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Union Catholic's Spring Musical "The Mystery of Edwin Drood'' Opens Friday, March 16

Union Catholic 's Performing Arts Company will raise the curtain on "The Mystery of Edwin Drood'' on Friday, March 16 Credits: Photo courtesy of Union Catholic

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Union Catholic's Performing Arts Company will open its spring musical "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" this Friday night at Union Catholic.

"The Mystery of  Edwin Drood'' will be performed at UC on March 16, March 17, March 23, and March 24 at 7 p.m, and March 18 at 3:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at and at the box office before all performances.  

"The Mystery of  Edwin Drood'' is loosely based on Charles Dickens' famous unfinished novel,  takes audience participation to new heights by letting them directly affect the play's outcome by voting for whomever they think murdered the unfortunate young Edwin Drood. It's a hilarious, interactive whodunit mystery musical that allows the audience to enter the action and become the ultimate detectives.

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In the small town of Chesterham, England, the young and charming Edwin Drood has been mysteriously murdered. But by whom? 

Dickens passed away before he was able to reveal the culprit. Rupert Holmes' award-winning musical solves this predicament by asking the audience to choose which character is the killer by putting it to a vote.

Mrs. Maryann C. Carolan (UC Class of 1986), the co-director along with Mr. Edward Sagendorf (UC Class of '07), said the mysterious plot will keep audiences on the edge of their seats, and the interaction with the crowd is something everyone will enjoy.    

"The most exciting thing is that every night, the ending can be different,'' said Mrs. Carolan.  "There are 543 possible combinations of the ending: The audience chooses the ending every night. They choose the murderer, the detective, and for fun, they choose a pair of lovers who have to sing a love song. This is so exciting because none of the actors will know who it will be until it is announced live onstage. This is live theatre at its best - a collaboration between performer and audience. The audience will love the interactions with the cast and the ability to control the outcome of the play. It really focuses everyone's attention.

Mrs. Carolan praised the work by the members of UC's Performing Arts Club.

"The actors and technicians are excellent,'' said Carolan. "The entire show is run by the students - there are no adults backstage at all.  The students are fully in control of what happens as soon as the curtain opens. This concept of professionalism is something we work hard to instill in each member of our company. Honestly, no one works harder.  We hold our cast and crew to extremely high standards. They have to be off-book (lines and songs memorized) by early November. We expect them to teach themselves the basic music.  The crew sometimes have the most thankless job - trying to create a set based on our vision. It's incredible, but no surprise to me that these young men and women are able to produce such a professional show. We're so proud of all of them.''

Junior Molly Bonner is very excited to be playing the role of Edwin Drood.

"I think it's a very modern play, but it has such a classic and very musical set up and structure that it's really fun to the fact that we never know how it's going to end and there's so much improv and interaction with the audience that goes into this,'' said Bonner. "It just keeps you on your toes.''  

Bonner has worked very hard over the last couple years to earn one of the biggest roles in this musical.

"I have gone from chorus to ensemble to now having one of the biggest leads in the show,'' said Bonner. "I enjoy this so much, and I am so grateful that my hard work has gone noticed. D I really like dissecting characters, and the fact that I get to do that for three separate characters is a lot of fun.''   

Bonner said everyone in PAC is excited for the curtain to be raised.

"We've all been working very hard, and there is a lot of energy bouncing around among the cast and crew,'' said Bonner. "We are all excited   

Mystery of Edwin Drood Cast List
Chairman ……………..………..Brian Power*
John Jasper…………….…...Makay Johnson*
Princess Puffer……………….Goldera Surles*
Edwin Drood…………..…….....Molly Bonner*
Stage Manager………….……..Nick Mehno*
Rosa Bud………….....……Colleen Falconer*
Helena Landless……………...Miranda Ruiz*
Neville Landless…………Cameron Guanlao*
Reverend Crisparkle…..…….Duane Banks*
Bazzard………………………..Jack Carolan*
Durdles……………………...…Edwin Rivera*
Deputy………………….……..….Liz Pollard*
Wendy…………………..….….Arianna Lurie*
Beatriz……………….….….…….Liz Pollard*
Shade of Jasper………..Ahmael Alexander*
Shade of Drood……….….….Audrey Davis*
Flo………………………………..Eve Parker*
Maids…….Caitlin Roder* & Nola Gialanella*
Townsperson 1………..………Caroline Bart*

Succubae Dancers
Olivia Dick*, Ashley Pangan*, Angeline Carlo*, Thea Stratman-Olibrice*

Christian Nowicki*, Alex Lurie, Sean Machado, Jacob Jusma

Den Girls
Olivia Rittenhouse*, Paige Scheidemann*, Nola Gialanella*, Caitlin Roder*, Cara Leegan*, Calah McCombs*

