NEPA Scene Staff

Gaslight Theatre Company in Wilkes-Barre hosts virtual sketch reading of ‘My Life Is a Sketch’ on Feb. 26

Gaslight Theatre Company in Wilkes-Barre hosts virtual sketch reading of ‘My Life Is a Sketch’ on Feb. 26
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From a press release:

The Gaslight Theatre Company in Wilkes-Barre will produce a live virtual reading of “My Life Is a Sketch” on Friday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m.

This original series of six sketches by Alicia Nordstrom will be hosted by Matthew Hinton and produced by Anne Rodella and Mollie Dooley, with stage directions by Eric Lutz and marketing by Brandi George.

The show will include a Q&A/feedback session and a short intermission. Viewers must register in advance here; a Zoom link will be sent soon after.

Since the local actors won’t be able to hear the audience, viewers are encouraged to type laughs into the Q&A, including funny phrases and anything that stands out. Feedback for the author can also be shared at the end of the session.

Nordstrom is an actor, director, writer, and producer as well as a professor of psychology at Misericordia University in Dallas with a specialization in child clinical psychology.

“I teach courses including Intro to Psychology, Child and Adolescent Development, Child Psychopathology, and Child Interventions. I fell in love with psychology because it is the study of you and me, and I wanted to learn what makes us the people that we become. I’ve lived in NEPA for 11 years and have enjoyed working with a variety of theater companies,” she told Gaslight in an interview in 2016.

“My first show [with Gaslight] was a comedy called ‘Incorruptible’ directed by Ryan Baran and co-starring Sam Falbo, Skippy Isgan, and Jason Alfano. I remember laughing constantly during our rehearsals, and it was a great experience. I am always impressed with the professionalism and talent of Gaslight’s production teams!”

“My Life Is a Sketch”

1. The Interview
John: Christian Lynch
Rhonda: Kimmie Leff
Jessie: Mollie Dooley

2. Battle Parental
Jake: Karl Kleist
Simon: Keith Novack
Augie: Cate McDonald
Kelly: Katie Owens
Mom: Shelley Bartolomei
Dad: Jimmy Williams

3. The Bad Day
Alyson: Kimmie Leff
Lisako: Mandy Pennington
Gabe: Keith Novack

Intermission (10 minutes)

4. Grand Master of the Universe
Jim: Christian Lynch
Wendy: Katie Owens
Bailiff: Jimmy Williams
Judge Jerri: Mary-Pat Ward (Happy birthday!)
Naomi: Mollie Dooley
Brandon: Seth Brandreth
Kaden: Keith Novack
Noah: Karl Kleist
Travis: Lee Alucci
Sarah: Mandy Pennington
Jennifer: Shelley Bartolomei

5. A Minor Inconvenience
Janice: Katie Owens
Steve: Seth Brandreth
Kevin: Karl Kleist
Lisa: Cate McDonald

6. Level the Playing Field
David: Lee Alucci
Barbara: Michaela Moore

Q&A/feedback session

The Gaslight Theatre Company was founded in August of 2003 when a group of ambitious Wilkes-Barre actors got together to produce William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The play was made on a shoestring budget, but after a successful run, this group of actors-turned-producers decided to continue producing plays and Gaslight was born.

Their original mission was to bring high-quality productions of classical and underproduced plays to audiences in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Moliere’s “Tartuffe” was their second endeavor and, thankfully, the positive reception it received helped the fledgling company build momentum. During the 2004-2005 season, they revisited the work of Shakespeare on two occasions, producing two of his greatest tragedies, “Macbeth” and “Romeo and Juliet.” Gaslight also added works by Samuel Beckett, Pierre de Marivaux, and Sophocles to the growing lineup of theatre classics.

In the three years that followed, they produced eight more plays, including the addition of a series of plays for children. Gaslight continued to produce works by Shakespeare and added a number of contemporary works to the expanding portfolio.

In 2009, Gaslight took a brief hiatus; although the company was idle, its members were busy enhancing their individual skills in preparation of a triumphant return. Some members completed advanced degrees, some acted, some traveled, and some began families.

In 2010, Gaslight was back on the stage with a production of “Dancing at Lughnasa” and, since then, has produced dozens of musicals and plays, including “Quiet Cowboy” written by Gaslight member Matthew S. Hinton (marking their first production of an original play) and the reoccurring “Playroom” series, another original concept consisting of one-act plays centered around different rooms in a house.

Since its debut in 2012, this short-form format featured 16 of the region’s most talented playwrights, 98 cast members and directors, and 69 one-acts that concluded with an eighth installment in 2019.

While the coronavirus pandemic shut down most live events in 2020, Gaslight took this downtime to record a roundtable discussion about equity in the NEPA theatre community for their YouTube channel over the summer and, in September, they participated in the Scranton Fringe Festival’s “Under Glass” series, a socially distanced cavalcade of new and original works performed safely behind the glass of storefronts in downtown Scranton, including Gaslight’s own improv show “Leave the Cannoli.”

The Gaslight​ ​Theatre​ ​Company​ ​was​ ​founded​ ​with​ ​the​ ​mission​ ​to​ ​create​ ​impactful, innovative,​ ​and​ ​high-quality​ ​theatre​ ​that​ ​enriches​ ​the​ ​lives​ ​of​ ​local ​artists​ ​and​ the ​community, and this mission continues today as they learn, grow, and cultivate the arts in NEPA.