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WNY students take part of SUNY Potsdam's 'The Pirates of Penzance'


POTSDAM -- The award-winning Crane Opera Ensemble at SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music is set to present the timeless Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, "The Pirates of Penzance," on Friday and Saturday, April 20 and 21, with performances at 7:30 p.m. each evening in the Sara M. Snell Music Theater.
The cast and crew includes:
  • Ben Lewandowski of Pittsford, who is a member of the Chorus
  • Gabrielle McCormack of Perrysburg, who plays Ruth
  • Tessa Spencer of Rochester, who is a member of the Chorus
  • Jared White of Rochester, who is a member of the Chorus
  • Emily Wright of Silver Creek, who is the Props Master and a member of the Chorus
  • Samantha Martin of Penfield, who is the Assistant to the Costume Designer
In "The Pirates of Penzance; or, The Slave of Duty," Frederic, who has spent his formative years as a junior pirate, plans to mark his 21st birthday by breaking free from the Pirate King and his wacky band of pirates. His nursemaid, now turned piratical maid of all work Ruth, has misled him as to the charms of younger women, and when he meets a group of them on the beach, he begins his courtship of Mabel, a daughter of Major-General Stanley. But because he was born in a leap year, on Feb. 29, a date that only arrives every four years, Frederic isn't technically 21 -- and the Pirate King is still his master. Unless something changes, Frederic will soon be on a collision course with the Pirate King's new nemesis, Mabel's father.

This production has been double-cast for many major roles, to highlight the talents of a broader number of Crane students. As a result, each evening performance will feature different casting.
Led by Musical Director Kirk Severtson, this production of "The Pirates of Penzance" features students from The Crane School of Music in the cast, as well as students from Crane and the SUNY Potsdam Department of Theatre and Dance behind the scenes. Stage Director David Ward joins the Crane faculty this year as a visiting assistant professor. He has served as the opera director at the University of Arizona and the University of North Texas.

Tickets for the Crane Opera Ensemble production of "The Pirates of Penzance" are $10 for the general public and $8 for SUNY Potsdam faculty, staff and students. To purchase tickets, contact the Community Performance Series Box Office, located in the lobby of SUNY Potsdam's Performing Arts Center, by calling (315) 267-2277 or visiting http://www.cpspotsdam.org.

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges-and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit http://www.potsdam.edu.

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