Making magic on and offstage

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By Gianna McGann
November 13, 2022

Students in the theater participated in the Scriptwriting class's annual One Act Play Festival. Photo via Cabrini University Flickr.
Students in the theater participated in the Scriptwriting class's annual One Act Play Festival. Photo via Cabrini University Flickr.

Tucked away in a not-so-visible area of the campus you will find students of all years practicing for the next performance of the Cabrini Theatre.

Cabrini Theatre started in 2006 and continues today with productions performed in the fall and spring semesters. The theater sparks students’ creativity, stages premieres, and also offers musicals, drama, improv, student work, and produces original cast recordings.

Between working on stage and behind the scenes in stage and tech crew, construction, set design, costume design, lighting, and sound, we are able to produce top-quality entertainment while learning about the arts. Cabrini prides itself on being an integral part of the arts in the local community.

No place like home

Our theater team calls the stage “home.” It’s a place where we get to live out our fantasies of being someone or somewhere else.

Taylor Agnew and Taylor LaPergola, class of 2022 graduates, perform “I Won’t Say I’m in Love” from “Hercules” in the Variety Show. Photo via Cabrini University Flickr.

I began participating in school theatre productions in fourth grade at Mater Dei Catholic School in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. The first musical I was featured in was Peter Pan Jr., where I was cast as an extra. I was so nervous at first but it helped that my old sister, Shannon, portrayed the role of Mrs. Darling in the show.

Theater has helped change me into the young woman I am today. Becoming an actress on either Broadway or television has been my dream since I was a little girl. I’ve always loved singing, dancing, and acting with friends, family, and classmates.

When I was little, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD. This made going through school and life a little bit harder for me because I always felt different. It has been hard for me to make friends in school and I was often bullied by other students. Theater and acting have been my escape from reality. When I step onstage, the world around me, and all the challenges I face, disappear.

Attract and experience

Theater can be beneficial to students and help give them life skills. Many students find that theater helps them develop the confidence that’s essential to speaking clearly, lucidly, and thoughtfully. Through performing and collaborating with peers in a university setting, we become part of a close-knit community, passionate about the performing arts.

“Little Shop of Horrors” cast pose in character. Photo via Cabrini University Flickr.

I think that most people who are in theater look for the program, rather than the program finding them; it seems most people who are interested in theater are already attracted to it. Every member of the Cabrini community and the general public are welcome to show up to support the Cabrini theater and watch us put on our best performances.

Information about this activity can be found on the Student Theatre page of Cabrini’s website or on the Cabrini Theatre Instagram page. The program’s current director is Kaitlin Glenn. Also part of the team is Mary Katherine Sapata, Emma Tribbett, and pianist Dan Matarazzo. Plays are showcased in Grace Hall, on the university website, or on social media platforms.

Past Cabrini Theatre shows include “Little Shop of Horrors” last spring, “Almost, Maine,” “Moon Over Buffalo,” “Avenue Q,” “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” “Twelve Angry Jurors,” and “Godspell,” among others. Our fall production, Dec. 1 and 2 will be a Broadway cabaret-themed variety show performed in Grace Hall Atrium. Students will perform solo and duet songs and monologues from Broadway plays and musicals.

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Gianna McGann

Hello, my name is Gianna McGann. I am a sophomore majoring in digital communications and social media, and minoring in theater. My position this year on the Loquitur is reporter. A fun fact about myself is that I am on the Autism Spectrum. I have a condition called Asperger's Syndrome. My career goals are to figure out some way to combine my major and minor in a job field that I enjoy, whether it's an acting job or something relating to social media platforms. I don't have a particular kind of content that I want to report on. I am interested in learning about all the different categories, whether it's lifestyles, sports, or news.

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