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Thespians to Put On “Aida” as 200th Show

The Penn State Thespians were founded in 1897 by Dr. Fred Lewis Pattee and Dr. John H. Leete, making them the university’s oldest student organization as they have reached their 115th year. But that’s not the only landmark that they reached in 2012, as their premiere of “Aida” next Thursday will mark their their 200th show. You can see the full list here.

Based on a 19th-century opera by Giuseppe Verdi, this modern version of “Aida”, which won the 2000 Tony Award for Best Original Musical Score, features a pop-rock score by Elton John with lyrics written by Tim Rice. It’s a story of forbidden love and betrayal that focuses on an Egyptian army captain who falls for an enslaved Nubian princess, their devotion for each other rising above a culture of war between their respective nations.

Randi Kaplan (Aida) and Rob McNeil (Radames) star in the Thespians’ production of the play, which features production manager Sean Meadows and is directed by Stephen Levine. You can find a full list of the cast and crew on the show’s Facebook event page

The Thespians’ interpretation of “Aida” will kick off at Schwab Auditorium on Thursday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. with another performance at the same time on Friday night. A 12 p.m. matinée on Saturday and an 8 p.m. performance that night will wrap up the organization’s 200th show since their inception in 1897.

Tickets are currently available at the HUB ticket counter, Eisenhower Auditorium, the Bryce Jordan Center, Penn State Downtown Theatre, or at Schwab Auditorium before a performance. You can also purchase tickets online.

The image is of Penn State Thespians performing Cabaret in 1901. Casts then were all-male.

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About the Author

Zach Berger

Zach Berger is a reporter and Onward State's Managing Editor Emeritus. You can find him at the Phyrst more nights than not. If he had to pick a last meal, Zach would go for a medium-rare New York strip steak with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and a cold BrewDog Punk IPA. You can reach him via e-mail at [email protected] or on Twitter at @theZachBerger.

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