Stage production canceled due to injury to lead actor

The final two performances of Penn State New Kensington’s spring stage production, “Bat Boy: The Musical,” were canceled April 19 and 20 due to an injury to the lead actor.

Chris Capo, a sophomore chemical engineering major, fell backstage on stairs as he was heading to the changing room between scenes. The fall opened a gash on his head and he was transported by ambulance to the Allegheny Valley Hospital. Capo was treated and released from the hospital the same night.

“I talked to Chris on Saturday and he wanted to perform the final show very much,” said Bill Mitas, director of the play and instructor in theater at the campus. “But we did not want to jeopardize his health and safely, and canceled the final performance.”

A veteran of numerous campus productions, Capo had a feature role in the fall play, “The Glass Menagerie.” He will be honored for his thespian acumen April 26 when he receives the Performing Arts Award for Best Performer at the annual Academic and Student Achievement Awards ceremony. The award recognizes students in performing arts, including acting, singing and production. Besides being a cast member, the Valley High School graduate was a member of the set crew.

Extracurricular activities are a part of Capo’s DNA. In addition to being in the Klieg light, he was the starting defender for the men’s soccer team that reached the semifinals of the Penn State University Athletic Conference championship. His academic accomplishment also earned him a berth on the Academic All-Conference team, which is reserved for student-athletes who earn a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. In addition, Capo is a recipient of the campus’ John Evans Scholar/Athlete Memorial Award for outstanding academic achievement while participating in an intercollegiate sport

The accident did not dampen the spirits of the “Bat Boy” cast and crew. Some went to the hospital to offer moral support. Other kept in constant contact through text messages and Facebook postings. The old theatrical adage, “The show must go on,” may still ring true as Mitas is looking into reprising the show in the fall. Kevin Snider, chancellor of the campus, had praise for Capo and the cast and crew.

“Chris is one of our most seasoned and talented actors, dedicated to the theater,” said Kevin Snider, a musical performer who sings and plays the guitar. “Our hearts go out to Chris and the entire cast and crew who worked to pull this performance off, but I fully expect all will be back to entertain us next season.”

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Last Updated April 24, 2013