Posts tagged ‘Penn State School of Theatre’

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story

When we met Mike Karns ’11 for our Sep./Oct. 2015 feature on alums making their way on Broadway, his digital startup Marathon Live Entertainment was handling social media for small, off-Broadway clients, a few real estate agents, and was in the infancy of its current stint with a show that had just started its run on Broadway, Hamilton. And just as the “ten dollar founding father’s” star has risen, so has Karns’ profile.

Today, he oversees a digital and social media empire for the Broadway phenomenon, which still plays to packed houses in New York City and has spawned a national tour. With tickets still in high demand, merchandising for the show has grown to include a mixtape, an instrumental soundtrack, and now a smartphone app—launched Aug. 11 by Karns’ company—that recently surpassed 750,000 downloads.

His social media efforts have attracted more than two million followers. In addition to Hamilton, Marathon Live handles the digital marketing for a number of other Broadway and off-Broadway productions, and he himself has become a Tony-nominated producer, after having latched on as a co-producer with Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, a Broadway musical that has featured, among others, Josh Groban and Ingrid Michaelson. Away from Broadway, he’s president of the School of Theatre Alumni Program Group and a recipient of the 2017 Alumni Achievement Award.

Not bad for a guy whose claim to fame (more…)

September 5, 2017 at 1:46 pm 1 comment

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Circa 1707


I had a chance yesterday to stop by the Playhouse Theatre on campus to meet some of the MFA acting students who will be appearing in The Beaux’ Stratagem later this month, and to hear the director, Di Trevis, talk a bit about the play. (And to shoot a few advance photos, as shown here.)

The Beaux’ Stratagem is kind of the 18th-century version of Dirty Rotten Scoundrelsit’s a comedy focusing on two con men trying to swindle young heiresses in the British town of Lichfield. One of the two ends up falling in love with one of the women, which was not supposed to be part of the plan, and things get comically complicated from there.


MFA student Bianca Washington as Dorinda.

The actors and actresses are all Penn State undergrad and grad students, and I was surprised to hear that Penn State students in the costume design program created all of the costumes as well. William Schroder, who teaches both costume design and scenic design at Penn State, oversaw the costume design.

And director Di Trevis is a big deal—she’s an English theatre director with a pretty impressive pedigree. She’s been on campus since the beginning of the semester, working with the cast and crew to get the production ready.

The play is what’s called a “restoration comedy,” which as I understand it is a production from the late 1600s (the Restoration period in England) that has a little fun with the social mores of the time. So I get the sense that we’re in for a pretty bawdy, entertaining evening when the show opens on Feb. 24.

I’m looking forward to attending a dress rehearsal or two in the days leading up to opening night—I love shooting photos of theatre, especially with cool period costumes like these—so I’ll be posting some more images in a week or so.

Tina Hay, editor

February 11, 2011 at 1:35 pm 2 comments

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