The Rye Neck School District’s spring musicals have earned its fine theater department more than its share of applause.
By Janice Llanes Fabry
The Rye Neck School District’s spring musicals have earned its fine theater department more than its share of applause. This year for the first time, Rye Neck High School is presenting a fall play. “Laughing Stock” promises to deliver knock-out performances and uproarious belly laughs at the Performing Arts Center on October 23 and 24 at 7:30 p.m.
“A fall play gives more kids, who don’t sing and dance or participate in sports, the opportunity to get involved,” said Theater Director Scott Harris. “This comedy gives them the opportunity to be in a show, whose heart is in the script and in the performances.”
A veteran of the stage, himself, with a Master’s in theater and playwriting, Harris is pleased about expanding the theater program.
“I love musicals and have 12 years of musical theater experience, but we weren’t taking advantage of all the talent and resources we have here at Rye Neck,” he remarked. “Now that we have a fall play, the spring musical, the thespian honor society, and student-written work, it will give students a greater sense of ownership in the theater program.”
Harris, currently in his second year at Rye Neck, gets a kick out of the fact that the students are totally unimpressed that he played the lead in “Oklahoma,” yet want to hear about his moment on camera in “Gossip Girls.”
This year, he’ll be directing both “Laughing Stock” and the musical. In addition, he teaches three levels of acting courses, musical and technical theater classes, and a freshman public speaking class. All that and he’s the Chorus Director, too.
Right now, he is focusing on casting “Laughing Stock” and starting rehearsals. Two seniors will assist him in the process, Bram Wollowitz as Assistant Director and David Jackson as Stage Manager. The art, prop, costume, and technical crews will be made up entirely of students.
“I am cognizant of the students’ busy schedules, so I will keep rehearsals to four evenings a week. They don’t have to learn any songs and there won’t be the need for all-night choreography sessions,” he said assuredly.
With 26 rehearsals on the calendar, Harris is confident that the young actors will relish every moment of being in a play about a semi-professional theater company and the comedy that ensues when they attempt to produce three plays at once.
“I chose ‘Laughing Stock’ because there is so much silliness in this play that they will adore. And they will shine.”
For ticket information, visit www.ryeneck.k12.ny.us.