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MS Play Is More Than A Catchy Tune

Students at Hicksville Middle School have been working hard to prepare for their upcoming performance of Once Upon a Mattress, which debuts next weekend.

Once Upon a Mattress retells the story of The Princess and the Pea in musical form. The director in charge of the production, Thomas DePalo, works with the students to create a memorable performance not only for his students, but also for the audience.

“I want people to leave the theater saying, ‘that was a great show,’ not ‘that was a great middle school show,’” said DePalo.

Working alongside DePalo are musical directors Justin Starr and Laurie Haddock to help the students sing, dance, act and follow stage directions.

There are 90 students on the stage and 25 crew members that take care of the set, the light and the sound, according to DePalo.

Many of the students who are now eighth graders have been involved in the school play since sixth grade. “You see a huge development just in the way they will portray a character as they mature and get older,” said Starr.

“It’s amazing to see how they grow,” said DePalo. “It makes me feel proud being someone who has helped foster that.”

School principal Mara Jorisch sees the importance of musical theater and wants as many students to get involved as possible.

“You get to see them from all different backgrounds coming together on stage,” Jorisch said.

Students make their own posters for the play and publicize them around the building. “We hope to see more students come to watch the play and seek to get involved next year,” said Jorisch.

Seventh grader Krisia Romano is playing the lead character, Princess Winnifred, in the play. Romano, who has been singing since she was four -years-old, was involved in the play last year, but this is her first year in a lead role.

“I’ve learned a lot from working with Mr. DePalo,” she said. “He’s a really good director. Right now, I’m learning how to breathe to reach some notes in the songs.”

Alongside Romano as one of the lead characters in the play is seventh grader Viren Fernandes who plays the role of King Sextimus the Silent. This is his third year performing in a school play.

“Every year I get a different role and each role gives me a different opportunity to learn different things,” said Fernandes.

Fernandes has learned to have big movements and expressions from playing a character that communicates mostly nonverbally. “This year, the main thing that I’m practicing is my expressions since I don’t have my voice,” he said.

When it’s time for the performance, the students are usually facing a packed auditorium, according to Jorisch. “It’s an exciting time, because the play represents a lot of what middle school is, which is taking a chance, trying new things and setting goals,” she said.

The sixth, seventh, and eighth graders will be performing Once Upon a Mattress March 20, 21, and 22 at 7 p.m. at Hicksville Middle School.

News

Old classmates reignited friendships and shared memories of their teenage years as the Hicksville High School Class of 1964 came together recently to celebrate their 50th reunion at the Holiday Inn in Plainview.

Among the attendees was Bob Cheeseman who met his wife, Lorraine (Kirwan) in middle school. They were serious throughout high school and married soon after. Bob said, “I enlisted in high school and went into the Air Force. I did 30 years active Air Force and another 15 after that. I retired in 2010 as a Brigadier General. After I retired, my wife received a certificate from the Governor of Texas and was designated a Yellow Rose of Texas.”

The Common Core results are in and overall the district performed reasonably well according to Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction, Marianne Litzman at Sept. 17's school board meeting.

“The students in grades 3-8 performed wonderfully in some areas but there were also some challenges,” said Litzman. “Overall as a district we performed above average for the County and State levels.”


Sports

It seemed to happen in an instant.

Hicksville forward Michael Osmundsen was touching the ball past Kellenburg goalkeeper Jack Abuin to slot the ball into an empty net to score the lone goal in the non-league 1-0 victory over the Firebirds.

It’s nothing short of what Comets boys soccer head coach Scott Starkey would expect. He described his forward as “very explosive, fast and he’s not just fast — he’s tenacious.”

This November, Hicksville resident Marlo Signoracci will head to Florida for Ironman, a demanding, long-distance triathlon that includes biking, running and swimming. Here, she shares her story as she prepares for one of the most physically challenging athletic events out there.

 

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you! 


Calendar

Community Council Meeting

October 2

Indoor Garage Sale

October 5

Movie: God’s Not Dead

October 5



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com