Stony Batter Season Opens September 29 with “Hold Me!”

by Lee Owen, Director of News and Content

Hold Me!
, a dark comedy written by Jules Feiffer and directed by faculty member Matt Maurer, is the first production of the 2017–2018 school year for Stony Batter Players (Mercersburg’s student theatre company). The show will be held in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Hale Studio Theatre; it opens Friday, September 29, at 7:30 p.m., followed by performances on Saturday, September 30 (7:30 p.m.), and Sunday, October 1 (1 p.m.).

Admission is free and open to all, but advance reservations are strongly recommended due to limited seating. Reservations can be made by emailing by Thursday, September 28. (Please include the performance date and number of tickets requested.)

“It’s a very rapid-fire show and full of angst and dark comedy, with a certain element of schadenfreude,” says Maurer, who is directing an ensemble cast of eight student actors. “There isn’t a single main story, but there are certain themes and threads that run throughout the show. You’ll see a monologue, followed by a two-person scene, followed by another monologue, and so on. There isn’t a traditional linear storyline.

“The kids are doing really well with rehearsal. We’re asking them to play the parts of adults and they’re pulling it off really well—and in a limited amount of time: we just cast the show during the opening week [at the beginning of September], so they’ve had to learn their lines really fast.”

The cast of the show includes Chris Adams ’20, Joe Beauregard ’18, Paige Cromwell ’20, Eliza DuBose ’20, Olivia Keller ’19, Clare Liss ’18, Amelia Page ’21, and Ellie Wilkie ’19. Mathilda Zimmerman ’19 and Rebecca Feng ’20 are serving as stage managers. 

Following auditions, Maurer and Director of Theatre Laurie Mufson worked together to cast the first two Stony Batter productions of the year—Hold Me! and Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), which Mufson is directing and will run October 13–15 in the Simon Theatre. “We’re both really happy with our casts,” Maurer adds.

Feiffer is a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist as well as a playwright and screenwriter; he authored a comic strip known by various names (including Sick, Sick, Sick and simply Feiffer) that appeared in The Village Voicefor parts of five decades. The New York Times once memorably described the strip as “Peanuts for the disturbed classes.”
The technical elements of the show were completed in less than three weeks by the fall Stony Batter student Tech Crew. Members of the crew are Charlotte Caruso ’18 (who is also the light board operator for the show), Grace Heine ’20, Bassel Homsi ’21, Jae Jeon ’19, Thai Khong ’18, Collin Morris ’19, H.P. Nguyen ’19, Jason Park ’21, Wellington Pasquerilla ’19, Caitlyn Sollenberger-Yoder ’20, and Fiona Suggs ’18.

Scenic and costume designs were created by Kelly Dowling, production manager for the theatre program. Lighting design is by Matt Bresler, the Burgin Center’s new technical director.

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