There was something missing on each “The Full Monty” poster surrounding the University Theatre on Wednesday, the show’s opening night.
A piece of black tape covered up the name of the former director, Holly-Anne Ruggiero. Despite Ruggiero’s dismissal — and the subsequent departure of the production’s professional set and costume designers — the show went on last night, as approximately 125 audience members watched six male actors of the cast rip off G-strings against heavy backlighting.
It was a race to the finish. Just one week ago, the set at “The Full Monty” was not fully constructed.
“The Dramat has a workshop FULL of unbuilt sets [our sets are MASSIVE], unfinished items, etc. Glorious, eh?” an anonymous student involved in the production wrote in an e-mail after Ruggiero’s departure last Thursday.
As the week went on, cast and crew members said the production was far enough along that the show dates would not be affected. But shortly after Ruggiero was fired, they worried about a different problem.
In an interview with the News last Thursday, Ruggiero mentioned a possible lawsuit. When she declined to give specific details about her dismissal, she said she refused to provide further details because of a pending lawsuit.
Ruggiero referred further comment to her lawyer, Benjamin Feldman ’90, who hinted at the status of the lawsuit in interviews with the News over the last week, though he did not disclose the reasons for the lawsuit.
On Tuesday, however, he said he and his client would not be taking any legal action.
Until early Saturday, Ruggiero’s name was on the promotional materials, posters and other paraphernalia. All that changed over the weekend, when Ruggiero’s name was deleted from the Dramat Web site and covered with tape on posters. On opening night, the playbill did not cite a director for the show.
Still, two biographies in the playbill did mention her name. Musical Director Tim Duncheon’s ’10 read, “Like Holly-Anne, he relishes wearing his Spizzwinks(?) shirt,” and actor Gabriel Sloyer ’09 thanked the director for her help.
Remarked a student in the production who insisted on anonymity: “We like Holly-Anne a lot.”
Dramat President Ashley Rodbro ’09 declined to comment once in person and three times via e-mail for this article.
James Brewczynski, Yale College’s supervisor for undergraduate productions and special events, said since Ruggiero was fired, Dean of Student Affairs Marichal Gentry has been involved in the process. Gentry did not respond to repeated requests for comment in the last week.
But, of course, the show must go on.
When the show ended, about a half a dozen audience members gave a standing ovation.
One could almost forget that, 1 1/2 weeks ago, the production’s director was fired.