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04/20/22

Gadsden State presents “Moon over Buffalo”

Gadsden, Ala. – For the first time in over a decade, students from the Gadsden State Community College Theatre Department will stage a performance at the Wallace Hall Fine Arts Center.

Student actors are presenting Ken Ludwig’s “Moon Over Buffalo,” a farce set in 1953 about a struggling couple facing challenging family affairs while hoping for a visit from a Hollywood director. Showtimes are 7 p.m. April 21-23 and 28-30.  Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors and may be purchased online by visiting www.GadsdenState.edu/FineArts.

Until the pandemic, the College consistently had theatrical productions from CharACTers Theatrics and local dance performance companies at Wallace Hall but the Theatre Department has not staged a musical or play at the performing arts venue since ‘Catfish Moon’ in 2010. 

“We are excited about building our theatre program so that we can consistently perform for our community, showcase our students and bring quality, talented live theatre to Etowah County,” said Mario Gallardo, division chair for fine arts at Gadsden State. 

In August, Gadsden State named Joseph Fuselli as the theatre instructor and was tasked with rebuilding the program. Fuselli holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Jacksonville State University and a Master of Fine Arts from the New School University in New York City. He brings to Gadsden State a wide range of experience, including working as an actor, voiceover artist and director.   

Fuselli began holding open auditions earlier this year for “Moon over Buffalo,” his first Gadsden State theatre production as director.

“My No. 1 objective is always to educate my students,” he said. “Even a show this fun can provide learning opportunities. Comedy is by no means easy.”

Fusselli said he is excited about students returning to the Wallace Hall stage, and he hopes that “Moon Over Buffalo” delights audiences.

“This play is one of the finest examples of classical farce the American stage has ever seen,” he said. “It has all the features of the great British farces while also giving audiences a heavy dose of Americana. The pace is breakneck. Jokes are rapid-fire. The characters, at times, resemble human cartoons.”

Joining him on the production team as producer and stage manager is Gregory Heathcock.  Heathcock, theatre and facility manager at Gadsden State, has been employed at the College since September. He is a recent graduate of JSU and holds bachelor degrees in both Theatre Production and Biology.

The cast of characters consists of several Gadsden State students and other local talented actors.  Portraying main characters are Elliot Ford (George Hays), Autumn Pentecost (Charlotte Hays), Christen Law (Roz Hay), Hayden Reeves (Paul), Joy Perryman (Ethel Hay), Rachael Etheridge (Eileen), Kadin Gardner (Richard) and Noah Harrel (Howard).

Gadsden State Theatre cast of

Top left to right:  Elliot Ford, Rachel Etheridge, Autumn Pentecost, Hayden Reeves, Kristen Law, Kadin Gardner, Noah Harrell. (Roz Hay not pictured.)

The Gadsden State Theatre Program offers half and full scholarships for qualified students. Students may be incoming freshmen or returning students enrolled full time.  Scholarship recipients must maintain a 2.2 GPA, perform four hours of work each week in the Gadsden State Fine Arts Department and assist in recruiting. They must enroll in a theatre course each semester, including Theatre Appreciation and Acting Techniques. Recipients must also commit to auditioning and participating in all CharACTers and/or Gadsden State theatrical productions. An audition is required and must include two contrasting monologues. Audition packages should not exceed three minutes.

For more information on the theatre program or to apply for scholarships, contact Fuselli at jfuselli@gadsdenstate.edu.