Huntington drama club advisor Mike Schwendeman with the cast of The Dining Room.

HHS Drama Club Brings Down the House

Huntington drama club advisor Mike Schwendeman with the cast of The Dining Room. (Darin Reed photo.)

November 6, 2017

Sharp acting and dialogue and a great set helped make last weekend’s production of The Dining Room at Huntington High School a hit.

No one knows how the drama club manages to stage two spectacular shows year after year, but the current group of actors and stage hands proved to be worthy successors of those who blazed an earlier trail and made Huntington’s program the envy of many high schools around the town.

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The Huntington drama club earned cheers
for its production of The Dining Room
last weekend (Darin Reed photo.)

Three shows over Friday and Saturday allowed a remarkable set of teenagers to sparkle as weeks of rehearsals paid off with exceptional and near flawless performances. Drama club faculty advisor Michael Schwendemann always finds something that can be improved upon, but even he had to admit it was a great show.

“The kids did a wonderful job bringing this eclectic play to life, finding the balance between the comedy and tragedy that life lays at our feet; all of it occurring in The Dining Room,” Mr. Schwendemann said.

Performances were staged on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and again on Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. A crowd of hundreds turned out for each show.

The cast included Ryan Aguirre, Zubair Ali, Isabella Cahill, Natalie Ciccone, Peter Ciccone, Katherine Eichenberger, William Fallon, Robert Jean-Gilles, LJ Kindall, Keenan Lyons, Amelia Maggio, Catherine McCooey, Gabriel Moskovitch, Abby Semelsberger and Chloe Wheeler.

“This show was an amazing experience,” Mr. Ciccone said. “It was interesting; different from the others I’ve been in. It was also refreshing being a senior and seeing all of the new faces in the drama club. I’m proud of the freshmen and of the entire cast’s performance.”

The stage crew included: Set building/painting: Andy Ulloa, Annalize Alleyne, Carrie Kilgour, Citlalli Lozano, David Riva, Drew Spina, Grace Schmid, Lucas Marcia, Emma Franznick, Isabel Canales, Andriana Messina, Jasmine Taylor, Lucas Kelly, Madeline Flores, Quinn Blackburn, Tati Feliciano, Victoria Guerrero, Asia Thompson, Shasha Sair, Sylvia Belanger, Xavier Perez and Olivia Perez; Sound: Quinn Blackburn (sound board operator), Tati Feliciano and Olivia Perez; Lighting: Andy Ulloa (lighting board operator), Andriana Messina and Isabel Canales.

The students involved in the show felt very good about how it all turned out. “It was fantastic,” said Ms. Cahill after Saturday’s grand finale. “Especially tonight; the last show. The energy was incredible. It truly feels exhilarating to be on stage with an audience. Everyone seemed to love it, too! Definitely my favorite show to do so far.”

Mr. Schwendemann was the show’s director with assistance from student directors Maddie Haughwout and Amelia Reilly. Glenn Deveau was the technical director. Mr. Schwendemann and Carrie Semelsberger handled set dressings and Ms. Semelsberger also coordinated the costumes. Gosh Backdrops & Drapery handled the set backdrop. Ellen Fleury designed the showbill.

“It was an amazing experience,” Ms. Maggio said. “I’m so proud of the show. We laughed and cried and overall had a fantastic time.”

An exceptional stage crew helped make The Dining Room a hit. (Darin Reed photo.)
An exceptional stage crew helped make The Dining Room a hit. (Darin Reed photo.)
The Huntington drama club earned cheers for its production of The Dining Room last weekend (Darin Reed photo.
The Huntington drama club earned cheers for its production of The Dining Room last weekend (Darin Reed photo.)