By Kyla Baptiste ’19, Dino Jevric ‘19, and Madeline Paterna ’19
It was a night to remember for the Seniors as they took home the gold for this year’s SING production. SING is an annual production conducted by Midwood students that allows them to showcase a wide variety of talents, from acting to stage management. This year’s SING took place on Friday, February 9, and Saturday, February 10, at Midwood’s auditorium.
Although the program is run by students, it is still supervised by Midwood staff: Dr. Ernest Pysher, Ms.Marcia Kaufman, and Mr. Lawrence Kolotkin. The production is split into three groups: Freshman-Sophomore “SoFresh”, Junior, and Senior SING.
Tickets were on sale for $12 and $15 at the door. They were sold in the school store and through authorized vendors.
Many of the volunteers have responsibilities that they need to maintain such as being on time to practice, knowing their part, and attending meetings and rehearsals.
Kelly Luu ‘20 said, “Being in SING is a very big responsibility no matter what role you have in the production. You could be an extra and your responsibility would still be equivalent to the responsibility of the lead actor.”
The show started with the SoFresh production of “Second Chances,” which engages the audience with a story about forgiving those who hurt you and giving them a second chance. The production follows the main character Sophie, played by Zhyra Casero ‘20, and fellow campers through a story of love, hatred, and second chances.
The most memorable saying from the play was “Friends should be like family, and you should never fit in.”
The background was very colorful, with a camp scenic background, evergreen trees, a baby blue lake, and rustic cabins that made it feel like the cast were really at camp.
A fifteen minute intermission was lead by the Junior SING production of “Sing-ception,” a 45-minute show that displayed the beauty of SING, but also the hard work, drama, and general issues that SING participators have to withstand to make sure their show is on point. The performance was filled with comedic scenes and fabulous dance segments.
They also threw in many clever lines that were relatable to Midwood students.
“This is giving me more anxiety than Midwood’s lateness prevention program,” one actor said as the characters struggled to come up with a theme for their performance.
It was quite an eventful night for the Juniors, especially the band. With Soleil Robertson ’19 on drums, Tristan Bucknell ’19 and Ryan Channer ’19 on guitar, and Veronica Alvarez ’19 and Jacob Gomez ’19 on saxophone, the band showcased each member’s talent by giving them a moment to shine on their instruments with a short solo performance.
Soleil Robertson said, “As a junior band director, I pick the overture songs. I get the songs from the other groups and I make sure that the band and I play all the songs we need to the best of our ability.”
Ryan Channer broke his guitar string towards the end of the performance.
Jessica Belasoto ’19 said, “Some difficulties we experienced were transitioning the scenes from one to the next and pleasing everybody with the scenes. We made the script seem natural and not awkward or forced because a lot of people had different ideas.”
Not only did writers have a hard time compromising a clear motive for the play, but the artists had their downfalls as well.
“We had a complaint about our panels from Mr. Kolotkin,” Emma Demiraku ’19 said. “Other than that, I was able to live with it.”
Rosangela Duplessy ’19 said, “I thought it was creative. There are no words to describe.”
The final production of the night was the Seniors’ very own “Dystopia,” which awed audience members with a story about living in a world where everyone is the same and there are set rules, but a group of eccentric teens chooses to break the rules by forming an underground mob that allows them to be themselves. The production was inspired by the 1993 hit novel “The Giver” by Lois Lowry and showcased a variety of performances, from a spectacular step light show to a flower petal ballet dance.
The play focused on themes of equality and social injustice, following a boy who escaped from a dystopian society and found “the underground,” a secret society.
While the theme was serious and thought-provoking, there were still plenty of comedic elements that got the audience to laugh.
Stephanie Rodriguez ’18, a step team member, said, “I’m very proud of everyone in Senior SING for putting a lot of hard work and dedication into our performance.”
Although the cast brings the play to life and the band plays the background music, credit should be given to the students working behind the scenes. The writers took two months to write the play and, during that time, faced some hardships.
“It was frustrating at times, but we got things done,” said Ainon Hia Kazol ’18, who played the gui. “It was frustrating at times, but we got things done,” said Ainon Hia Kazol ’18, who played the guitar in band and sang in chorus.
Audience members were amazed at the talents that these students showcased on Midwood’s stage Friday and Saturday night. Cheers from the crowd could be heard from all over the school. “It was amazing!” said Raquel Rodriguez ‘19. “This is my first time seeing the show, and I’m glad I came. It was spectacular! Honestly, I have no words for the amount of talent I just witnessed.”
Saturday night’s show ended and the scores were read aloud by Mayor Joyce Chen ’18. Freshman/Sophomore SING earned 122 points for their show, Junior SING lead the SoFresh production by 26 points with 148 points. Senior SING took first place with a whopping 168 points.
This isn’t the first time the production has been showcased on Midwood’s stage. The idea of SING dates back to 1947, when it was introduced by Ms. Bella Tillis, a music teacher at Midwood at the time. SING has been celebrated for over 70 years, making it one of Midwood’s longest traditions.
“SING is a precious tradition in our school,” said Rosangela Duplesy ’18. “It’s what our school is known for, we wouldn’t be Midwood without it.”
Over the years, students come and go, but it is our staff who are here to stay. Some staff members have been here long enough to remember some of SING’s earliest performances. Ms. Marcia Kaufman, a coordinator of student activities at Midwood High School, has been working here for over 50 years and has watched children come and go while working with them on the SING production.
Because of its beautiful execution and electrifying performances, this year’s SING was definitely one to remember.
“I think that when the crowd leaves at the end of the show, someone takes home a sentimental value from the empowering messages that SING showcases,” said Reem Hamaida ’19. “That’s why we have more and more kids joining every year, because the morals of the shows allow them to realise they can do what their peers are doing also.”