Penn State Worthington Scranton has been a part of the Scranton community for almost 50 years, and the University has had a presence here since 1923 when it opened a "branch school" offering evening and technical institute programs downtown.
This month, the campus joined other regional colleges in the "Scranton Thinks" Symposium Series, in celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the City of Scranton's Charter Day, by presenting The Last Thoughts of Gino Merli, a one-act, one-man play by Archbald, Pa., resident Tom Flannery about the Scranton-born World War II hero and a champion of local veterans' affairs.
The play was free and open to the public, and was performed to an audience of faculty, staff, students, and local community members in the campus' Gallagher Conference Center, which for this evening was transformed into a professional theatrical space. Bob Shlesinger, of Scranton Public Theatre, played the part of Gino Merli, and he was joined in a post-performance Q&A session by playwright Flannery.
According to one audience member, "it was a top-notch program . . . My family and I really enjoyed the presentation. I didn't know much about Gino Merli before and I'm now better informed about his life."
Andrea Mulrine, president of Scranton Tomorrow, attended the performance and praised the actor and playwright on a job well done.
This event also marked the first performance of the play on a college campus, although it has extensively toured area high schools. Professional technical direction was by Jim Langan with the support of Craig Friedman Productions. The play was produced and hosted by Dr. Philip Mosley, Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature, with the support of the Worthington Scranton Chancellor's Office, Business Office, Office of Public Relations, IT Department, and Maintenance Department.