“Merrily We Roll Along” coming to AU’s Hugo Young Theatre Feb. 15-18
ASHLAND, Ohio – The Ashland University Department of Theatre’s next production will be “Merrily We Roll Along,” a Stephen Sondheim and George Furth musical to be held Thursday through Sunday, Feb. 15-18, at the Hugo Young Theatre. The Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday’s matinee is at 2 p.m.
“Merrily We Roll Along” features Sondheim’s music and lyrics and Furth’s book, which are based on the 1934 original play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. This production will be directed by Teresa Durbin-Ames, associate professor of theatre at AU, with Deb Logan as the music director and Katie Gibson in charge of choreography.
“Merrily We Roll Along” is a captivating and emotional journey through time, exploring the complexities of friendship, ambition, dreams and the choices we make in life, according to Durbin-Ames. The story follows Franklin Shepard, played by Tobin Grendzynski, and his friends Charley Kringas, played by Anthony Marchetta, and Mary Flynn, played by Emilee Fletcher. Shepard is a composer of Broadway musicals, Kringas a playwright and Flynn a writer, and their personal and professional aspirations test the bonds of friendship.
Also included in the talented cast are Leanna Uselton as Gussie Carnegie, Ellie Nickoli as Beth Spencer and Keever Whitehead as Joe Josephson. The ensemble includes Lily Dowler, Elizabeth Harris, Anthony McFee, Gabe Noble, Bolaji Ogunniran and Ray Yeh, while the cast also consists of community members Tom Cline, Parker Kipp and Alex Ramsey.
In addition to Logan and Gibson, the production staff is composed of Justin Miller, set and projection designer; Justin Bilewicz ’09, costume designer; Seth Morrison ’18, lighting designer and technical director; and Richard Ingraham, sound designer. The student crew includes Hermelinda (Mela) Abarca, Belle Ayala, Jesse Baker, Eiley McCardle, Brooke McNeil, props master Marisa Hazlett and stage manager Mikehlah Carr.
Alumni and friends of AU Theatre are invited to an open house and dinner before the Saturday performance. The open house in the Center for the Arts starts at 4 p.m., followed by a buffet dinner in Redwood Hall at 5:30 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased from the AU Campus Store in person or online at ashland.edu/performing-arts-tickets. They will not be available for purchase at the door. Tickets are $2 for AU students, $5 for non-AU students and $10 for adults, faculty/staff and senior citizens, while tickets for the dinner are $15. This production is licensed by Music Theatre International.
Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.