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Franciscan’s Got Talent

Franciscan Magazine

You relive your time in the Franciscan limelight—and reveal some hidden talents.
—Lisa Ferguson ’84, Editor

I was a member of the original Genesians who performed a number of plays on a stage we built in a large classroom in old Starvaggi Hall. Over the course of two or three years, we produced and presented A Thurber Carnival, Solid Gold Cadillac, and Impromptu.

Written by Tad Mosel, Impromptu was the very first production of the Genesians. The cast included two men and two women. I played the part of Tony. The part of Ernest was played by Tom Miller, Lora by Diane (Coco ’64) Napp, and Winifred by another young lady whose first name was Mary and whose last name escapes me at the moment.

In addition to the theatre, I was also a member of the Glee Club under the direction of Noelle Germaine of the Music Department. We sang a couple of concerts on campus and appeared on the balcony of The Hub, a large department store in Steubenville.
Gene Mariani ’64
Secondary Education

Acted with College Players in 1966 and 1967.  Was one of the first members of Alpha Psi Omega National Dramatics Honor Society in 1967 at the College Of Steubenville.  The director of the College Players then was Curtis Greenberg.
Alby Steiner ’67

During my time at Steubenville, I was involved in many theatrical productions. My most memorable was my first, Nobody Loves an Albatross. In one engaging scene, as I was standing in the background, the two lead actors, one of whom happened to be my fraternity brother Ray Challis ’67, were involved in a back and forth argument. The problem began when one of them dropped a line from the script. Back then, we used off stage prompters, and she was “quietly” yelling the lines to them. They eventually managed to get back on script but not before everyone in the first few rows knew the lines, too. From then on, we did away with our prompters.

I am still acting and directing in local and church productions today—without prompters.
Greg Stephen TKE KA ’70

Anathan Players set construction.
Andy J. Petrisko ’83
Business Management/Mental Health

I had been involved in theater before coming to Franciscan, but had not been on stage for about 15 years. One day, Professor Elsie Luke heard me read at Mass, liked my voice, and asked if I had ever considered acting. When I told her of my prior experience, she encouraged me to audition for Pygmalion and cast me in the role Mrs. Higgins. Later that year, I played Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible, and it was at the after party that I first spoke with Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, which eventually led to me becoming his secretary. I acted in and directed a number of other plays as a student and while on the staff, and these are some of my fondest memories at the University.
Judith (Pocivanik ’89) Koveleskie
MA Theology

In 1990, a couple of friends and I performed in the annual Student Talent Show under the big tent. We had worked together at a Catholic Youth Camp as counselors in Minnesota and had done an interactive icebreaker called “Hey, Hey, Boogaloo” with the campers. We decided to try out for the show with this. We, the camp counselors, would shout out, “Hey, hey, Boogaloo, hey, hey boogaloo!” The campers would respond, “What’s that you say? Hey! What’s that you say?” and we would repeat, and they would repeat. The last time we would do some unique twist, saying, “I said ooh-ah-ah-ha-ooh-ah-ah-ah-ooh-ah-ah-ah-ooh” and dance around, a sign for the campers to do the same.

We had about six different versions of this: eggbeater, Frankenstein, Indian, etc. The judges liked it, and we got to do this interactive icebreaker with 1,000s of Steubie U students. It was a blast!
Sister M. Immaculata (Stacey) Biskner ’92

My senior year in 1992, my Canadian heritage apparently qualified me to be asked to MC the International Talent show. The acts were wonderful, but as it was the first time I’d ever been an MC, so my own performance left a bit to be desired. I was glad the audience was so forgiving when my joke bombed, and I called Africa a country instead of a continent.

The rest of the evening went well, and every time I’ve had to be an announcer since, I’ve remembered the lessons I learned that night at the Franciscan University International Talent Show.
John (Coleman) McNichol ’92

No onstage performance in my life has compared to the experience of playing Creon, the tragic hero/villain of the Greek tragedy Antigone in the Anathan Theatre in the spring of 1991.

Under the direction of Mr. Shawn Dougherty and encouraged by Miss Elsie Luke, I worked harder than I ever had at any part onstage. While I still wish I could have that as a “do-over,” it was nice having people come up, shake my hand, and say how much they liked the performance!

Whenever I have visited campus since my graduation, I have always made time to visit the stage on my own. I walk onto the boards and breathe the smells of cheap carpet and sawdust, and let the memories of performing in The Crucible, The Carmelites, and Antigone, and rehearsing for Knight of the Burning Pestle flow back in a happy river of joy.
John (Coleman) McNichol ’92

I got to play the drums during a Parents Weekend some time between 1988-90. I performed an original song called the “Dirigible Dirge” with my best friend, Mike Nault (on acoustic guitar), James Barker ’93, (on electric guitar), Joe Kasubowski ’91, MA ’98 (on bass guitar), and Mike’s brother, Andy, (on keyboards) who was visiting with his parents from Milwaukee. It was great. I always was fond of Spirit Song, and I LOVE Remnant! Glory to God in music!
Michael Archibald ’93

I grew up dancing and enjoyed sharing my talent with others once in a while. I did a Flamenco-style Spanish dance at a couple of the talent shows over the years that seemed to be well received and somewhat unique.

When in Austria, I was there with my sister, and for the talent show at the end of the semester, we both dressed up in red dresses and lip-synced the song “Sisters” from White Christmas. That was a lot of fun—at least for me. I’m not sure my sister enjoyed it as much as I did.
Sister Mary Catherine Kasuboski, TOR ’93

I began my last semester at Franciscan University conflicted. I didn’t want to miss my chance to perform in Anathan Theatre for one last play, but I also wanted to enjoy time with Chris Mlinek ’99, the guy I was dating. He made it easy by gamely auditioning for Twelfth Night with me. I played Viola, and he played Antonio, the sea captain.

I was already pretty smitten, but the moment he first put on tights for my sake (over his socks, silly boy) sealed my fate. I defy any girl who thinks she can resist a guy who is willing to put on tights for her.

Sharp-eared audience members might have guessed what would happen next, as the burly sea captain consistently flubbed his line to Viola, “the rough seas enraging . . .” Every night, without fail (and entirely by accident), he said instead, “the rough seas engaging.”
Rebecca (Lamb ’98) Mlinek

I wasn’t in a talent show, but my talents were chess and doing some slightly complicated arithmetic in my head.
Matthew Trompler ’14
Math and Computer Science

Originally published in the Summer 2016 Franciscan Way magazine.

Your turn: What talent did you share with the campus community? Send replies to, and we will share online or in Franciscan Magazine (submissions subject to editing).