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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

A group of like-minded local residents banded together and saved more than 200 area trees from the chopping block — for now.

A state judge ordered Nassau County and the Department of Public Works to stop cutting down trees along South Oyster Bay Road, granting a temporary restraining order to a group of residents spearheading an effort to save the trees.

State Supreme Court Judge Antonio Brandveen scheduled a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 16 for the county to address complaints from residents, in particular a group called Operation STOMP (Save Trees Over More Pavement) founded by Hicksville native Tanya Lukasik.The Public Works department had planned to removed more than 200 30-foot trees in communities ranging from Plainview, Bethpage, Hicksville and Syosset.

For the past 16 years, Lucia Simon has walked from her home in Hicksville to her job at the Hicksville Public Library. She enjoys her job as a librarian and says that the staff has become like family to her. But for the past three years, Simon and 56 fellow co-workers have been frustrated at what she says is the library’s board refusal to negotiate a fair contract.  

“We have had no contract in three years. They refuse to bargain with us. Every time they come back to us it’s not fair,” says Simon.

However, the board of trustees disagree, saying that it has made a “fair offer.”


Sports

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School

Hicksville native progressing through Mets system

The Mets minor league system is enjoying a rare period of prosperity. For years, it was barren due to trading off high-ceiling players for major leaguers, or neglecting the draft in favor of the free agent market. Since General Manager Sandy Alderson took over, the organization has reversed course and put a much greater emphasis on player development. During his second-to-last season, however, former GM Omar Minaya took a chance and drafted a local catcher, Cam Maron, out of Hicksville High School in the 34th round.


Calendar

Spooktacular Halloween

October 17

Fall Festival

October 18

Veterans Casework Seminar

October 21



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