A Knightly Production

As Shakespeare would say "The play is the thing!" The musical is one that's quite special this Spring.

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A Knightly Production

A sung-through musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, based on the children's stories of Dr. Seuss.

A sung-through musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, based on the children's stories of Dr. Seuss.

A sung-through musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, based on the children's stories of Dr. Seuss.

A sung-through musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, based on the children's stories of Dr. Seuss.

Grace Sailer, Writer

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One of the most popular activities at New Milford High School for several years has been the annual Spring musical. For the past four years, the James Africano Auditorium at NMHS has hosted big-name hits such as Shreck the Musical, Mary Poppins, and 42nd Street. This year, NMHS proudly presents Seussical the Musical.

Seussical is a production that the drama program at NMHS has never put on before, and hosts a unique family-friendly aspect that not many of the school’s productions have.

Student actors Dora Nano, Erin Kim, and Jillian Miller acknowledge that they are excited about this year’s production of Seussical. All the students especially emphasized their excitement to see the set: recreations of classic worlds created in the books by Dr. Seuss himself. 

Miller said, “I know Mary Poppins was [family-friendly] but that was also geared more towards an older generation, and this year it’s all for kids, as well as people who grew up with Dr. Seuss.” “…And kids who are still growing up with Dr. Seuss,” added Kim.

The Spring musical has been an integral part of increasing a sense of community within NMHS. From staying out for late practices to early Saturday mornings, a close bond is formed through the hard work and dedication. When asked what their favorite part about being in the Spring musical, the students all simultaneously responded “everything”.

“It’s torturous sometimes, staying so late,” agreed Miller and Nano, “but it all pays off in the end.” 

Mrs. Jane Swarctz, music teacher at NMHS and musical director for now twenty-five of the high school’s productions, says she is excited for every musical as she watches her students flourish and grow. Her favorite part of the process is the audition/callback.

“The musical just ushers in so much confidence in public speaking and it just changes [students] forever,” says Mrs. Swarctz, with a smile.

Mrs. Swarctz explained that Suessical presents a unique opportunity for the student actors. Unlike other shows, Suessical is almost entirely music from beginning to end, so everyone will have to be equally versed in acting and singing for the show to work.

Like the students, Mrs. Swarctz acknowledges how Seussical is a show to be especially enjoyed by all ages.

“Even though that it’s a children’s show because it’s the Cat in the Hat, there are so many different layers to it and other meanings for an adult, and that’s what makes this show for all ages,” said Swarctz. 

Mrs. Swarctz added how being part of a show builds moral values Successful alumni often return to New Milford to act as mentors and help bring the program to the next level. These alumni, such as Tony-nominated actor Rob Mclure (now taking on a role in Mrs. Doubtfire on Broadway), and Joshua DeLaCruz (Blue’s Clues on Nickelodeon), inspire how NMHS’s student talent contributes to the larger world. Not only do alumni contribute to making this production happen, but parents of current students who are involved all step up to provide, whether that be through set production, providing food or donations for the program, or simply just picking their students up as late as 10:00 pm after practice.

Although auditions just concluded for this year’s production of Seussical, be sure to keep an eye out for upcoming dates and info on when this year’s musical will be put on. If you didn’t get a chance to be a part of it this year, be sure to come back next year and audition. At NMHS, there is a role for everyone willing to dedicate themselves to this wonderful program. Or you can become involved in one of the many other music outlets at NMHS, such as the chorus, band, or orchestra.

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