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Hicksville Illustrated News - Schools

High School Gears Up For Willy Wonka

Students transform auditorium stage

into a fantastical chocolate factory

On a cold night last week, the stage crew of Hicksville High School was still hard at work way past twilight. “We’ve been here since three,” said student Gabe Membreno.  “And I don’t think we will be leaving tonight until 9 or 10.”

The passion the group has is palpable as one walks into the main auditorium at the school. Everyone is busy with the tasks that need to get done for the day in order to meet set deadlines. After all, the upcoming play depends on it.

“I think it’s more stressful for the crew on show nights then it is for the cast,” said James Stamos, a veteran of the theater program since seventh grade who has been both behind and in front of the curtain and is now the program's senior tech officer. “There is so much excitement and chemistry.”

Sara Christopher, a senior who has been in the crew since her freshman year and has done every play, said that it’s a lot of pressure to make sure things go right on show night. “We have to be careful of feedback during the show and making sure that everything is perfect,” she said.

Junior Chris Abernate takes it upon himself to build most of the set as the crew’s construction designer.  While he discusses the ideas with the group’s supervisor he does all of the measurements and dimensions himself. His amazing work will take center stage next week as the Candy Shop/Bucket Household in the high school's production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

And it’s not all about the work, the group agrees. The crew members recruit their own friends into the club, who bring more friends, said Julia Berry. “I joined because a lot of my friends were in it and they asked me to join. I joined my junior year,” she explained. “But the best part of being here is the new friends you make.”

Adriana Tores said that she joined the stage crew because although she always loved Broadway, she had horrible stage fright. “I found something to let me still be involved with something I love without having to deal with my stage fright. And part of my job here is clothes, so, it’s great,” she said.

And at the end of the day, all of the hard work pays off, not only because of the show’s success, but because of the friends that were made. “One of the reasons I love tech crew is because of the people,” Stamos said. “We’re all friends here,” added Membreno. “It’s a safe place where you can be yourself and no one judges you.”

Don’t miss the cast and crew put on their winter musical performance of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory from March 13 to March 15 at 7 p.m. at Hicksville High School.