Drama Classes Prepare for School Play

By Mohima Oishe ’19 and Hashina Sumy ’19

        If you’ve seen some of the iconic broadway shows, such as the renowned Hamilton or the heartbreaking West Side Story, then you will love Broadway: A Journey Through Time put on by the Theater Production class. A Journey Through Time will be held at Midwood on Thursday, April 26 at 5:00 PM and Friday, April 27 at 6:00 PM. Tickets will be $5 per person.

        Unlike many of the popular musicals you may be familiar with, this one will be different: it will be a combination of classic scenes, dances, and musical numbers that have previously been on Broadway. In other words, a “Broadway review,” as Ms. Liz Bommarito, the drama teacher and director of the play, has referred to it.

        A Journey Through Time is a team effort. The students decided not to go with a traditional play with a specific storyline because older Broadway shows have bigger production numbers. This way, more students get the chance to participate, rather than just focusing on solos. There will be around 25 to 30 students participating in A Journey Through Time, with no main characters.

        “We tried to make it broad enough so we don’t eliminate anyone,” said Ms. Bommarito.

        Participating in an unconventional play allows the cast to choose scenes they “actually want to do without the constraints of a script,” said Agha Shah ’18, who will be performing as Aladdin this month. In addition, they don’t have to memorize new lines and lyrics, which wastes rehearsal time.

        Some of the well known plays that will be incorporated into the review are Wicked, Hamilton, Annie, West Side Story, Miss Saigon, and Chorus Line. There will also be a comedy sketch inspired by Abbott and Costello, an old comedy duo from black and white movies from the early 1940s.

Ms. Bommarito and her students began rehearsing on March 27 and throughout spring break, along with Dr. Ernest Pysher, the Assistant Principal of Art and Music at Midwood, who is also expected to perform a bit from Carousel.

“Practice has been great so far,” said Shah, who participated in Senior SING earlier this year. “We each know what we’re supposed to do and don’t waste any time. I’m confident in my peers because every single one of them is filled with talent.”

Isabella Seun ’18 said, “I think it’s coming together and it’s a way for us to collaborate and connect. I’m participating in several different scenes and a lot of other students will contribute as well.” 

Dr. Pysher has plenty of experience in the play business. He has been in many Broadway shows, such as My Fair Lady and The Night That Made America Famous, and starred in Dr. Pepper commercials in the mid-1980s. He offers the students advice, helps build the sets, sets up sound and lights, and helps with the crew.

“I love performing,” said Dr. Pysher. “When I retire, I will go back to acting.”

Josephine Mammoliti is a senior who has been acting and singing since fifth grade. In her freshman and sophomore years, she performed scenes from Aida and Grease and will be doing the same this month as a sentimental throwback piece for her final year in Midwood.

“Everyone is working very hard to memorize their songs and perfecting their performances,” Mammoliti said. “It might even top last year’s!”

“I’m always excited to see the kids get up there and show off their talent,” Ms. Bommarito added. “We have a lot of creativity here.”

Samiha Akter ’19 contributed to this article

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