The St. Bonaventure University theater program has announced the cast for its spring main stage production, “A Year with Frog and Toad,” by Robert and Willie Reale, a musical following the stories of Arnold Lobel’s classic children’s series “Frog and Toad”.
“A Year with Frog and Toad” will perform March 20 through 23 at 7:30 p.m., in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on the St. Bonaventure University campus.
The musical, St. Bonaventure’s first in eight years, follows good friends Frog and Toad from the spring through their post-Christmas hibernation, with several woodland friends getting involved in their adventures. The program has not produced a children’s show since David Mamet’s “Revenge of the Space Pandas” in 2009.
“‘Frog and Toad’ is a marvelous show,” Ed Simone said theater program director at St. Bonaventure Ed. Simone. “It works for children and all ages, really. It has some sophisticated humor, some child-like delights and charming songs.”
Leading the cast will be seniors Brett Keegan, a philosophy major from Syracuse, as Frog, and Ian Rogers, a modern languages major from Amherst, as Toad. Keegan and Rogers have appeared in several SBU Theater shows over the past four years.
“The deepest lesson I’ve learned in college is friendship; doing a show so warmly centered on friendship for my last performance here is strangely moving,” Keegan said.
Several veterans of SBU Theater will return to the stage for the show, including sophomore Tori Lanzillo, a theater and journalism/mass communication major from Victor, as Snail; Brooke Perkins, a junior theater major from Utica, Ohio, as Turtle and Young Frog; Makeda Loney, a junior journalism/mass communication major and theater minor from Brooklyn, as Squirrel and Father Frog; and Molly Schaefer, a junior sociology major from Clay, as Bird and Mole.
The cast features several newcomers to SBU Theater productions. Christina Stankewicz, a junior history major from Peconic, will play Bird, Mole and Mother Frog; Lea Battaglia, a sophomore English major from Seneca Falls, will play Bird, Mole and Mouse; and Brianna Wilson, a sophomore elementary and special education major from East Haven, Conn., will play Lizard and Squirrel.
Rebecca Misenheimer, associate professor of visual and performing arts, will design the production with the assistance of senior Emily West, a theater and journalism/mass communication major from Vestal. She plans to design the play in the style of old-time vaudeville productions.
“While the stories are originally based on a children’s book, we’ve really tried to go in a more theatrical direction with this production, drawing inspiration from vaudeville,” Misenheimer said.
The songs in “A Year with Frog and Toad” are being taught and coached by Artist-in-Residence and SBU choral director Kathy Black. Dr. Les Sabina, director of SBU’s music program, is musical director for the production, which will feature an on-stage orchestra.
Tickets are $8 for the public, $6 for seniors, subscribers, students and SBU employees. For this production, tickets for students under 14 are $2. For more information or to reserve tickets, phone the box office at 716-375-2494. Special group rates are available for students and teachers. Contact Evelyn Sabina, curator of education, at (716)-375-2088 or firstname.lastname@example.org.