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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

                                                                          Chelsea Daniels

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   


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