College to Stage Gershwin Comedy

April 21st, 2013 | Categories: Uncategorized

The SUNY Oneonta Department of Theatre and the Mask and Hammer Theatre Club will present the musical comedy “Of Thee I Sing,” featuring music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin, from April 24-27.

Performances will be at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, April 24-26, and at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27, in the Goodrich Theater of the Fine Arts Building on campus.

Directed by Dr. John McCaslin-Doyle, associate professor of theatre, the play features a large ensemble cast. Many of the 29 cast members play more than one role, and several play five or more characters. The three central characters are played by Jason Pacuk, Kara Barosi and Melissa Trainor. Other major featured roles are played by Owen Likely, Alexander Kanter, Trista Luecken, Steve Fabrizo, Austin McCaslin-Doyle, Adam Rodney and Mike Perkins.

“I can’t praise the company of this project enough,” Dr. McCaslin-Doyle said. “They are one of the most supportive and hard-working groups of young people I have worked with at the college level.”

In addition to the large student cast, the show features an orchestra made up of primarily student musicians. Unique to the college’s production is the use of technology through a collaboration with faculty and students from the Music, Communication Arts and Art departments.

Written by George Gershwin (music), Ira Gershwin (lyrics), George S. Kaufman (book) and Morrie Ryskind (book), “Of Thee I Sing” is a musical political satire. The piece is historically significant because it is considered one of the first great “book musicals,” and it was the first musical to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize. Often resembling a Vaudeville act, Follies showcase or reality television show, “Of Thee I Sing” traces the presidential campaign of John P. Wintergreen, a candidate who pledges to marry the winner of a beauty contest if elected. Once he becomes president, the Senate quickly uses his love life as grounds for impeachment. The score includes segments of “An American in Paris” and several well-known Gershwin songs, including “Of Thee I Sing,” “Who Cares?”, “Because, Because,” “Jilted” and “Love is Sweeping the Country.”

Tickets ($10 general admission or free with a student ID) can be ordered at, picked up at the Hunt College Union information desk weekdays between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., or purchased at the Fine Arts box office an hour before curtain on performance days.