There are many disparate parts that come together to make every Huntington High School drama club production a success. The show’s student directors are one such ingredient and this year’s fall play has two great ones in junior Gabriel Moskovitch and senior Maggie Imperato.
The two teenagers are working hard alongside drama club faculty advisor and show director Michael Schwendemann as well as the individual actors and actresses and stagehands.
The Huntington drama club will bring Mary Chase’s award winning 1944 play “Harvey” to the stage in late November. Rehearsals have been underway for several weeks.
Performances are set for Friday, November 22 at 7:30 p.m. and again on Saturday, November 23 at 2 p.m. and at 7:30 p.m. all in the high school auditorium.
The cast includes Sarah Biernacki (Myrtle Mae Simmons), Abby Semelsberger (Veta Louise Simmons), Keenan Lyons (Elwood P. Dowd), Aria Hannah (Miss Johnson), Katherine Eichenberger (Mrs. Ethel Chavenet), Natalie Ciccone (Ruth Kelly, RN), Brendan Garcia (Duane Wilson), Josh Avidor (Lyman Sanderson, MD), Robert Jean-Gilles (William R. Chumley, MD), Charlotte Simon (Betty Chumley), Ryan Aguirre (Judge Omar Gaffney), Dylan Brinn (EJ Lofgren) and Cobin Black as Harvey.
“Maggie and Gabe are an integral part of the fall production,” Mr. Schwendemann said. “They keep us running like a well-oiled machine. They keep track of the schedule and more importantly they keep me on task. Not only that but they are often forced to help out during rehearsals when actors are absent or taking care of their academic responsibilities, taking the stage to keep us working.”
Mr. Moskovitch and Ms. Imperato attend every rehearsal and work on whatever needs to be done that day. The two are essential to the ultimate success of the show.
“I help Mr. Schwendemann out with getting everything together, from simply writing down blocking to helping fill in,” Ms. Imperato said. “I make sure we can run the show as smoothly as possible. It’s my first show student directing and I really love it. I get to see the other side of the stage and get to have my voice heard to help out with simple changes.”
Rehearsals are reportedly going very well. “I’m really excited to see how this show continues to get better in the following weeks until we are officially opening,” Ms. Imperato said. “And I’m excited for everyone to see all the hard work that has gone into ‘Harvey.’”
This year’s drama club is once again comprised of some of the most talented and creative teenagers on Long Island. “I love our drama club so much and I am so thankful to be working with them on this show, especially since it’s my senior year,” Ms. Imperato said. “These guys are like my family and getting to direct them is incredible!”
Ms. Chase won the 1945 Pulitzer Prize in Drama for “Harvey.” It’s the story of a perfect gentleman, Elwood P. Dowd and his best friend, Harvey; a pooka, who is a six-foot tall, invisible rabbit. When Elwood begins introducing Harvey around town, his embarrassed sister, Veta Louise and her daughter, Myrtle Mae, determine to commit Elwood to a sanitarium.
However, a mistake is made and Veta is committed rather than Elwood. Eventually, the mistake is realized and a frantic search begins for Elwood and the invisible pooka, which ends with Elwood appearing, voluntarily, at the sanitarium. In the end, however, Veta realizes that she loves her brother and his invisible his best friend just as they are and doesn’t want either of them to change.