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Making Audiences Feel

“I love the theater as much as music, and the whole idea of getting across to an
audience and making them laugh, making them cry- just making them feel –
is paramount to me.” 
—Stephen Sondheim

An escape. A fantasy. A journey.  A lesson. A refuge.

Theatre, since perhaps the beginning of time, has offered these gifts to its audiences and patrons…to people on stage, people off stage, and people back stage.

These are the gifts of FUSE.

Founded in July 2013 by Producing Artistic Director Richard Biever, FUSE Productions brings together actors from both the amateur and professional worlds to create a one-of-a-kind experience for its audiences. Taking full advantage of the local treasure that is Penn State, which boasts one of the top musical theatre programs in the country, FUSE fills the stage not only with professional actors and community performers but also with Penn State students, faculty, and alumni—all of whom learn from each other while sharing their talents as well as their love of theatre.

FUSE’s mission is to strengthen the community by promoting dialog and raising awareness of individual, family, and societal issues through the theatre arts. FUSE seeks to make people “feel”—as Stephen Sondheim said—so they exit the theatre as changed human beings.

“I would follow Richard Biever to the ends of the earth. Through FUSE, he has created a one-of-a-kind experience and countless opportunities for the community. Community actors enhance the productions ten-fold because you’re working with people who give 110 percent the entire time. For them to be able to work with actors who have been on Broadway is the experience of a lifetime. Being in Les Miserables made me step back and look at the grand scheme of things in life. It reminded me of why I do what I do—not just for a paycheck but for experiences like these.”

Paul-Jordan Jansen
Equity Actor, Penn State grad, “Javert” in FUSE’s Les Miserables

“My daughter Kaitlyn grew up with the opportunities created for her by the Bievers at Singing Onstage. She always loved to bring music and performance into our lives, and Singing Onstage became the perfect outlet for her to grow, explore, and become both the performer and person she is today. FUSE became a new growth opportunity for her to expand her style, her way of working, and to learn from other artists. FUSE is a unique approach to artistry, creativity, and performance that brings new talent to our community and through that allows greater exploration, greater growth, and greater enjoyment for both our young and community performers and also our audiences—who want to be both entertained and stimulated intellectually. It not only creates wonderful performers, it creates wonderful people.”

—Deanna Behring-Warner
Mother of Kaitlyn Warner, a student in the Experimental Theatre Wing of Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.

“I am a huge fan of FUSE. I think it’s incredible for up-and-coming actors to be exposed to professional actors—something that was of great value to me when I was studying. As far as community actors? I at first thought that everybody raises their game when they’re around professionals, but I found that I was the one who had to raise my game! Working on Annie was one of the best times I’ve ever had in theatre because everyone worked so hard and was so giving. By maintaining its philosophy of combining professional actors, community actors, and student actors, FUSE is giving its community a professional level of theatre for a very reasonable price. I’d love to do another show with FUSE.” 

–Todd Thurston
Equity Actor, “Daddy Warbucks” in FUSE’s production of Annie

 

FUSE Productions…and its Friends

To entertain. To educate. To stimulate. To make them think. To make them laugh.

To make them feel.

Through its plays, musicals, cabarets, readings, school programs, and panel discussions, FUSE Productions seeks to accomplish these goals every time the curtain rises anew. And yet, FUSE is much more than a perfect synergy created by actors from different worlds. FUSE is sets and lighting and sound. It is costumes and makeup and props and choreography and orchestra and crew. It is direction and stage management, scripts and scores, rights and rentals, advertising and promotion.

FUSE is a complex amalgam of every aspect of the theatre…on a mission to enhance people’s lives.

While ticket sales provide a substantial portion of the funds necessary to bring a production to the stage or the classroom, FUSE relies on the generosity of its patrons.

On people like you. On businesses and organizations like yours.

Consider becoming a member of Friends of FUSE, a volunteer-driven charitable organization created to raise funds for the educational activities and general production expenses for FUSE Productions. Your philanthropic gift will allow FUSE to continue bringing professional quality theatre to children and adults in Central Pennsylvania.

Join Friends of FUSE, knowing that by doing so, you are investing in something our community—indeed our society—needs now more than ever.