MouthWorks Troupe to Perform at MCCC June 7
Additional Shows to Benefit Local Firehouses and Rescue Squads this Summer


Now in its seventh year, MouthWorks, Mercer County Community College's unique comedy troupe, will perform its hilarious blend of comedy, song, and dance on Sunday, June 7 in CM 122 - Studio Theatre, located on the college's West Windsor campus at 1200 Old Trenton Road. The show starts at 8 p.m. and is free and open to the public. No reservations are needed, but theater goers should arrive early for good seats.

After the kick-off performance on June 7, MouthWorks takes its show on tour for the first time ever with benefit performances at local firehouses and rescue squads. Performances will be held at White Horse Volunteer Fire Company on June 12, Kingston Volunteer Fire Company on June 20, and Lambertville-New Hope Rescue Squad on August 29.

MouthWorks cast members include: (back row, left to right) Jim O'Boyle, Adam Politis, Heather Roman and Yiraldi Reyes; (front row, left to row) Suraj Bajaj, Kristen Branchizio, Hayley Kimmel and Rob Liedtka.
Not pictured: Tour Manager Chris Ghaffoor

According to MCCC Communications faculty member Kathi Paluscio, MouthWorks' coach and director, the economic downturn was the catalyst for the tour, providing her students with an exciting new challenge and giving community organizations a novel and enjoyable way to bring in revenue. She says audiences won't be disappointed. "We aim high. Everyone feels good after a MouthWorks show - that's our promise!" Paluscio describes the performance as an original mix of running gags and jokes, songs, dance and a parade of hilarious, memorable characters.

With a PG rating - "practically G," says Paluscio -- the show is modeled after traveling theater troupes of Medieval Europe. "The theme is of poor vagabonds who make do with ill-fitting costumes and bad props. The show includes music, puppetry, and comedic skits. The tone is crazy and chaotic. Every moment is planned, but it doesn't look like it," Paluscio explains.

She notes that the chemistry among current cast members is terrific. Two of the eight performers are Mercer grads who now attend Rutgers University and are reuniting with the group for the summer tour. Technical assistance will be provided by tour manager Chris Ghaffoor and other students from MCCC's Entertainment Technology program, who will do lighting, sound and video.

MouthWorks has presented shows on campus twice a year since 2003. Paluscio observes that most of the actors have had no previous training in the performing arts when they audition and none are theater majors. The performers get a huge return on their effort. "Students learn high level leadership skills," Paluscio says. "They significantly enhance their speaking and presentation skills. These students learn how to stand out."

MouthWorks students also develop strong allegiances to the college and each other. Paluscio is in regular contact with practically every one of her former students. "They keep in touch with me and with each other. Two students are engaged to be married," she said.

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