UU to Perform Titanic: The Musical

URBANA, Ohio (April 11, 2012) - The Urbana University Singers present TITANIC: The Musical on Saturday, April 14 and Sunday April 15, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in the University Student Center Sara Landess Room. There is no admission charge or reservation needed. The production is presented in conjunction with the UU History Club’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, on April 14, 1912 off the coast of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic Ocean. There were 2,224 passengers and crew; only 710 survived.

The cast includes the University Singers, members of the UU faculty and staff, and community members. The orchestra is comprised of 25 professional musicians, many of which are local music educators. The stage and music director is Robert Marks, director of choral activities; Larry Brickman, director of financial aid, and Melissa Closser, director of marketing are the choreographers; Tom Murphy is the sound and light technician; Leslie Steiner and Ellen Vitt are the rehearsal accompanists. Students leads are: from Logan County, Ariel Almassy as Alice Beane, Katie Dudgeon as Lookout Frederick Fleet, Kathleen Ollhoff as Eleanor Widener, Heather Stratton as Charlotte Drake Cardoza, and Casey White as Quartermaster Robert Hitchens; Champaign County, Kara Elias as Edith Corse Evans, Troy and Lorien Ferguson as John Jacob and Madeleine Astor, John-Mark Howley as Radio Operator Harold Bride, Ashley Hughes as Caroline Neville, and Jeffrey McClain as Head 1st Class Steward Etches; Miami County, Gina Grusenmeyer as Bandleader Wallace Hartley, and Cody Peterson as White Star Line Owner J. Bruce Ismay; Union County, Bryant Runyon as 1st Class Officer Murdoch, and David Smith as Stoker Frederick Barrett; and, Eddie Bosier-Sholler from Wilmington as Edgar Beane, Ryan Cochran from Lyndhurst as Jim Farrell, Rachel Kelly from Lancaster as Madame Aubert; and, Mercedes Dagnan from Springfield, Kim Hazlewood from Johnsville, and Kacie Purinton from Urbana as “The Three Kates”.

Faculty and staff include: Larry Brickman and Dr. Sylvia Bryant as Isidor and Ida Straus; Tom Smith as Captain E.J. Smith; Gary Crist as Benjamin Guggenheim; Melissa Closser as Marion Thayer; and Dr. Christina DiGangi as a member of the ensemble.

Visiting performers include: Pat Closser as John Thayer, Christopher Crosby as Architect Thomas Andrews, Lucas Keeran as 2nd Officer Lightoller, Steven Gnandt as 4th Officer Boxhall, and Andrew Weisgerber as Jack Thayer.

The Titanic musical, with story and book by Peter Stone and music and lyrics by Maury Yeston, opened on Broadway on April 23, 1997. It won five Tony Awards including the award for Best Musical. This production is performed with the permission of Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc. The musical is set on the ocean liner RMS Titanic as it begins its maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City. The story intertwines the lives of the wealthy elite passengers maintaining their privileged lives in First Class to the immigrants in 3rd class dreaming of a new life in America. All dreams are dashed with the collision of the ship into an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. on Sunday, April 14, 1912, just four days after departing from Southampton, Cherbourg, France, and Queenstown (now Cobh), Ireland. The survivors then deal with the icy cold waters in the lifeboats wondering whether they will live to see the break of day.

For more information, contact Robert Marks at 937-484-1205 or by email at bmarks@urbana.edu .

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