by Rose Brennan & Alyssa Velazquez, A&E Editor & Production Editor
After five years and ten productions with the Manhattan College Players, adjunct professor of theater and Players’ director Martin “Marty” Marchitto will depart the college
Marchitto will be leaving his position at MC in favor of the position of Artistic/Executive Director at the Center Stage Theatre, a non-profit theatre and theatre education center in Shelton, Conn.
“My job will include choosing and overseeing all of the various programs we present, as well as directing several shows and assisting in fundraising and grant writing,” he said.
Marchitto’s tenure at MC began in January 2013. The first production he directed was Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s “Little Shop of Horrors.”
Though his official title was director, Marchitto viewed his role as something much more than that. He owes this to the vast amount of experience he gained in his freelance career.
“I approached the role as more than just a director, but as a production coordinator,” he said. “Over the course of the five years, my goal was to create quality shows in all aspects of production.”
Marchitto is especially proud of the great strides MC has made in terms of set production.
“For my first production, ‘Little Shop of Horrors,’ I not only directed the show, but designed and built the sets, designed the lights, assisted with finding and creating the puppets and props and assisted the costume designer as needed,” he said. “In this last production, ‘Present Laughter,’ I have had an incredible group of technical students who pretty much built the set, worked with the lighting designer on lighting, and assisted the costume designer. Something [like] that makes me very proud to see.”
Junior Paul Fucao is the Marketing Chair of the Players and reflects back on the productions that he was involved in with Marchitto. He first worked with him for the production of “12 Angry Jurors”, and then proceeded to work with him throughout the productions of “Legally Blonde” and “Present Laughter.”
Fucao continues reflecting on Marchitto’s impact on the Manhattan College Players and notes that his style of directing was unique and it took some getting used to. Regardless of this Fucao emphasizes, “but at the end of the day he was always our biggest fan.”
Junior Kathryn Ronan is the Players’ producer. She began working with the Players in her freshman year. In that time, she has worked with Marchitto on five mainstage productions: “12 Angry Jurors,” “Legally Blonde,” “Rumours,” “Into the Woods” and “Present Laughter.”
“I really liked working with him; I really respect him as a director,” she said. “Like he taught me so much about theatre, because when I was in high school, stage manager was completely different from what I’m doing now, so he really taught me what a stage manager does.”
Ronan worked alongside Andrew Bauer, MC’s coordinator of performing arts, to find a suitable replacement for Marchitto. After she and Bauer identified potential replacements, the Players board met with the candidates, and the vacant position ultimately went to James Ryan “J. R.” Caldwell.
“He’s super nice, Marty actually recommended him. J. R. is great, and I’m really excited to start working with him,” Ronan said.
While Ronan is hopeful for the future of Players after Marchitto’s departure, she will nevertheless miss working with him.
“Players is going to be very different without him,” she said.
Even in his new position in Connecticut, Marchitto will always look back at his time at MC fondly.
“I have so many wonderful memories, too many to share,” he said. “What I will never forget [is] the opening nights of each of the productions. That moment when all of the hard work comes together and I can sit back and pass the show over to the dedicated and talented students who worked so hard to bring the vision to life.”