Theater cast meets for virtual staged reading of spring show, Monkey
By Stephen Wilson
The show must go on … even when a cast didn’t get to complete its full rehearsal schedule and is spread across the country.
Monkey, a play adapted from a folk novel by Wu Ch’eng-en and directed by Suzanne Westfall, professor of theater, was slated to open this spring.
Written in the mid-16th century, the story is also known as Journey to the West and is considered one of the four great classical novels in Chinese literature.
The story casts Tripitaka, a young Buddhist monk, on a dangerous pilgrimage to India to retrieve sacred scriptures. Joining him are a greedy pig, river monster, and monkey.
Not an ordinary monkey though. Handsome Monkey King, as he is called, can ride on clouds, become invisible, and transform into other shapes, useful skills as the travelers encounter unwelcome demons and bandits along the way.
Despite the curtain not rising on the performance, the cast gathered for a staged reading on what would have been closing night.
Watch a snippet:
Stage manager Deniz Ozbay
Assistant stage managers CJ Silverman
Musical director Henry Ficcadenti
Buddha Michael Anekwe
Monkey Adam Bramson
Yama Alex Petric
Jade Emperor Emma Krebs
Planet Venus, old woman Lucy Kade
Erh-Lang, Emperor of China Evan Poe
PM of China, ghost Jefrey Alexander
Pigsy (pig) Stone Schloss
Sandy (river monster) Ben Wild
Tripitaka Morgan Limmer
Daughter, sly devil, demon, monk Gabby Kapanka
General Yin, soldier, demon, monk Lucy Kade
Mr. Kao, boy, soldier, demon, monk Kyle Falatko
Daughter, boy, prince, demon, monk Silvia Martin