Shrewsbury group to stage ‘Nunsense’ with ‘divine intervention’


Shrewsbury group to stage ‘Nunsense’ with ‘divine intervention’
Gathered around a poster for the benefit show performed within the musical “Nunsense” are Square One Players’ cast members (kneeling) Mary Johnston-Medina as Sister Mary Leo, (standing, l to r) Izzy Scampoli as Sister Mary Amnesia, Robyn Spain as Sister Mary Hubert, Foley Herrmann as Sister Robert Anne and Stephanie Sarkisian as Mother Superior.(Photo/Joanne Smith)

SHREWSBURY – Members of Shrewsbury’s community theater group Square One Players have faith in the showbiz axiom “The show must go on.”

After resolving an unexpected delay in auditions, rehearsals are now underway for Square One Players’ production of the musical “Nunsense” by Dan Goggin.

Performances will take place at the Flanagan Theater in Southgate at Shrewsbury located at 30 Julio Dr. Opening night is Friday, Aug. 5 at 7:30 p.m. Other evening shows are Saturdays Aug. 6 and 13 at 7:30 p.m. Sunday matinees are Aug. 7 and 14 at 2 p.m.

‘Show that almost wasn’t’

While rehearsals are now going smoothly, production manager Joanne Smith of Shrewsbury described “Nunsense” as “the show that almost wasn’t.”

A few weeks before the scheduled auditions, the show’s original music director left the production team due to health concerns. The team searched for a music director with immediate availability.

They ultimately found Dan Murphy, who has worked as a music director in 26 countries. Now, he’s music directing “Nunsense” in Shrewsbury.

“Dan saved our show,” Smith declared. “He knows the show very well and loves it. In fact, he’s a former seminarian, so he knows all the religious references in the musical.”

The production team feels blessed that Murphy joined them.

“We like to say that it was divine intervention that Dan came to us in our hour of need,” Smith said on behalf of the production team.

Spotlighting singing sisters

“Nunsense” begins with the Little Sisters of Hoboken learning that their cook has accidentally poisoned 52 nuns. The surviving sisters pay for burials via a fundraising variety show.

The Mother Superior character had formerly worked as a circus tightrope walker along with her parents. Whether in the circus or the convent, this character can’t resist the spotlight.

Playing the feisty Mother Superior is Stephanie Sarkisian of North Grafton.

“Mother Superior’s parents fell off the wire once, and she says in the show, ‘I made a promise to the Lord that if he saves them, then I’ll become a nun — I didn’t realize he’d come through,’” Sarkisian said with a laugh.

This role gives Sarkisian the chance to explore a range of personality traits. In one scene, for example, the typically commanding Mother Superior loses her composure after sniffing a substance called Rush.

“When the character gets high on Rush, she comes out of her shell and becomes more vulnerable,” Sarkisian explained. “Hopefully, the audience will enjoy that part of her. She has so many great comic moments.”

‘A great, supportive cast’

“Nunsense” is directed by Jeremy Woloski and choreographed by Kelley Manson. The cast also features Foley Herrmann, Mary Johnston-Medina, Izzy Scampoli and Robyn Spain.

“It’s a great, supportive cast — and they make me laugh,” Sarkisian said. “There’s so much going on in the world that can bring you down. This uplifting show will make people smile and forget about life for a while.”

General admission is $20. Tickets are $17 for students under 18 and seniors 60 and up. For more information and to reserve tickets, visit, call 508-669-7750 or email [email protected].


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