The Penn State Thespians Present: Chicago

Hsieh.ChicagoBreak out those jazz hands and dancing shoes; The Penn State Thespians are performing Chicago at Schwab Auditorium all weekend long.

Showings of Chicago include opening night, October 24th at 7:30 p.m., October 25th at 7:30 p.m. and October 26th at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Tickets cost $5 for Penn State students and $12 for the general public. Tickets are being sold all week in the HUB, or you can also buy them at the door. Tickets are also online at the Thespian’s website (

Save those tickets because on Friday, October 25th, Director Emma Gregory and the cast will be hosting an interactive talk back with the audience. This is a free event—just bring your ticket and questions.


Valley sat down with Director Emma Gregory as she gave insight as to what the audience can expect this weekend.

Everyone knows the 2002 movie version of Chicago with Renée ZellwegerCatherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere, but Gregory was inspired to direct the Penn State production of Chicago based off of the 1970’s version, directed version by Bob Fosse.


“Fosse is a choreographer who likes control and purposeful movement. Whenever he wants you to move, you move. Small and sexy movements translate to the audience so well. He set the precedent jazz dancing,” Gregory says.

Chicago has a big reputation that includes sex, jazz and liquor in a cabaret format. But there’s a lot of raw human nature under the craziness happening. Gregory is trying to keep the production simplistic and sexy – he doesn’t want to detract from true action by adding many set changes. She says it’s going to be a “bare-bones, yet show-stopping rendition.”


“My motto for decision making as a director is thoughtfulness. Is it a controlled and purposeful decision?” Gregory asked herself this question as she prepared her cast for opening night to put on the greatest show possible because she feels that her club has a lot of prove with this production.


“There are a lot of non-theatre majors who have a passion for theatre. With enough passion, you can pull of something truly remarkable. We want to show the community that we have the talent to do that and the passion for that. People are already in love with these characters and we are bringing a new dimension to these characters.”

Photos by Jonathan Hsieh


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