By Talia Feinsod, Staff Writer
Humans of NPHS, we’ve got live theater! (what!!?) Yes, finally, after waiting for guidance from the state and CDC and many meetings with the district, directors Nancy Owen and Nicole Foti bring you not one, but a total of eight live performances in the coming month!
After the cancellation of last year’s spring musical, The Secret Garden, making sure this year’s seniors had an opportunity to perform was top priority. So, opening on Thursday May 20th at 7:30pm, New Paltz High School Drama Club proudly presents, Into The Woods! This show, chosen because of its smaller cast size, showcases the talent of thirteen seniors and two juniors, (and one familiar face from the class of 2020!). But don’t be fooled by the numbers; “It’s one of the hardest shows that a high school can put on, and doing it this year makes it all the more challenging!” says Jessica Dugatkin, who plays the leading role of Baker’s Wife. To follow district and state guidelines, actors must remain six feet apart when singing, and in a more recent change, three feet apart when saying lines. This, along with the inability to pass props directly to each other, has made blocking scenes quite a challenge. Another hurdle for the actors has been acclimating to the clear masks they wear when performing. “But,” Dugatkin says, “all our hard work has been starting to pay off and I can’t for everyone to see what we’ve been working on.” And pay off it shall! With just over two weeks until opening night, all 23 members of the cast and crew are putting in their weekly hours of hard work and dedication, and getting increasingly excited to bring live theater into people’s lives once again.
Into The Woods will have five performances; Thursday 5/20 at 7:30pm, Friday 5/21 at 7:30pm, Saturday 5/22 at 2pm and 7:30pm, and Sunday 5/23 at 2pm. As of right now, in accordance with New York State guidelines, all of our five shows are limited to 100 audience members, so tickets will be going FAST! Please visit this link to purchase your tickets beforehand, we will not be selling any tickets at the door as we have in past years.
But don’t worry! If you are unable to see Into The Woods, you’ll have another chance to see what the Drama Club has to offer. Opening on Thursday, June 3rd, and continuing through Saturday June 5th, is Broadway: The Revival! This cabaret style performance highlights the many talents of our underclassmen. By writing a script that is accurate to the current times of Covid closures and loss of Broadway, actors are able to put a realistic spin on many classic musical hits. Featuring singing, acting, and dancing, Broadway: The Revival has posed as a great outlet for new students to get to explore their talents and assume more prominent roles. Says Willa Voorhis, a freshman who portrays a news reporter, as well as being part of a Hamilton trio with fellow freshman Ana Kirsch and sophomore Lindsey Clinton, “It’s been a very fun experience, although challenging with Covid-19 guidelines.” But, like senior Jessica Dugatkin, Voorhis is, “so grateful that the school can pull off a show this year.” Similarly, Clinton remarked that “Even though this year’s shows are very different, being able to perform again has been a lot of fun,” and despite not being able to perform alongside the seniors, she thinks it, “ended up creating better bonds between those of us [underclassmen] who will be together in future years.” But overwhelmingly the sentiment still remains, “it’s just really great being back and able to perform.”
Broadway: The Revival will have three performances; Thursday 6/3, Friday 6/4, and Saturday 6/5, all at 7:30pm. Same as Into The Woods, all tickets will be pre-sale online to make Covid-friendly seating arrangements easiest, (ticket information not yet available), and limited to 100 audience members per show.
All in all, there is talent to be shown off and audiences to please. In a year of shutdowns, the NPHS Drama Club hopes you’ll come out to support fellow classmates, the arts, and yourself as we ‘play the music and light the lights’! “Bringing people together, inspiring, soothing and sharing: these are the powers of art, the importance of which has been made emphatically obvious during the COVID-19 pandemic,’’ said UN News in April of 2020, and the time has come to bring it back.
Featured Photo: Provided by Talia Feinsod