Nick Mehno* – Chairman
David Penevolpe – Jasper/Neville
Sean Machado – Crisparkle
Christian Nowicki* – Bazzard/Durdles/Deputy
Eve Parker* – Puffer
Paige Scheidemann* – Rosa/Beatriz
Audrey Davis* – Drood/Datchery
Rebecca Penevolpe* – Helena/Wendy

Ahmael Alexander, Caroline Bart*, Kristen Brewer*, Lyndsey Buren*, Gillian Caldas, Angeline Carlo*, Daniel Cavill, Audrey Davis*, Olivia Dick*, Tess Fiumefreddo*, Apolline Gaspers, Nola Gialanella*, Giulia Goggi*, Anna Gordon,     Nefty Guadalupe, Jae Jean-Simon, Jacob Kress, Cara Leegan*, Kayleigh Lewis*, Alex Lurie, Noah Lytle, Sean Machado, Calah McCombs*, Kyra McDevitt*, Christian Nowicki*, Eve Parker*, Becky Penevolpe*, David Penevolpe, Olivia Rittenhouse*, Caitlin Roder*, Paige Scheidemann*, Thea Stratman-Olibrice*, Princess Thurman*, Catherine Weddle, Aiyana Williams*

Maddy Abood, Samantha Casero, Isabella Da Costa, Isabella Del Negro, Matt Dohn*, Sophia Fandino, Jacob Jusma, Scott Kernan, Isabel Magistro*, Mia Martins*, Elizabeth Matos, Clare McGuinness,  Jennifer Mejia, Joseph Paglia, Ashley Pangan*, Katherine Petrick, Kaya Rexford, Mia Schutz, Alexis Suzara, Kemberley Torres*, Jolene Villanueva*, Gabriela Zamora*

Directors: Maryann C. Carolan & Edward Sagendorf
Music Director: Larry N. Rothweiler
Choreographer: Jeanette Rudnicki    
Producer: John Rotondo
Technical Director: Leonard Tate
Associate Technical Directors: Nick Kraus & Tracy Doherty
Technical Consultants: Corey Barnwell
Asst. Music Director/Vocal Coach: Tim Herman
Dance Captain: Angeline Carlo*
Additional Choreography: Calah McCombs*
Stage Manager: Brianna Pinheiro*
Assistant Stage Manager: Jill Valenzano* & Gabriela Hernandez*
Stage Crew: Kenny Doherty, Brianna Frazier, Sean Thal
Lighting Design: Colleen McGrath               
Lighting: Julia Pecoraro* & Maddy Kemler
Spots: Bridget McDermott* & Sofia Rama*
Sound: John Iannaccone*            
Costume Mistress: Lauren-Marie Diawatan
Costume Crew: Brianna Pinheiro*, Mia Schutz*
Props Master: Allison Temo & Jacob Schilling
Graphic Design: Mike Brown    
House Manager: Deirdre Kelly
Assistant House Manager: Shaun Keating & Kacey Brennan
Head Ushers: Tabitha DaSilva & George Pavlakis
Front of House: John Rotondo
Ticket Sales: Margaret Nuwer
Box Office: Rebecca Faller, Katie Sagendorf & Cindy Kraus
Development Liaison: Betsy Thornton
Alumni Relations: Susan Dyckman, Nancy Foulks, Cindy Kraus, Chiara Duane
Ad Journal: Edward Thornton
Tech Crew
Lauren-Marie Diawatan, Kenny Doherty, Brianna Frazier, Gabriela Hernandez*, John Iannaccone*, Maddy Kemler, Bridget McDermott*, Julia Pecoraro*, Brianna Pinheiro*, Brian Power* Sofia Rama*,Jacob Schilling, Mia Schutz*, Allison Temo, Sean Thal, Thea Stratman-Olibrice*, Jill Valenzano*

PAC Parents' Council Executive Board
Jennifer Power
Sue Walsh

Piano/Conductor – Larry N. Rothweiler, Jr.
Reeds – Gerald Cappuccio
Violin – Maxim Levin
Violin – Deena Leff
Cello – Madeline Casparie
Trumpet – Clayton Beyert
Trombone – Nick Martin
Bass – Carl Strotz   
Percussion – Jeff Silva
Designer and constructor for Rosa Bud's Blue Dress -- Brianna Pinheiro  

2017-2018 PAC Executive Board
International Thespian Society Troupe 3673
President: Goldera Surles*
Vice President: Makay Johnson*
Secretary: Kyra McDevitt*
Treasurer: Julia Pecoraro*
Historian: Thea Stratman-Olibrice*
Social Media Coordinator: Brian Power*
* indicates membership in Troupe 3673

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