Newtown Middle School students have been rehearsing since February for a special musical production of 13, which is set for one performance on Friday, June 6, at 7 pm.
Admission is free. Donations will be accepted, and given to HealingNewtown.
NMS students Talia Hankin and Cathy Hyeon are co-directing the show, and both said during a tech rehearsal on Monday, June 2, that the entire production is being overseen by students.
As Talia explained, Gifted And Talented Education Students (GATES) are expected to complete independent projects each school year. Last year the girls said, they wrote their own play. When they discovered 13, they decided to try directing this year.
The show is a musical about a boy who moves from New York City into a small town in Indiana and has to find his way around a new school.
Talia and Cathy said the themes of the musical are finding yourself, understanding yourself, and overcoming labels.
“Everything about it is student done,” said Talia, as one student, a crew member, poked his head out from behind the stage’s curtains to ask a question.
“It’s a really exciting and funny show,” Talia said.
The students, Talia said, have put months and months of effort into the production.
“I think it is … enjoyable for everyone,” said Cathy about 13.
The girls said GATES teacher Nancy Bradley, NMS art teacher Ellen Diker, Sabrina’s Encore Productions Director of Programs/Owner Sabrina Post, Sabrina’s Encore Productions Master Dance teacher Lisa Mennilli, and NMS secretary Terri Greenfield have been helpful in making the production possible.
Cathy said she and her co-director wanted to collected optional donations to give to HealingNewtown because “arts are really important to both of us.”
Cast members in the production are Brooks Petershack, Phoebe Doscher, Liza Tananbaum, Barrett DeYoung, Quinn Fitzgerald, Mckenzie Iazzetta, Rachel Goldman, Emma Stierle, Sarah Grant, and Marley Marston.
Crew members for the production are Harrison Hoffert, Daisy McDonald, Jenna Ehnot, Daniel Reilly, and AJ Salaris.