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Oswego Players Cast ‘To Kill A Mocking Bird’

OSWEGO, NY – Oswego Players’ director Bobby Fontana and his assistant director Norman Berlin III have chosen the cast for Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize winner, “To Kill a Mocking Bird.”

This 1960 classic of modern American Literature is slated to go up in the Players’ Frances Marion Brown Theatre mid to late April.

Heading the large cast is Wayne Mosher as Atticus Finch, with Madeline Reister and Will Bandla as his children, Scout and Jem.

Troy Pepper, director of last fall’s “Hound of the Baskervilles,” will take on the role of Tom Robinson, the accused, and Oswego Players’ stalwart, Larry Rose, will be Judge Taylor.

Other cast members include Quinn Etchie, Shana White, Kelly and Peter Mahan, Beverly and Ashley Murtha, Marsha Preston, Richard Mosher, Hunter Schaffer, Scott Bandla, Kyle Walton, Paul Steffens and Sherod Laliveres.

Steven Mahan will be supplying backstage voices.

This show is particularly timely in view of recent controversy regarding Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn.”

Confirmed dates will be published as soon as they are received.

Oswego Players Cast ‘The Mousetrap’

OSWEGO, NY – Oswego Players director Inez Manor Parker has selected a fine cast for her February production of “The Mousetrap” by Agatha Christie.

This delightful mystery will be acted by Nelson Metz, Sherri Baker, Bobby Fontana, Chris and Dale Bixler, Tammy Wilkinson, Jonathan Altman and Steve Standish.

This fine old chestnut has been resurrected many times due to its extreme popularity with audiences who admire Christie’s work.

Parker says she’s often asked when she is going to do another mystery with “The Mousetrap” at the top of the list.

Show dates are set for Feb. 18 and 19; 25 and 26 at 8 p.m., with a matinee on Feb. 27 at 2 p.m.

The Oswego Players box office will be handling reservations very soon for all performances.

Ticket prices are $10/adults, $8/seniors and $7/students.

Please peruse Oswego County Today.com and other local media for future updates.

Nuncrackers Continues Its Run This Weekend

By Chelsea Hutt, Contributing Writer
OSWEGO, NY – If you’re looking for entertainment to help you get into the holiday spirit this season, the latest play at Frances Marion Theatre is an event sure to please.

More of a musical, rather than a play, “Nuncrackers: A Nunsense Christmas Musical,” is loosely based on the musical written by Dan Groggin.

Pictured are those wacky nuns from “Nuncrackers.”  Front row from left Dan Williams, Tammy Wilkinson and Molly Brown.  Back row from left Donna Brown and Beth DeRosie.

Pictured are those wacky nuns from “Nuncrackers.” Front row from left Dan Williams, Tammy Wilkinson and Molly Brown. Back row from left Donna Brown and Beth DeRosie.

Directed by Inez Manor Parker, the play chronicles The Sisters of Hoboken as they put on a televised Christmas show in “real time,” in front of a live audience.

The show is provided from the WCON-TV cable television station built by the Mother Superior.

Near the beginning of the show, the audience is introduced to Sister Mary Paul, or Amnesia as the other sisters call her.

She interacts with the audience, telling stories and moving about the aisles. Amnesia continues to live up to her name and provide comic relief throughout the show.

There are a variety of traditional Christmas songs sung by the Sisters, Father Virgil Manly Trott, and three younger members in the WCON-TV Christmas show: John Kelly, Louise Mayfield and Maria Montini.

When hearing songs, many will remember their childhood and the memories associated with them.

The cast members have wonderful voices that harmonize well together.

To add further delight to the play, The Sisters of Hoboken share a few whimsical songs with the audience members.

These can be classified as rather unusual. “Santa’s Little Teapot” seemed to be a crowd pleaser, complete with a dance of the three young actors resembling a teapot.

“We Three Kings of Orient R Us” was an interesting take on the traditional song, the title referring to shopping during the holiday season.

The audience was rarely silent as the play progressed, laughing and yelling out responses to the cast members’ questions.

