SHS Drama Club Musical

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Photo by Melanie Brown
Cast of BFF : A Musical in Four Acts – The Movie

On Friday, June 14, at 6:30 p.m., a special event will be taking place at Suffield High School: the premiere of BFF: A Musical in Four Acts – The Movie.

A little over four years ago, the Suffield High School Drama Club marked a major achievement: the group staged the premiere of a brand-new musical. Students and staff worked tirelessly over a ten-week rehearsal period to stage this entirely original musical production, BFF. As student journalist Veronica Partain noted, “Adolescence…is a theme with incredible longevity, but one that constantly requires new perspectives and techniques to maintain its relevance. This is a demanding standard, yet it is matched and exceeded by Suffield High School Drama Club’s production of the original musical BFF.” And from another article, “The musical is an ambitious work that conveys the complex tangle of relationships that binds an average high school community both in the physical world and the amorphous digital realm. These two spheres are so integrated that the plot’s driving conflict emerges and escalates in the initial acts without many of the characters ever meeting in person, instead building animosity and allegiances through text messages…displayed to the audience through a projector.”

BFF features lead performances by many SHS alumni, including Felix Antwi-Mensah, Eva Nick, Laura Drinkwater, Jack Flanagan, McKayla Cole, Fletcher Seymour, Chase Irving, Emilee Benson, Isabella Hinkle and Jack Burke along with a significant cast with major speaking, singing and dancing roles. In further press, it has been noted that “Audrey, played by Laura Drinkwater, has been singled out for harassment by her peers and sings a beautiful lament entitled “Why Me?” Later, 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. In addition, Xara, played by senior Eva Nick, and Archie, played by senior Felix Anti-Mensah, sing a beautiful and haunting “Beacon” and “On the Line.” Cast member Emilee Benson also remarked that while it “handles themes that we interact with in our daily lives, it’s also such a really fun musical,” adding, “I think anyone watching will be able to consider the real difficulties that so many students face in their academic and social lives and, because of the catchy songs and humor of the musical, still leave the show smiling.”

With a book and lyrics by SHS teacher Carl Casinghino and music by Robert Casinghino, the production was directed by Carl Casinghino, working with SHS alumni Josh Karam as musical director. At the time of the premiere in December 2019, footage was recorded in order to capture the event. On Friday, June 14, the public is invited to Suffield High School to view the recorded and edited version of BFF: A Musical in Four Acts – the Movie. The screening will take place at 6:30p.m. in the Suffield High School auditorium and is free of charge.

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