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Godzilla Opens at Drexel on Halloween Night, Free Admission for those in Costume

PHILADELPHIA, October 23, 2013

The Drexel Co-op Theatre Company will perform its version of Yasuhiko Ohashi’s <i>Godzilla</i>
The Drexel Co-op Theatre Company will perform its version of Yasuhiko Ohashi's Godzilla in the URBN Center Annex's Black Box Theater

This Halloween night, the Drexel Co-op Theatre Company will open its version of Yasuhiko Ohashi’s Godzilla, a campy, comic romp with the Japanese cultural icon, at the URBN Center Annex’s Black Box Theater (3401 Filbert St.).  

On opening night, attendees who come dressed in costume will receive free admission. The person wearing the best/most creative costume (as judged by the Godzilla production/performance crew), will receive two free passes to the Co-op Theatre Company's upcoming production of the musical The Apple Tree, running Nov. 21 – 24.

Godzilla will play Thursday, Oct. 31, Friday, Nov. 1, Saturday Nov. 2, Friday, Nov. 8, Saturday, Nov. 9 at 8 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. and Thursday, Nov. 7 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $5 for Drexel students, faculty and staff with a valid ID. Tickets can be purchased online at the Drexel Co-op Theatre Company website

The story of Godzilla focuses on young Yayoi Ichinose, who brings her fiancé, Godzilla, home to meet her parents. Mr. and Mrs. Ichinose disapprove of their daughter’s choice of a husband. The chaos that results from the lovers’ announcement to marry is hard on the family and their entire town. With everyone against them, Godzilla’s child from a “previous relationship,” and with Godzilla’s bad temper, how will their love ever survive?

Students created the <i>Godzilla</i> set from cardboard Godzilla stars include: Carl Roa, a screenwriting & playwriting major in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, as Godzilla; Jourdan Stein, an elementary education major in the School of Education, as Yayoi; Alex Cummiskey, a criminal justice major in the College of Arts and Sciences, as Mr. Ichinose; Hannah Boettger, a custom-designed major student in the Pennoni Honors College, as Mrs. Ichinose; and Mei Wu, an economics student in the LeBow College of Business, and Joy Weir, a business student in the LeBow College of Business, as The Twins.

Aaron Cromie, an adjunct professor in the Westphal College, directs Godzilla. Cromie, a Philadelphia-based, multidisciplinary theater artist, has collaborated as performer, designer, director, writer and musician with the Arden Theatre Company, the Folger Shakespeare Theatre, Walnut Street Theatre, Mum Puppettheatre, the Studio Theatre, Wilma Theater, Lantern Theater and Shakespeare Theatre, and he toured nationally with a production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story.  

Students participate in all aspects of theater performance and production. Photo credit: Shan Cerrone.Godzilla is a lot of fun because of its over-the-top content, executed in a minimalistic way,” said Theater Program Director Nick Anselmo. “The campy spirit of Godzilla culture combined with the fantastic cardboard cityscapes we've built for the show creates the perfect set-up and complement for our upcoming production of The Apple Tree this November, which is a real riot of a Broadway-style production.”

The Co-Op Theatre Company is a resident, student-run theater company that produces shows as part of Drexel’s Theater Program and is sponsored by the Department of Performing Arts. 

Students rehearse scenes from <i>Godzilla</i> in the Black Box Theater. Photo credit: Shan Cerrone. Students, primarily from the Entertainment and Arts Management Program, receive hands-on experience running a theater company at a professional level. Students participate in all aspects of theater performance and production including: acting, directing, design, costumes, lighting, sets, sound, publicity, and box office. Auditions occur in the spring and the beginning of each fall term for incoming students. Several alumni have also returned as paid professionals. 

This resident company follows the model set by the “Late Night Series,” which is a completely student-run series of theatrical events that take place on Drexel’s campus every Thursday evening, bringing in outside professional artists to perform alongside students. It also expands on the theater program’s work with the Mandell Professionals in Residence Project (MPiRP). While it is completely sponsored by the Drexel Performing Arts Department, it provides opportunities to hire outside professional actors, directors and designers, when appropriate, to help achieve the highest quality show possible. 

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Alex McKechnie

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