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HHS Drama Club Pays Tribute to its Seniors

This weekend's playbill for the Huntington High School drama club production of Little Women includes a tribute to four special seniors. Each of the teenagers has contributed in their own unique way to the club's productions and earned the admiration of drama advisor Michael Schwendemann.

"Some classes as they exit the drama club are known for their size, others for their length of service, doing every show that is on the roster, and some are just known for the joy they bring to the shows they wish to do," Mr. Schwendemann said. "That would be the Class of 2012."

Mr. Schwendemann, who teaches English at Huntington High School, has developed a tight knit group, with exceedingly loyal student-actors and stagehands and equally devoted parent supporters. He returns that same degree of loyalty to the teenagers who have worked so hard to produce a steady stream of hit shows, year-after-year.

Seniors Brielle Blatt, Meghan Latini, Brendan Higgins and Hannah Rice have given the drama club their all and Mr. Schwendemann, affectionately known as "Schwendy" to the actors, wasn't about to let them leave their final production without an appropriate sendoff

Noted for his wit and wisdom and a sly sense of humor, Mr. Schwendemann's playbill tribute to members of the club's senior class leaves no doubt about how he feels about each of them.

"One who did what she could trying to juggle performing, academics, internships and work, and trying to do all of them to the best of her abilities, no easy task," Mr. Schwendemann said about an unnamed senior. "Another who brings nothing but pure energy and joy to the stage. Still another that brought her know-how and the ability to share that knowledge with others, some of whom had little or no idea what they were doing. Yet through hard work and perseverance she had them operating like a well oiled machine. Not to mention she's as cute as a button."

The drama advisor wasn't finished just yet. "Last, but certainly not least, a gentleman who stole my heart the first day I saw him on stage at the intermediate school," Mr. Schwendemann said. "We have been partners in crime since his first audition; the only senior that has done every production during his tenure at the high school. He put a smile on my face even as walls were tumbling around me. The sheer brilliance of his smile is worth a standing ovation. Hannah, Meghan, Brielle and Brendan, you are astonishing!"

Ms. Blatt, who plays Beth March in Little Women doubles as the production's dance captain. She has previously starred in The Pajama Game, Meet Me in St. Louis and Carousel and was voted "Most Theatrical" by fellow Class of 2012 members.

Ms. Latini is a member of the ensemble in Little Women and was in the drama club's chorus in The Pajama Game and Meet Me in St. Louis. She loves singing and dancing, has performed in Huntington Idol and sang the national anthem at the Special Olympics at Huntington High School last spring. She recently danced with the Tokyo Student Ballet at Lincoln Center.

Mr. Higgins, who is also in the ensemble in Little Women, is the only member of the senior class to participate in all eight shows since coming to the high school. He first joined the drama club as a fourth grader at Huntington Intermediate School and has never missed a production since. He dreams of becoming an actor on Law and Order or Glee.

Ms. Rice is Braxton in Little Women. She has never played the part of a man before. The teenager found rehearsals to be a fun time. The sessions never failed to turn an otherwise drab day around.

All four seniors should take a bow for a great run and for the roles they have played in making Huntington's drama club sparkle.

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