New Musical Premiers at SHS

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Photo by Takashi Fukami

Cell phones are raised high in a rousing finale with the ensemble singing “You and Me and We!”

On December 5, 6, and 7, Suffield High School’s Drama Club had the rare opportunity not only to be part of a play’s premier, but also to work with the play’s author and director, Carl Casinghino, one of SHS’s great teachers.

BFF, a musical in four acts, is a story about how media is constantly affecting our lives today, especially our youth, in both positive, but more often, negative ways. Cell phones and social media play a big part as “characters” in this production, and the viewer could feel the anger and helplessness as the play unfolded and one of the characters was singled out for harassment.

Audrey and Mitch (Laura Drinkwater and Fletcher Seymour) comfort each other happily. They were among the principal characters of BFF.

BFF was performed by a large group of very enthusiastic and dedicated students, and several musical numbers were particularly noteworthy. In Act 2, Audrey, played by Laura Drinkwater, has been singled out for harassment by her peers and sings a beautiful lament entitled “Why Me?” In Act 4, Laura also sings a song entitled “Not Interested” accompanied by the Why Interested Dancers (Mandy Young, Bella Hagen, Veronica Jacobs, Gia Marmo, Colbi Loranger, and Grace Karam) which touches on sexual harassment. It’s a powerful piece of music. Also, in Act 4, Xara, played by senior Eva Nick, and Archie, played by senior Felix Anti-Mensah, sang a beautiful and haunting “Beacon” and “On The Line.”

Other major characters in the play included Jack Flanagan, Isabella Hinkle, Chase Irving, Fletcher Seymour, Josh Velasquez, McKayla Cole, John-Henry Burke and Brian Tompkins.

A play doesn’t happen without the help of all the backstage people, and this production had many set changes. The set design included rotating squares that could be turned for the various scenes and an especially nice park scene. Special notice goes to Stage Manager and Set Construction Head Olivia Zacchia and Art Director Tim Kudrle.

Special notice also goes to Music Director Josh Karam, a graduate of SHS, Joseph Grimard, Technical Director, Lori Foss, Costume and Prop Mistress (and a huge help when I was directing plays at the middle school), Kelly Blais and Emma Smith, Chorography, and to Robert Casinghino, composer of all the wonderful music.

Congratulations to the cast and crew of BFF! 

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