UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-ST. LOUIS
Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre, Dance, and Media Studies
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
Production Manager / Director, spring 2010
THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT
Production Manager / Director, fall 2009
Two on the Aisle: A lovely performance by [sophomore] Ben Watts… he was smooth, suave, understated, very good rhythms… just a lovely performance… [Jason Cannon’s] direction generally I thought was clear… I especially liked [senior] Matthew Amend, who was Simon the Zealot, one of the apostles, as sort of a 60s black power rebel, and also played Caiaphas as a very supercilious political smoothie.
Production Manager / Director, spring 2009
Two on the Aisle: Jason Cannon directed it, and the production is notable for two things. Number one he cut it down to under an hour and a half, a one-act. And you know something I didn’t really miss anything… it worked as an economical presentation of the entire play. He also did not have three witches, he had a rather larger number of black robed, three horned, faceless wraiths, who functioned in a number of ways: as soldiers, first in the fight with the Thane of Cawdor, and then accosting Macbeth and Banquo, and later on as characters who seemed to be emanations of the characters’ minds at one point or actual participants in another. But the way Jason worked it out you really understood what he was trying to get at… a very effective way to portray the effect of evil in the play.
KDHX: Ambitious… [senior] Rachel Ogborn does fine work as Lady Macbeth… [Freshman] Sean Green's passionate work as Macduff… gives the show a welcome lift with his intense portrayal. [Sophomore] Brie Brewer amuses as a drunken porter, and elicits sympathy as the ill-fated Lady Macduff… [Junior] Ryan Meyers is quite good as young Malcolm, the rightful heir to the throne.
URINETOWN: THE MUSICAL
Production Manager / Director, fall 2008
KDHX: A spirited production directed by Jason Cannon… Unconventional casting finds [sophomore] Brieanna Brewer essaying the male lead, Bobby Strong. Surprisingly, that just adds another layer of lunacy to the goings-on… [sophomore] Amanda Densmore's squeaky voiced Hope is amusing… [senior] Joey Walsh impresses in another gender switch as Little Sally, and his impossibly high vocals are amazing on "Tell Her I Love Her" as he recalls Bobby's last words. [Junior] Leah Stewart is also sharp and vocally sound as Penelope Pennywise… Jason Cannon's direction is inventive and inspired.
The RiverFront Times: This student version of Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann's meta-musical looks and sounds professional.
RECENT TRAGIC EVENTS
Production Manager / Director, spring 2008
KDHX: an interesting and thought provoking affair that consistently confounds audience expectations… Jason Cannon's direction nearly makes this messy play work… [Freshman] Brieanna Brewer is very good as Waverly, displaying a fine range of emotion and depth… [Junior] Joey Walsh brings the right sort of nervous energy and apprehension to the part of Andrew. Walsh is a likable sort, and he plays off of Brewer's mixed signals with honest believability. He's especially convincing as he struggles to tell Waverly about his chance encounter with her twin… [Sophomore] Framooze Akhi amuses [and] his argument with the Joyce Carol Oates sock puppet concerning the concept of free will is a highlight.
The RiverFront Times: Both leads are good, as is [sophomore] Framooze Akhi as the cosmic nugget-dispensing neighbor, Ron. Throw in [Junior] Lauren Mergenthaler's understated dual performances as a sock-puppet version of Joyce Carol Oates and the silent Nancy and you have a strange, comic and touching play.