The Count of Monte Cristo

Ithaca College Theatre presents “The Count of Monte Cristo,” a new written musical by Ithaca College senior Brett Boles. Evening performances will take place at 8 p.m. on April 24, 26–28. Matinees will be offered on April 28 and 29 at 2 p.m.

These six performances will take place in the Hoerner Theatre, Dillingham Center. Tickets can be purchased at the Ithaca College Theatre ticket office in Dillingham Center, the Clinton House Ticket Center, Cornell University’s Willard Straight Hall and online at

Ticket prices range from $4.50 to $10. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more by calling (203) 260-9508. For more information call (607) 274-3224 or visit

To make reservations for the “Dinner and a Show” package ($35 per person) for the April 28 evening performance, contact Ithaca College’s Tower Club Restaurant at (607) 274-3393.

The musical of “The Count of Monte Cristo” is based on the Dumas novel of the same name and examines justice, revenge and redemption. Set in and around France and Italy during the historical events of 1815–1838, the story centers on young Edmond Dantès—left to languish in jail for eighteen years, serving time for a crime he didn’t commit.

The musical’s recurring theme, “Wait and Hope,” cannot be applied to the accelerated course taken by author Boles, a composition major in the School of Music. Having written his first musical as a sophomore in high school, Boles had written the lyrics and music for “Austin’s Bridge” by the age of 18. Due to open in Richmond, Virginia, later this year, Boles wrote “Austin’s Bridge” with Broadway writer Bill C. Davis (“Mass Appeal”). “The Count of Monte Cristo” is Boles’ most ambitious project to date, taking him four years to distill the 1,200 page novel into a two-hour show. He was not alone in this endeavor, however.

“We will be hearing this name [Brett Boles] again and again,” said Gregory Woodward, the professor of music theory, history and composition who saw Boles through his four years of composition study at Ithaca College. “I predict this artistic and creative voice that has already advanced to the professional level at 21 will be charming Broadway audiences time after time in the future.”

The college’s School of Music and Department of Theater Arts have produced countless opera stars, composers, and Broadway actors, but they have never before developed a student work on its main stage. Guiding “The Count of Monte Cristo” through the rehearsal process have been Director Susannah Berryman and Musical Director Joel Gelpe. Of the delicacy required to usher in a new work, Berryman said, “It’s a matter of process versus product—not letting the desire to put a polished product before the audience undercut the development aspects of a first workshop production.” Gelpe added, “This is a new work, totally unknown, with lots of music. We are all starting from scratch, and some of the music is challenging and rhythmically complex.”

Susannah Berryman is an associate professor in the Ithaca College Department of Theatre Arts and assistant professor Jim Utz and Gina Randall ’07 are the production’s dramaturges. The choreographer is associate professor Mary Corsaro. The design team includes scenic designer Steve TenEyck, assistant professor; costume designer Greg Robbins, associate professor; lighting designer Adam Frank ’07, and sound designer Don Tindall, assistant professor. The technical director is Colin Stewart, assistant professor. Britney Smallwood ’08 is the stage manager.

The cast of “The Count of Monte Cristo” includes Jeremy Jordon ’07 as Edmond Dantés, Marisa Dargahi ’07 as Mercedes, Michael Mott ’07 as Danglars, Aaron Morris ’07 as Fernand, and Daniel C. Greenwood ’08 as Villefort.

The female ensemble includes Melanie Beck ’10, Meredith Ashley Beck ’09 as Trio, Shauna Goodgold ’07 as Trio and Heloise de Villefort, Hillary C. Patingre ’09 as Renee de Villefort, Elise Noelle Riveron ’07 as Trio and Valentine, Lauren Brooke Shusterman ’07, Elysia Shutrump ’10 as Haydee and Catherine Lena Stephani ’09 as Mme. dt St. Merain.

The male ensemble includes C. Patrick Hunter ’10 as Morrell, Kyle Johnson ’09 as Albert, Larry Komrower ’09, Eric Morris ’10, Matt Musgrove ’10 as Faria, Jeremy Reese ’09, Jay Schmidt ’08 as St. Merain and Jared Zirilli ’08.

The swings include Mariah Ciangiola ’09, Rachel Tolzman ’09, Kevin C. Hegmann ’10 and Parker Pogue ’10.

Originally published in Intercom: The Count of Monte Cristo.

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