Amadeus is set amidst the opulence and splendor of 18th Century Vienna. Peter Shaffer’s thrilling and, in part, witty play pits blazing human ambition against heavenly genius in what becomes a battle of life and death.
Did court composer Antonio Salieri poison youthful composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart? Did frustration and jealousy drive Salieri on a heartless campaign to ruin Mozart’s career and end his life? With consummate skill and wonderful wit, Shaffer orchestrates this gripping and fascinating conflict. Amadeus is a rich, theatrical experience that will stay with you long after the final curtain has fallen.
Originating at the National Theatre of Great Britain, the play was the recipient of both the Evening Standard Drama Award and the Theatre Critics Award. In the U.S., the play won the coveted Tony Award and went on to become a critically acclaimed major motion picture winning eight Oscars, including “Best Picture.”
URI’s Amadeus is directed by Alan Hawkridge who directed URI’s Blithe Spirit, Bedroom Farce, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Les Liaisons Dangeruses; scenic design by Carl Gudenius; costume designer, Sally Tschantz-Dwyer; lighting designer, Christian Wittwer; and sound designer, Michael Martineau.
The Sunday, March 2 performance at 3 p.m. is dedicated to the memory of Thomas R. Pezzullo, a former vice president for University Relations at URI and frequent actor who died in 1992 at the age of 49. All proceeds from that performance will go directly to the Thomas R. Pezzullo Memorial Scholarship Fund. A MATChat, short for matinee chat, with the director, cast, designers and crew will follow the performance. The interactive chat will give audience members an opportunity to ask questions.
Members of the cast, their characters and hometowns follow:
Actor, Character, Hometown
Kyle Blanchette, Venticello 1, Coventry, R.I.
Cory Crew, Servant, Putnam Valley, N.Y.
Jamie Dufault, Emperor Joseph II, Narragansett, R.I.
Tyler Fischer, Mozart, Branford, Conn.
Ben Gracia, Orsini-Rosenberg, East Providence
Benjamin Grills, VonStrak, Ashaway, R.I.
Nile Hauver, VonSweiten, Coventry, R.I.
Gregory Infussi, Citizen, North Providence, R.I.
Joseph Kidawski, Salieri, Framingham, Mass.
Rebecca Kittredge, Teresa Salieri, Cranston, R.I.
Dana Merson, Constanze, New York, New York
Stephanie Morgan, Katherina, Westfield, Mass.
Rachel Nadeau, Servant, Coventry, R.I.
Elise Petrarca, Cook/Citizen, Johnston, R.I.
Michael Pilacik, Servant, West Nyack, N.Y.
Michael Puppi, Guiseppe Bonno, Narragansett, R.I.
JonPaul Rainville, Servant, Richmond, R.I.
Betsy Rainville, Citizen, Coventry, R.I.
Ben Rose, Venticello 2, Charlestown, R.I.
Johnny Sederquist, Valet/Citizen, Middleboro, Mass.
University of Rhode Island students (standing) Dana Merson from New York, New York plays the role of Constanze, Tyler Fischer from Branford, Conn. plays Mozart and Joseph Kidawski from Framingham, Mass. plays the role of Salieri in the URI Theatre production of Amadeus.. URI Theatre photo by Randy Osga.