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Comic Renaissance Tale "Mandragola" to be Presented by
MCCC Theatre Students Nov. 11-13


West Windsor, N.J. - Blend comedy, romance, deception and a touch of bawdy, circa 1518, and it all adds up to a surprisingly contemporary good time when Theatre students at Mercer County Community College present "Mandragola" as the first of two fall productions. The Renaissance comedy will be performed Friday and Saturday, Nov. 11 and 12 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. at Mercer's Studio Theatre, located next to Kelsey Theatre on the West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

Set in Italy, "Mandragola" is a tale of lust, love, and deceit populated with rich characters: a young gallant with seduction on his mind, an old man and his young wife, a schemer, an able assistant, an unscrupulous priest, and a mother who wants grandchildren. Everyone is guided by ulterior motives and their baser instincts - money, comfort and sex! And they'll help one another if there's something in it for them.

The colorful student cast includes Nicholas Andrejco of Hamilton, Zulekia Dockery of Hamilton, Rachel Garretson of East Windsor, Parker Harris of Lawrenceville, Ned Inacone of Princeton Junction, Keegan McDonald of Princeton, Becky Moon of Hamilton, and Megan Sherow of Millstone. MCCC's Theatre and Dance Program is coordinated by Associate Professor Jody Person.

Entertainment Technology (EnTech) student Fredy A. Barrientos is the sound designer and alumnus David Walter is the lighting designer under the direction of Program Coordinator Bob Terrano. Stage manager is alumna Jill Donchak. Additionally, assisting with lighting and sound will be Sergio Fernandez, Jennifer Diaz and Adrian Edwards.

According to the show's director, Lou J. Stalsworth of Allentown, "Mandragola" is a timeless tale that could have been written last week, but in fact was penned by Niccolo Machiavelli some 500 years ago. The director brings considerable enthusiasm to the production, noting that the play is one of his all-time favorites. "It's wicked, bawdy and, despite being written some 500 years ago, is incredibly contemporary. It's an example of no matter how much things change, nothing really changes at all. It's Machiavelli at his best. Funny, funny, funny."

Stalsworth points out that the show's language, politics and geography are somewhat foreign to his young cast. "Places, people and politics of the time are referenced throughout the script and require cast members to do their homework. It's a great learning experience for Mercer's drama students and a chance for them to delve deep to make the show understandable and enjoyable for modern audiences."

Stalsworth is planning to enjoy the experience too. "I've wanted to direct this show for years, and now that I've got the chance, I intend to make the best of it. I invite all theater fans to come have a laugh with us."

Tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for seniors, and $12 for students and children. Free parking is available next to Kelsey Theatre. Tickets are available by calling the Kelsey Theatre Box office at 609-570-3333 or can be ordered online here.

In rehearsal, from left, Keegan McDonald, Parker Harris and Ned Inacone.
Megan Sherow, left, and Zulekia Dockery in a scene from "Mandragola."
The cast also features Nicholas Andrejco and Rachel Garretson.

Learn more about the Theatre program here and more about the Dance program here.

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