Six Huntington drama club members are preparing for their final show on the high school stage. All of them are longtime veterans of the organization and they are hoping to make their performances in Cinderella something special.
Amelia Reilly, Amelia Maggio, Peter Ciccone, Will Fallon, LJ Kindall and Alyssa Befumo are immersed in rehearsals for the musical. The curtain will go up on Friday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. and again on Saturday, March 24 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Huntington senior Alyssa Befumo.
Drama club faculty advisor Michael Schwendemann gets emotional discussing his seniors, who have meant so much to the stage program over the years. The tightknit club comes close to resembling a family and alums routinely return to visit and watch the fall and spring productions.
“Drama club has been a second home to me for all four years here,” Ms. Kindall said. “I had Schwen for ninth grade English, and he made me love learning about and dissecting stories. I wanted more and so I tried out for the musical. I didn’t expect much, but I fell in love with the collaboration that comes with being in theatre. Collaboration between directors and actors and dancers, but also the collaboration of friends.”
Rehearsals can run long and it’s during these days and weeks that club members pull tightly together. “I didn’t really have friends coming into this school,” Ms. Kindall said. “But when you spend hours and hours working together, you end up talking to folks. The people that I met in drama club were so welcoming and loving. There is not a person there who I can’t talk to. I have always taken part as an ensemble member in past musicals, but I have never felt undervalued. In other productions, it can be rare for ensemble members to speak to leads. But even when I first started, the starring cast would take time out to talk and goof off with background dancers and singers.”
Huntington senior Amelia Maggio.
Huntington’s drama club has won numerous awards over the years. But while the members enjoy being recognized for their fine performances, it’s not the primary reason they join the group.
“Before I joined drama, I had never felt like a part of something,” Ms. Kindall said. “My drama club experience is nearly at an end and knowing that breaks my heart, but seeing the wonderful people who have joined us over the years, I have all the faith in the world that they will continue to make a home for those who need one.”
The six seniors are savoring every day of rehearsals. “It’s bittersweet,” Ms. Maggio said. “I’m super excited to take on my new role, but I’m not looking forward to leaving drama club.”
All signs point to a sensational production in March. “I’m excited,” Mr. Ciccone said. “This being my last show, I want to make it fun for everyone. It’s been a great four years having drama club as a second family.”