The story of The Nutcracker is performed as Sister Mary Regina, the Reverend Mother, narrates the tale.

The dance follows along with the theme of the play, and gets more than a few chuckles from its viewers.

There is also an underlying message about the holiday season in the play that goes along with the idea that sharing with others is better than only thinking of oneself.

Many of the crowd members gave a standing ovation at the play’s end and praised the cast members after the show.

This “nunsense” of a show could quite possible be called nonsense, but the mix of magical nostalgia and silly scenes makes this play fun for everyone in the family.

Time is quickly winding down to catch the last three performances of this very funny and popular show that opened last weekend.

It is the first time the Oswego Players have presented any of Groggin’s “Nunsense” series and it is a far cry from the usual Christmas-themed offerings.

The “Sisters from Hoboken” perform their antics again this weekend.

Final show dates and times are Dec. 10 and 11 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 12 at 2 p.m.

All tickets for this musical offering will be $10.

Reservations will be accepted at The Players Box Office (315) 343-5138.

Baker Has Dual SM Roles

OSWEGO, NY – Oswego Players’ actress Sherri Baker has found dual meaning in the term stage manager.

Baker is cast as Aggie Manville, a character in the show “Play On,” by Rick Abbott, soon to be presented at The Church of the Resurrection.

Her role is described as stage manager and prompter.

Rehearsing a scene from “Play On” are from left: Jennifer Belt-Patterson, Jennifer Snow, Molly Brown, Kyle Watson and Mark Mirabito.

Rehearsing a scene from “Play On” are from left: Jennifer Belt-Patterson, Jennifer Snow, Molly Brown, Kyle Watson and Mark Mirabito.

However, with the mystery, “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” rehearsing for an Oct. 8 to 17 run on the Frances Marion Brown stage at the Fort, backstage personnel were stretched thin.

Baker volunteered to take on the stage manager (for real) duties as well as acting the stage manager in the play.

Sound confusing?

It definitely is, and just wait until you see the “play within a play” antics written into the script.

If one is interested in wrapping one’s mind around the plot, one really must make a reservation for this dinner theatre fundraiser.

With all her previous theatre experience, Baker should have no problem handling both SMs with support from the very capable ensemble cast and crew.

Coming to her aid will be fellow female cast members Jennifer Snow, Carol Dufrane, Jennifer Belt-Patterson, Molly Brown and Amanda Mosher.

All of these ladies have solid theatre backgrounds, which bodes well for the success of this show.

The third act provides lots of laughs as even the actors seem not too sure of which way is up.

Come prepared for a grand night of fun.

And, lest we forget the males, Nelson Metz, Mark Mirabito, Ed Lewis and Kyle Watson will be adding to the mayhem.

“Play On” will be presented in dinner theatre format at the Church of the Resurrection on Oct. 22 and 23.

Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m.; show begins at 7:30 p.m.

Cost of the dinner and show is $25.

Show only ticket is $10.

Reservations may be made by calling the Players’ Box Office at 315-343-5138.

Inez Parker To Direct Fundraiser

OSWEGO, NY – Inez Manor Parker is once again volunteering her time and talent to directing a show for the benefit of both her Church of the Resurrection and the Oswego Players in late October.

Both groups are lending their efforts to make this event a great success.

This year her choice is “Play On” by Rick Abbott and it is truly one of the funniest shows about a play within a play that this writer has ever seen.

Inez Parker

Inez Parker

Theatre actors, backstage workers, directors, writers and patrons will all enjoy this rollicking rendition of a director attempting to mount a well-honed play with an author who just can’t stop rewriting the script.

Parker has enjoyed a long and successful career with the Oswego Players, both on stage and in the background.

She has served as the president since 1994 with a two-year interruption over 2008-2009.

Under her leadership the group has prospered and grown.

“Play On” is the type of script that is difficult on a standard stage, let alone the church’s unique space.

Parker, never one to back away from a challenge, is sure to use all of her tricks of the trade on this one.

She has selected an experienced cast, well up to the task.

“Play On” is an exceptionally amusing “show within a show” comedy, and well worth seeing.

