Theater Production Preps ‘In the Heights’
By GIGI TSUI, NAM TA, IREM DORAK, and TETYANA OLEKSYSHYN
The theater production class will be performing its rendition of In the Heights on Thursday, May 2, at 4:00pm and Friday, May 3, at 6:00pm.
“Anyone can come to see the show,” said Ms. Liz Bommarito, the director. “It’s not just for the Midwood community, but for the community at large.”
Tickets will be sold for $5.00 in the school store starting mid-April and at the door on performance day.
In the Heights is a hit Broadway musical from 2008, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also wrote Hamilton. In the Heights was Miranda’s first play. It won Tony awards for best musical, best original score, and best choreography, and a Grammy award for best musical theater album. It also got the Laurence Olivier award for outstanding achievement in music.
“The story is about the Latin communities in Washington Heights and their day to day trials, tribulations, lifestyles, and routines,” said Ms. Bommarito. “It’s a week in the life of Latin communities during the 4th of July.”
The story takes place on the Upper West Side of Manhattan from roughly 165th street to 178th street.
Every character is from a different island in Central America; you’ll learn a little bit about each of their lives.
“My character is a boy who sells shaved ice,” said Justine Browne ’19. “His enemy is the ice cream truck. He is also very proud of himself.”
Jenilee Leal ’19 said, “My character is a typical Latina mom. She dominates the house and isn’t afraid to say what she wants. She wants people to talk to her more and not be afraid.”
Jacob Gomez ’19 said, “In the play, I am a Dominican bodega owner who dreams of going back home. My parents gave me these dreams before they passed away.”
Ms. Bommarito said, “We talk about the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, all the countries to the south of us. There’s a celebration of their cultures.”
Getting ready for a play is especially stressful as the performance days come closer and closer and time for practicing is running out. This means more chaos but also more excitement.
“I get more excited to show everyone what we’ve been working on for months now and to show how much we love this show along with the people in it,” said Gomez.
Browne said, “The reward of acting is that you get to make people smile and you get to make them feel more emotions than usual. You also can raise awareness for a cause.”
Leal said, “Happiness is the reward of acting for me. I feel satisfied after acting because I make people laugh and they enjoy the show.”
When going on stage, the actors feel a ton of different emotions. You never know what can happen when you are on stage.
“When I performed on stage, I felt kind of nervous,” Browne said. “Sometimes I have stage fright. But you get used to it over time.”
The class has been working on the production since the beginning of the spring semester.
Stage managers Sarah Beckman ’19 and Zhanna Olevskaya ’19 explained that they have to set everything up as far as props and where and when the dances are going to be. It’s a challenge to bring it all together.
“I just hope everyone comes out to see the play for the time that we perform it and that they enjoy it,” said Gomez. “It’s going to be one heck of a show. The music and the singing is going to be amazing.”