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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

Local veterans groups and residents gathered at Hicksville Middle School Veterans Memorial Park recently to honor brave servicemen and woman, past and present. William M. Gouse Jr. Post 3211 hosted Hicksville’s annual Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11.

The ceremonies began with the pledge and national anthem sung by Hicksville High School student Cassie Pursoo, accompanied by trumpeter Conner Hoelzer. Monsignor Thomas Costa from Our Lady of Church in Hicksville gave the invocation.

On Nov. 10, a dedication ceremony was held to celebrate the completion of a beautiful new two-story house in Hicksville. However, while new dwellings are an ordinary occurrence on Long Island, this one was unique and special in a way that very few are.

The house at 77 Thorman Ave. was built in memory of Navy Lieutenant and posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Michael P. Murphy, a Long Island native who tragically died in combat while serving in Afghanistan in 2005. However, this house represents more than just the dedicated service of a man to his country; it represents the beginning of a new life full of hope for a brother-in-arms and his family as well.


Sports

Football was Mike Torrellas’ heart and soul. He also liked a good Turkey Bowl.  

Unfortunately, the Hicksville Crusaders co-founder wasn’t able to witness the program’s inaugural event, which took place Saturday, Nov. 8.

Torrellas passed away suddenly last December due to a blood clot, but the spirit and drive of the man who wore the number 53 and tragically passed at that age still surrounds the Crusaders football program.

The Long Island Fight for Charity will be hosting its 11th annual Charity Boxing Event on Nov. 24 at the Hilton in Melville. Among the 20 volunteers putting up their fists for funds will be Hicksville business owner Mell Goldman, who will be fighting under the nickname “The Kid.”  

Goldman is the President of All Boro Cleaning Services. He stated that he was enticed at the opportunity and wanted to contribute to charity.


Calendar

Fall Drama Production

November 20-22

Blood Drive

November 24

Christmas Holiday Fair

November 24



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