Drama club makes Landmark debut in Moon Over Buffalo

Elizabeth Muratore, Staff Writer

Since March, Schreiber thespians have been collaborating with local theater organization PiT Theatrical to present the play Moon Over Buffalo: the very first student-run production at the Landmark on Main Street.

This culminated in a series of performances over Memorial Day weekend that wowed audiences and proved that Schreiber is far from lacking in the talented performer department.

“Working in the first PiT Theatrical show was an honor and a great experience.  I was able to step outside my usual comfort zone for this role, and if I could do it all again, I would,” said Fishman.

The play is a farce, in every sense of the word, eliciting constant laughs from the audience at absurd onstage situations.  Moon Over Buffalo is set in 1953 and centers around two married theatrical legends, George and Charlotte Hay (junior Jack Fishman and senior Sydney Ronis) who perform two shows in repertory, Private Lives and Cyrano de Bergerac.

In the midst of the preparation, the pair laments over the dying art of live theater while television becomes increasingly popular.  George and Charlotte’s relationship is at times unstable, but their undying love for each other contributes to a happy ending.

A number of hilarious subplots kept the audience laughing throughout the play.  The on-again, off-again relationship between the Hays’ daughter, Rosalind, (junior Caitlin Ferris) and their assistant, Paul (junior Wyn Stopford) left the audience clutching at their stomachs.  Additionally, the repeated mistaking of Rosalind’s initial fiancé, Howard (senior Eric Rosenblatt) for famous director Frank Capra and others provided many memorable moments.

“This show was very different from a Schreiber production because of the venue, but it was incredible to experience being on a stage used for professional performances,” said Ronis.

In another first for Schreiber theater, actress Ms. Jonelle Robinson—who received a BFA in theater from Ithaca College—was an advisor for this production. Robinson’s advice and professional suggestions were greatly appreciated by the cast members, director, and producer.

“Jonelle brought an interesting perspective and a lot of new acting techniques that we wouldn’t have thought of, and it was a valuable learning experience,” said junior Nina Grauer, who played Charlotte’s mother, Ethel.

Ms. Robinson also gave creative direction.

“Having Jonelle there, she really helped us figure out who our characters were and why we were saying what we were saying,” said Rosenblatt.

This production also served as a senior experience project for two Schreiber seniors, director  Nate Krantz and stage manager/producer Stephanie-Anne Thomsen.

“Working on this show gave me a much greater appreciation for the main stage producers, Ms. Nelson and Ms. Foster,” said Thomsen.

Krantz noted that there were a number of unprecedented challenges in the process of putting on the production.  The actors had to get accustomed to new stage measurements and different theater acoustics. To add to the work, the team had to buy set pieces and materials for building.

“The hardest part was adjusting to a stage on which we’ve never performed,” said Krantz.  “The challenges have made all of the actors stronger.  We have been exposed to a more professional side of theatre, which is a nice change of pace.  I am very grateful that I was able to work with such intelligent and reputable people.”

Moon Over Buffalo was a tremendous  success boosting the reputation of the Schreiber theater department, which will no doubt continue to grow after the exposure gained by this     educational performance.