The ensemble cast includes Nelson Metz, Sherri Baker, Jennifer Snow, Kyle Walton, Ed Lewis, Jennifer Belt-Patterson, Carol Dufrane, Mark Mirabito, Molly Brown and Amanda Mosher.

The show will be presented in the usual dinner theatre format at the church, 120 W. Fifth St., on Oct. 22 and 23.

As usual, a delicious dinner will be served by the ladies of the church, featuring their popular homemade desserts, at 6:30 p.m.

Curtain is at 7:30 p.m.

The cost of the dinner and show is $25. Show only ticket is $10.

Reservations may be made by calling the Players Box Office at 315-343-5138 after Oct. 8.

Art Association, Players Fighting To Keep Facility Open

OSWEGO, NY – There is plenty going on at Building 30 in Fort Ontario Park.

The entranceway concrete is cracked so badly, you can see the ground several feet below.

The entranceway concrete is cracked so badly, you can see the ground several feet below.

The Art Association of Oswego has some upcoming shows and other events. Their co-tenants, the Oswego Players, are staging “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

Both groups would like to see more activity outside as well.

The building that houses the two arts organizations is in need of much repair.

“Even if we had the money, most of the repairs would likely not take place until around winter because of all the shows we have going on this fall,” said Peter Mahan of the Art Association of Oswego. “We need to find a time to do the work when it is advantageous for all parties.”

The city is looking at repair the concrete entranceway; there are large cracks in some sections where you can see down to the ground several feet below. At one end, the metal railing is falling off.

In some places, the old building just needs a fresh coat of paint.

Other areas are more cause for concern. The flashing and sections of the slate roof are in disrepair. There are also holes rotted into the boards covering many of the windows. And, squirrels have gotten into the theater through a hole in the wall on the side of the facility.

“Scrapping and painting probably won’t be enough for the windows,” Mahan noted. “We’ll have to get new plywood and recover them. There are more than a dozen we have to fix.”

Because it is an historic building, it should be easier for the city to get grants to help maintain it, he observed.

The covering on many of the windows on the ground level have rotted out.

The covering on many of the windows on the ground level have rotted out.

The building has been an arts center since 1964. With a tighter budget recently, the city is hard pressed to keep up with the maintenance. As part of the lease deal, the city is supposed to keep up the outside of the building.

DPW Commissioner Mike Smith said he has discussed the issue with Second Ward Councilor Mike Myers.

“We haven’t made any formal plans about what to do over there this season,” he said. “There are several buildings down there that need some tender loving care. We’ll see what we can work out them.”

Finding enough funding for everything could be a problem, he admits.

“It’s a totally unique situation down here because we have a multi-purpose arts center; both performance art and exhibitions for art exhibits on the other side and classroom space as well,” Mahan said. “There is really nothing in Oswego County like this. The only one I’m aware of is down in Cortland, and that one’s just a couple years old.”

They have been doing odd jobs here and there, but hope the city will be able to kick in and help with the major repairs.

The groups shut down for a while over the winter; that saves some on utility bills, but they’re still about $300 per month, Mahan noted.

“Some of the cosmetic stuff could be done this summer. And then we’re looking at, if everything goes well, the city working on the entranceway, the railing and some other areas during the winter,” he said.

A broken out window pane allows squirrels, birds and the elements to get inside the building.

A broken out window pane allows squirrels, birds and the elements to get inside the building.

“The (entranceway) railing was hit by a snowplow. They promised us they would put it back. We have not seen that,” said Inez Parker of the Oswego Players. “We need new doors desperately. We’ll buy them if the city installs them. I know times are tough.”

The city used to pay the utility bills for the facility. Then one day they said they couldn’t do it any more, she said.

“We had money in the bank a few years ago, a goodly amount. But you know how (utility bills) can be; this building is a cave,” she said.

It is also making it tough on the art association, she added.

The city should promote its arts more than it does, she said.

