In addition to the lead roles and the ensemble, Suriano said there is quite a bit that needs to be done backstage.
“We have probably another dozen students who do lights, sounds and backstage that are part of the crew from both the middle school and the high school,” Suriano said.
Lights and sounds is not the only place high school students can be found.
Tenth-grader, Stefanie DeFronzo, who has performed in a number of school shows and community theater since elementary school, and two other Voorheesville High School students, Jaynie Parmenter and Noah Robinson, decided to take their theatrical skills off stage as student directors for this year’s middle school production.
“It’s very rewarding getting to share with the kids what the people in community theater have taught me,” Stefanie said.
Suriano said the three students are not considered assistants, but work alongside him, the musical director and choreographer.
“They have been involved in every aspect, including the audition process,” Suriano said. “They have as much input in the casting of the show as did me, Brian as musical director, and Kelly as choreographer. We are six equal voices ... that is how much I value their judgment.”
DeFronzo, Parmenter and Robinson work with students individually and in groups on dialogue scenes, songs, dances and movement. They also help the choreographer and music director.
“I trust them to help a student bring out the personality needed for a character,” Suriano said. “They are phenomenal. They have vision for directing. They are self motivated.”
Suriano said the whole group works very well together.
“This is probably the best overall group we have worked with as far as interest, excitement, behavior and enthusiasm,” he said. “Every year is talented, but the overall group has been an absolute delight for not only myself but everyone with the production.”