MCCC Drama Students to Perform
Medieval Mystery Plays Feb. 16-24

1/26/07


Fourteen multi-talented MCCC drama students will play a total of 54 roles when they present "The Mysteries," a series of marvelous mystery plays that hail from Medieval times. According to Drama program coordinator Jody Person, "In just 2-1/2 hours, we take the audience from the creation of man and woman to the last judgment, complete with an apocalyptic scene of demons and hellfire." The plays will be performed on Fridays, Feb. 16 and 23, and Saturdays, Feb. 17 and 24 at 8 p.m. in the Studio Theatre, located on MCCC's West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. (The Studio Theatre is an intimate performance space located next to Kelsey Theatre.)

According to Person, mystery plays are a major form of Medieval European drama, with plots and characters drawn from the Bible. A precursor to Shakespearean theater, they blend the sacred with the humorous, sometimes getting the story hilariously wrong while making their point. Still performed regularly in Europe, "these tales provide delightful entertainment on a level that both children and adults can enjoy," Person said. "They are wonderful, exciting and adventurous, and include interaction with the audience. I wish Sunday school was taught this way." He gives the show a PG-rating for some mild violence and off-color language.

In what Person describes as "religion meets the traveling circus," the MCCC student production will include modern touches such as God's entrance in an SUV and other actors arriving on scooters and bikes. While most of the pieces are from the Middle Ages, contemporary works from Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo and Academy Award Winner Ingmar Bergman offer a more modern religious perspective. "One of our jobs as educators is to help students embrace the diversity in the world around them. These plays give students and their audience a chance to consider the concept of faith and the different spiritual perspectives that we all bring to the table."

Cast members include: Melanie Britten, Kevin Daniel, Josiah DeAndrea, Jennifer Fordyce, Clayton Gage, Michael Gervasoni, Keith Harper, Jr., Ricki Hearns, Shauri Johnson, Dan Lownie, Nitta (first name only), Yiraldi Reyes, Nikki Russano, and Justin Schilling.

The show is directed by Sherry Teitelbaum, a New York City professional who has spent 30 years in theater. She has directed at Performers Access Studio, Fordham University, The Century Ballroom Theater, Spilling Black Ink Productions, The Educational Alliance at the E. 14th Street Y, Musical Theatre Southwest, Yale University, and the Provincetown New Works Festival and Shakespeare & Company in Massachusetts.

Tickets for "The Mysteries" are $12 for adults, and $10 for students and children. Free parking is available next to the theater. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333.

"The Mysteries" Cast in Rehearsal
The "Mysteries" cast, left to right, Michael Gervasoni, Ricki Hearns, Nikki Russano, Nitta (first name only), Dan Lownie, Yiraldi Reyes, Kevin Daniel, Melanie Britten, Shauri Johnson, Jennifer Fordyce, Kieth Harper and Josiah DeAndrea. Not pictured: Clayton Gage.
Kevin Daniel and Melanie Britten
Yiraldi Reyes
Ricki Hearns and Keith Harper

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