“I’d much rather see a kid tap dancing or learning lines (for a play) than out twittering, drinking or smoking,” she said. “Here it’s safe. We’ve got to keep this building safe, keep it alive. And, that’s what we’re trying to do. But it’s hard; it’s really, really hard. But we’re doing it.”

Veteran Director Bobby Fontana Leads The Oswego Players’ “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”

The Oswego Players present "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" April 16 through  April 25 at the Frances Marion Brown Theater. Pictured in the Photo is Production Director Bobby Fontana. Photo by Tobie McIntosh

The Oswego Players present "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" April 16 through April 25 at the Frances Marion Brown Theater. Pictured in the Photo is Production Director Bobby Fontana. Photo by Tobie McIntosh

The Oswego Players will open their second production of the2010 season Friday April 11 with the Ken Kesey’s classic drama “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. Directed by veteran director Bobby Fontana.

Bobby Fontana has been involved with local theater since 1995 when he appeared in an Oswego Players production of “Lend Me a Tenor”. Since then he has been seen on stage in dozens of shows including “The Wizard of Oz”, “The Christmas Spirit”, “Flying Colors”, “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Children’s Hour”. In addition to acting, Bob has also directed several productions including “The Fourth Wall”, “Philadelphia Story”, “The Four Poster Bed”, “Cheaper by the Dozen”, “Sylvia”, “The Runner Stumbles”, and “Butterflies are Free” He has also performed with the Fulton Community Theatre, Oswego Opera Theater, and Port City Theatre in “Godspell”, “In His Steps”, and “John, His Story”.

Bob is supported in the production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Quinn Etchie as assistant director and Sharon Darrow, as stage Manger. Technical staffers include Ken Snow and Norm Berlin Jr. on set construction and Richard Mosher on light design.

The production features an ensemble cast including Peter Mahan as Randle P. McMurphy and Laura Lowerie as Nurse Ratched. Other cast includes, Joe Calverase, Zane Leo, Sue Pirrera, Troy Pepper, Kyle Walton, Richard Mosher, Norman Berlin III, Norman Berlin Jr, Ken Snow, Dennis Darrow, Jennifer Snow, Larry Rose, Amanda Lee Mosher.

The show will be presented April 16, 17, 23 and 24 at 8:00 p.m. with a matinee performance on April 25 at 2:00 p.m. at the Frances Marion Brown Theater, located in the Civic Arts Center building in Fort Ontario Park in Oswego. Tickets are $10 for Adults, $9 for seniors and $7 for students. . For reservations call 343-5138. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is produced by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc.

The Oswego Players “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” To Open in April

On Friday April 16 The Oswego Players will present the second production of the 2010 season with the Ken Kesey drama “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.

The cast features Peter Mahan as Randle P. McMurphy and Laura Lowerie as Nurse Ratched. Other cast includes, Joe Calverase, Zane Leo, Sue Pirrera, Troy Pepper, Kyle Walton, Richard Mosher, Norman Berlin III, Norman Berlin Jr, Ken Snow, Dennis Darrow, Jennifer Snow, Larry Rose, Amanda Lee Mosher.

The story begins as Randle P.McMurphy , a minor criminal, convinces his guards that he’s crazy enough to need psychiatric care, and so he is sent to a mental hospital. He fits in frighteningly well, and his different point of view actually seems to cause some of the patients to progress. Nurse Ratched, the tyrannical ward supervisor, becomes his persecutor, as his resistance to the hospital routine gets on her nerves, His free spirited attitudes lead to a near rebellion amongst the patients. Nurse Ratched reacts to this by placing ever-greater restrictions on McMurphy, and the ward, eventually leading to McMurphy’s destruction. Watching this process, without saying a word, the half-breed, Chief Bromdon, inspired by McMurphy’s resistance, finds the will to take back his own life.

The Oswego Players production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is directed by Bobby Fontana aided by Quinn Etchie as assistant director and Sharon Darrow as stage Manger. Technical staffers include Ken Snow and Norm Berlin Jr. on Set design and construction and Richard Mosher on light design.

