Stage II Theater Group Announces Fall Production

By Kathleen Kraemer

Stage II, ESU’s student theater organization, has announced its 2016 Showcase Production: “Anon(ymous).”

“We [Stage II] specialize in straight plays and every fall semester we produce an entirely student designed/performed show,” explains John Lauri, vice president of the club.

“We prepare students for national theater competitions and have workshops where theater students can hone their crafts.”

“Stage II is a great way to introduce more hesitant students to the world of theater.”

“Last year I directed a few scenes for Stage II’s production of Almost Maine. I enjoyed it so much that I dropped my computer science major and switched to directing,” explains Lauri.

The production this semester, “Anon(ymous),” is a modern-day adaptation of Homer’s “The Odyssey” written by Naomi Iizuka.

Iizuka’s rendition “uses the refugee crisis as a backdrop,” according to Lauri.

The main character of the play, Anon, “journeys through the United States, encountering a wide variety of people—some kind, some dangerous and cruel—as he searches for his family,” according to a press release.

“It’s about a boy’s love for his mother. It’s a relationship that everyone can immediately identify with.”

“You could strip away all the lights and sounds and it would still be a great show,” says Lauri.

“The language and plot are fascinating and poetic. Her [Iizuka] plays leave a lot to interpretation and really challenge my design team,” he continues.

The production will be directed by Lauri, a senior theater major with a concentration in directing and a propensity for “long walks on the beach and rom-coms etc.”

“When I found out I would be directing this show I was equal parts excited and terrified,” confesses Lauri.

“This is the first full show I’ve ever directed,” says Lauri, “I am very fortunate to have such a great team of talented people backing me up.”

The play is recommended for an audience of older high school students and adults.

It will run in the Dale Snow Theater of the Fine and Performing Arts Center Nov. 17 through Nov. 19 with showings at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 20 with a final showing at 2 p.m.

“This show is in the black box theater, which is one of the most intimate performance spaces. In some places, actors are going to be inches away from the audience,” says Lauri.

“‘Anon(ymous)’ is going to be a very immersive experience,” Lauri concludes.

Tickets are $10 for general admission, $7 for faculty/staff and senior citizens and only $5 for students with an ID.

Tickets are available online in advance at and remaining tickets will be available at the box office one hour prior to performances. It is recommended that tickets are bought in advance, because seating is very limited.

For reservations, please call 570-422-3483 or email

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