Farmingdale High School Playcrafters Perform Beauty and the Beast
Be our guest! The Farmingdale High School Playcrafters proudly presented their rendition of Beauty and the Beast last week. The cast performed seamlessly with masks throughout all their practices, and even integrated them into the live performance. The audience was limited due to social distancing guidelines, so the district offered those not able to attend in person the chance to purchase a video recording of the play. Performing a musical during a pandemic was a challenge, but everyone involved rose to the occasion.
“I wanted to choose a musical that was both familiar and uplifting; one that would make the audience smile,” said Farmingdale High School Mixed Chorus Director, Jessica Mischke. “We have been rehearsing since the middle of November and although this has been a very different experience for everyone, we made the best of it!”
The cast was led by NYSSMA honored musicians Gabriella Sferlazza (Belle) and Aidan Kelly (Beast). The narcissistic villain, Gaston was also played by a NYSSMA honored musician, Tyler Hothersall. The talented colorful cast of young thespians was rounded out with an energetic performance by Hailey Batista (Lumiere), Ben Hoffman (Cogsworth), Rebecca Kenjesky (Mrs. Potts), Ava Lanot (Chip), Brooke Kubelka (Babette), Raniyah Elguerouat (Madame de la Grande Bouche), Ryan Loughlin (Maurice), Makai Jones (Monsieur D’Arque), and Kiley Cacace (Lefou).
“Your dedication, time, and effort to think outside the box this year is remarkable,” said Farmingdale High School Principal, Dr. Samuel Thompson. “The odds were against you to put together, what proved to be, a wonderful performance, in spite of pandemic protocols, limited time, and a host of other challenges.”
One of the features that makes Beauty and the Beast a tale as old as time, is its memorable musical numbers. The orchestra, led by Pit Conductor Ed Kozlowski, serenaded the audience while Jamie Capasso and Erik Chocianowski’s set design and construction transported us to a small little French town and enchanted castle.
Director Jessica Mischke and Assistant Director/Choreographer Erik Mischke’s presentation of Beauty and the Beast was a breath of fresh air. While this story may be a fairy tale, going to the theatre and seeing the students perform brought a sense of normalcy back to the community.