The show will be presented April 16, 17, 23 and 24 at 8:00 p.m.with a matinee performance on April 25 at 2:00 p.m. at the Frances Marion Brown Theater, located in the Civic Arts Center building in Fort Ontario Park in Oswego. Tickets are $10 for Adults, $9 for seniors and $7 for students. . For reservations call 343-5138. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is produced by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc.

Oswego Players Reprise the Neil Simon Classic Comedy “Rumors” February 12

The Oswego Players present a reprise production Neil Simon’s Classic Comedy, “Rumors on Friday, February 12 and Saturday, February 13, at 8 p.m. with a matinee performance on Sunday February 14 at 2 p.m. Pictured in the photo at a recent rehearsal are cast members Matt Lamphere, Nelson Metz, Jennie Snow, and Sherrie Baker. Photo by Tobie McIntosh.

The Oswego Players present a reprise production Neil Simon’s Classic Comedy, “Rumors on Friday, February 12 and Saturday, February 13, at 8 p.m. with a matinee performance on Sunday February 14 at 2 p.m. Pictured in the photo at a recent rehearsal are cast members Matt Lamphere, Nelson Metz, Jennie Snow, and Sherrie Baker. Photo by Tobie McIntosh.

The Oswego Players will present a reprise production of Neil Simon’s classic comedy, “Rumors”, this coming Friday February 12 for a 3 day run.

The story of the play concerns four affluent couples who gather for a dinner party celebrating their host’s tenth wedding anniversary. So, The Players plan to allow the audience to participate in the anniversary celebration by inviting patrons to attend a wine, and cheese, party before the curtain and sampling a anniversary cake at intermission.

The Oswego Players version of the show will feature a cast of Oswego Players regulars, including Nelson Metz, Sherrie Baker, Kelly Mahon, Matt Lamphere, Jennie Snow; Laura Lowerie, and Peter Mahon, along with Chris Bixler, Nicki Snow and Mark Muribito The Show will be directed by veteren Director Inez Manor Parker.

Neil Simon’s “Rumors” was first presented on Broadway on November 17, 1988 at the Broadhurst Theatre, where it ran for slightly more than a year before transferring to the Ethel Barrymore, for a total run of 535 performances. The original cast included Lisa Banes, Christine Baranski, Ken Howard, Ron Leibman, Joyce Van Patten, and Jessica Walter.

“Rumors” will be presented on the evenings of Friday, February 12 and Saturday, February 13 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee performance on Sunday February 14 at 2 p.m. The show will be performed at the Francis Marion Brown Theater located in The Civic arts Center Building at Fort Ontario Park in Oswego. Tickets for the show and the additional festivities are $15. Reservations can be made by calling the Oswego Players box office at 343-5138.

The show is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc.

The Oswego Players Invite Patrons to an Anniversary Party as They Reprise Neil Simon’s “Rumors”

The Oswego Players are inviting their Patrons to an Anniversary Party for the up-coming reprise production of the Neil Simon comedy, “Rumors”

The story of the play concerns four affluent couples who gather for a dinner party celebrating their host’s tenth wedding anniversary. The Players plan to allow the audience to celebrate this anniversary, with the cast, by inviting patrons to attend the party before the action of the play begins and at intermission.

The celebration of Charlie and Myra Brock’s tenth anniversary will consist of a wine, and cheese, party before the curtain and an anniversary cake at intermission; and therefore, will charge $15 for all seats

The cast is filled out by Oswego Players veterans Nelson Metz and Sherrie Baker; Kelly Mahon and Jim McGann; Matt Lamphere and Jennie Snow; and Laura Lowerie and Peter Mahon.; and Chris Bixler and Nicky Snow.

The show will be directed by Oswego Players president and vetern director Inez Manor Parker assisted by Erin McIntosh.

“Rumors” will be presented on the evenings of Friday, February 12 and Saturday, February 13 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee performance on Sunday February 14 at 2 p.m. The show will be performed at the Francis Marion Brown Theater located in The Civic arts Center Building at Fort Ontario Park in Oswego. Reservations can be made by calling the Oswego Players box office at 343-5138.

The show is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc

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