Student Production of ‘Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding’ Comes to River Campus Sept. 13-14


Hilarity ensues in the improvisational comedy “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding,” set to keep audiences on their toes at the Southeast Missouri State University River Campus Sept. 13 and 14.

The interactive improv show, directed and co-produced by Southeast student Francesca Bucci, follows the wedding and reception of an Italian-American family.

The wedding will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Kenneth and Jeanine Dobbins River Campus Center Directing Studio, Room 114. The reception, supported by Chef Lisa Essemeyer with the Southeast Hospitality Management program, will follow in the John and Betty Glenn Convocation Center. The event is free and open to the public, but donations will be accepted to help support the reception.

Audience members become the happy couple’s guests in this immersive comedy, which mixes the happy nuptials with warm and intrusive stereotypes exaggerated for comic effect.

“As an audience member, you will be attending the wedding and reception of an Italian family. The evening will be filled with fun, food, and dancing,” says Bucci.

Bucci, a senior double majoring in mass media, public relations option, and theatre, acting option, from Gurnee, Illinois, says she enjoys bringing characters to life and making audiences laugh.

Making audiences forget their worries is not new to Bucci. She founded a sketch comedy group, “Spork Nation,” during her sophomore year at Southeast, and the group has performed in the 2018 and 2019 Chicago Women’s Funny Fest.

Additionally, she leads a student-improv group, “Dramatically Incorrect,” and Southeast’s Jeanine Larson Dobbins Conservatory of Theatre and Dance has given her opportunities to perform in several supporting roles in Southeast’s River Campus productions, and her first leading role in last year’s production of “Our Town.”

“Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding” is her first directorial debut as part of the River Campus student productions.

There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the curtain, and Bucci is getting a front row seat to see what it takes to run a successful performance and tenant venue.

“Francesca exemplifies The Conservatory’s mission of creating your own work,” said Bart Williams, assistant professor of theatre. “She is undertaking a huge project but understands that doing work such as this creates the future she wants after she graduates in May 2020.”