Festus the three-legged dog who has become somewhat of a fixture on campus, will make his television debut May 30, on the 4 p.m. Channel 10 News. Reporter Dawn Timmeney plans to air her story about the pet therapy work Festus does at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with his adoptive parent, Domenick Scudera, associate professor of theater. Festus has been an inspiration for Scudera’s theater work.
His relationship with Festus, who had endured terrible hardships as a puppy, led to a theater piece several years ago, Festus The Three-Legged Wonder Dog, based on the experiences of dog and educator as a certified therapy team visiting area hospitals, with a gratifying response. Currently they visit Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital and Children’s Hospital, where the television piece was filmed. Scudera has said that “people found his approach to life to be amazingly positive and motivational.” The solo performance piece under the Jilline Ringle Solo Performance Project grant, was performed in the southeastern Pennsylvania area, at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival in 2008 and at the National Conference for the Association for Theater in Higher Education in Denver.
Scudera, a graduate of Colgate University with an MFA from Penn State, regularly directs for the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theater and The Waitstaff Comedy Troup among other area theaters. This past fall, Scudera directed One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, at Ursinus, and The Real Housewives of South Philly for Waitstaff. His direction of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart by the Nevermore Theater Project in the Philly Fringe Festival got excellent reviews in Philadelphia media. Most recently he directed Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit at the Delaware Theater Company in Wilmington, Del. Scudera is a faculty leader designated by the Periclean Faculty Leadership Program. The national organization champions civic engagement in the classroom, on the campus and ion the community.