It’s been 31 years since the Geneva Theatre Guild first performed on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus. This summer, the Guild returns, albeit to a much different space than the Bartlett Theatre with which they are familiar. From July 9 through 12, the Geneva Players, comprised of community and professional actors, will perform the musical “She Loves Me” in the Vandervort Room of the recently remodeled Scandling Campus Center.
Performing in the Vandervort Room is an “exciting challenge” says director, Steve Duprey. It is a “found space” meaning that it is not traditional for a theatrical performance. Lighting, set and sound equipment are not permanent fixtures in the multi-purpose room, so they all needed to be compiled off site. Duprey and his daughter Kate designed and built two stages to be moved into the room for the performance with the help of Tony Ernest and Don Trumble. Members of the cast and crew alike have taken part in the effort to transform the Vandervort Room into a theatre for this summer performance.
“‘She Loves Me’ is a more intimate musical and should be delightful in the smaller space. We are happy to renew our relationship with the Colleges,” says the show’s producer, Ellie Stearns.
For seven years, the Geneva Players presented semi-professional summer theatre at the Bartlett Theatre in Coxe Hall, then moved their summer musicals to the Smith Opera House. In 1990, they performed “Our Town,” directed by Professor of Theatre Robert Gross in Bartlett.
“She Loves Me” (music and lyrics by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick) is a musical adaptation of Hungarian playwright Miklos Laszlo’s “Parfumerie.” This romantic comedy about falling in love via correspondence will be familiar to those who have seen film adaptations of the play, including the 1940 film, “The Shop Around the Corner” and the more recent, “You’ve Got Mail” (1998).
The cast of 14 includes Ryan Bailey who is on break from a national tour of “Cats” and will continue touring after the closing of “She Loves Me.”
The Players are excited to perform in the Vandervort Room and to be the first community group to perform a major program in the new, air-conditioned space.
Performances will be held July 9, 10 and 11 at 8 p.m., and on July 12 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults; $10 for seniors and students. For more information, visit http://www.gtglive.org/2009season.php
Later in the summer, The Geneva Theatre Guild will present their second musical of the season, “The Wedding Singer,” from August 14 through 16 at the Smith Opera House.