Cabache, a Carlow sophomore, majoring in accounting, from Newtown, Mass., is playing Sharpe, one of the servants.

Carli Cardillo, a Carlow freshman from Imperial, Pa., and West Allegheny High School, is playing Mary Trenchard.

Tim Colbert, a North Side resident and a veteran of community theatre, is playing Lord Dundreary.

Kerry Connell, a community theatre veteran from Observatory Hill on Pittsburgh’s North Side, is playing Georgina.

Lisa J. DePasquale, a Carlow alumna from the class of 2011, who resides in Oakland, is playing Augusta.

Jay Keenan, a South Side resident and retired Duquesne University professor, who led Duquesne’s Red Masquers for 25 years, is playing Sir Edward Trenchard.

Rachel Makary, a Carlow freshman and resident of Pittsburgh’s Greenfield neighborhood, is playing Skillet, one of the servants.

Paul Marion, Jr., a Monroeville resident and community theatre veteran, is playing Buddicombe, one of the servants.

Eric Matthews, a Bethel Park resident, as well as an alumnus of both Duquesne University and the Red Masquers, has previously performed in Carlow Theatre productions. He is playing Mr. Coyle, the villain of the play.

Marsha Mayhak, a Forest Hills resident and a senior at Duquesne University, where she is currently the president of the Red Masquers, is playing Florence Trenchard, the part played by Laura Keane, considered the greatest actress of that time.

Mary Onufer, a Carlow faculty member in business management and a resident of Forest Hills, is playing Mrs. Mountchessington.

Drew Sieber, a Carlow freshman and graduate of North Hills High School, is playing Abel Murcott.

Drew Wilson, a Forest Hills resident and a Carlow staff member, is playing John Wickens, a servant.

Although not part of the original production, Fatla has included an audience of four, who will be situated on stage and become part of the production.  Fatla explains that an audience member in the 1860s would have been more interactive with the production than contemporary audiences are used to being.  The stage audience is being included in the production to provide a more authentic feel for today’s audience.

The Audience members include: Maria Reilsono, a Carlow alumna from the class of 2008; Kimberly Legler, a Carlow alumna from the class of 2009; Jalina McClarin, a Carlow senior majoring in psychology from Bethesda, Ohio; and Michael McBurney, a Bloomfield resident and veteran of both Carlow and community theatre productions.

Our American Cousin was the play Abraham Lincoln was attending on April 14, 1865, at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC when he was shot by John Wilkes Booth, who – before he became infamous as an assassin – was considered the most famous actor in America.  Lincoln survived through the night and died at 7:22 a.m. on April 15.

Booth waited until Act III, Scene 2 for a specific line of the play that always got a loud reaction from the audience to fire his pistol. The audience’s laughter masked the sound of the gunshot, but it wasn’t long until the crowd erupted in chaos and Booth escaped from the theatre.

Carlow’s production of Our American Cousin opens on Tuesday, April 14 at 8 p.m., and there will be 8 p.m. curtain times from Tuesday, April 14 until Saturday, April 18.  There will be two 2 p.m. matinee performances on Saturday, April 18, and Sunday, April 19.

Tickets are $20, $30 or $40 and reservations can be made over the phone at 412.578.8749 or by emailing sfatla@carlow.edu. Groups of 10 or more can receive a discount when tickets are ordered in advance. Proceeds will benefit the Chartiers Cemetery Civil War & World War I Headstone Restoration Project.

In addition to the performances, there will be a Civil War encampment, firearm demonstrations, a Clara Barton re-enactor, historical artifacts and write-ups, and even an Abraham Lincoln impersonator.

Look for event updates at OurAmericanCousinCutg.wordpress.com.

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About Carlow University

Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Carlow University was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1929. Offering both undergraduate and graduate programs, Carlow University is a comprehensive master’s institution dedicated to learner-centered education at the collegiate levels and at the elementary school level in the Campus School of Carlow University.

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