Matilda Wormwood has astonishing wit, intelligence... and special powers! The Howitt Middle School Players proudly premiered their rendition of Roald Dahl’s Matilda on Wednesday, March 8th, to Farmingdale schools’ fifth-grade elementary students. The production’s music, choreography, acting, sets, scenery, and technical elements were top-notch due to the dedication and passion of Farmingdale staff members and students. The audience was thrilled and delighted by the story of the special little girl with an extraordinary imagination.
“I am so excited to be directing a musical as brilliant as Matilda this year,” said director Mrs. Jen Klock. “I hope the young people in our audience understand that their voice can change the world and realize the importance of sticking up for yourself and others and that they know they are already powerful and have everything within them to make a difference.”
Eighth-grader Sofia Lambright stars as Matilda Wormwood, the hero of the show. She's brilliant, resilient, creative, and kind, despite growing up in difficult circumstances. Isabella Gurden plays Agatha Thrunchbull, the quintessential terrifying tyrant. As headmistress, she runs her school like a dictator, making up arbitrary rules to suit her every whim and dreaming up creative punishments.
The supporting cast includes Lincoln Keena, who plays Matilda’s egotistical, rude, and not-very-bright father, Mr. Wormwood. Matilda's mother, Mrs. Wormwood, played by Ava Guzman, is selfish, vain and believes everything she sees on TV. Miss Honey, a kind, generous teacher who cares about the children despite her desperate circumstances, is performed by Shannon Tower.
The Featured cast includes Matilda's not-very-bright brother Michael played by Tyler Davies. Mrs. Phelps, the kindly librarian who loves hearing Matilda's stories, is performed by Zaria Canizares. Leo Scardina plays Bruce, one of Matilda's schoolmates. He has the bad luck of getting caught after eating Trunchbull's cake. Lavender, the kind best friend of Matilda, is performed by Mary Cohen.
The talented ensemble includes Cassandra Hill (Amanda), George Grigorov (Nigel), Jesse Arcuri (Eric), Valery Stabenau (Alice), Meera Deshmukh (Hortensia), John Denecke (Tommy), Eric Bosque (the Escapologist), Samantha Atela (the Acrobat), and Wyatt Smith (Rudolpho/Doctor).
Rounding out the cast playing the “Big Kids” are Natalia Adams, Maya Annunziato, Natalie Calderon, Keira Hayden, Brody Healey, Robert Herbst, Andrew Maisano, Jeida Mays, Emma Mountrichas, Kayleigh Murphy, Ty Rambeau, Ella Smith, Devin Shaw.
“I hope the audience, watching Matilda and Miss Honey, recognize the importance of seeing someone and raising them up,” said director Mrs. Jen Klock. “That’s a valuable person to strive to be, and it’s important to look around and see who those people are for you.”
Orchestrating a middle school musical is no easy task. There are a series of big dance numbers, special lighting effects, and perhaps the most challenging magic—which must be conveyed convincingly on stage. Many people behind the scenes are responsible for a show’s production. Howitt’s Matilda was a success due to its direction by Mrs. Jen Klock. Mr. Eric Hulse and Mr. Joseph Franzino led the musical direction, and Ms. Amanda Whorlow oversaw the musical’s choreography. In addition, many staff and students from Farmingdale High School and Howitt Middle School worked backstage to make the moments on stage run flawlessly.
“Each year, I’m amazed at how the community and school come together to support the students involved in the musical production,” said director Mrs. Jen Klock. “Congratulations to this production’s entire cast, crew, and pit orchestra!”
There will be two additional performances of the Howitt Middle School Players’ presentation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda: Friday, March 10, and Saturday, March 11, at 6:30 pm. Tickets are currently on sale HERE. The cost of a ticket is $10.00. Payments during lunch must be in cash; no checks will be accepted. Tickets sell quickly, so buy tickets early; very few will be sold at the door.