Press-Republican

March 17, 2013

School plays a mix of fun, work

By AMY HEGGEN
Press-Republican

---- — PLATTSBURGH ― Casts and directors are balancing fun with hard work as they prepare for school musicals, plays and talent shows.

Marissa Bickford, 17, a senior at AuSable Valley High School, plays Lucy in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” which presents its final showing at 2 p.m. today in the school’s auditorium.

She started acting with the AuSable Valley Players in eighth grade. 

“You have to put so much time into all of the shows,” said Bickford, who started acting because it looked like fun. “You get to be silly, someone other than yourself.” 

Noah Lawrence, also a 17-year-old senior at AuSable Valley High School, has been acting for three years and plays Linus in the production. He got involved for the opportunity to meet new people. 

FRIENDSHIPS AND FUN

“My friends talked me into it,” said Lawrence, adding that he originally joined because the drama club needed more men. “It’s just a lot of fun.”

Committing to other extracurricular activities is difficult because preparing for the musical is time-consuming, he said.

Both Lawrence and Bickford enjoy starring in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” because they have to act from a child’s perspective. 

“It’s interesting trying to act like a little kid again,” Lawrence said.

Francesca D’Alessandro, 16, stars as Miss Dorothy in “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” a musical featured at 2 p.m. today in Plattsburgh High School’s auditorium. She is a veteran actress, having been in about a dozen plays and musicals.

“I just love being on stage, meeting new people and getting to interact with everyone,” D’Alessandro said.

D’Alessandro was looking forward to seeing everyone’s first reaction of the play, which debuted Friday, as well as this afternoon’s final performance when everything falls together, she said.

Saranac Central School’s drama club also presents one last show today with “Singin’ in the Rain” at 2:30 p.m. in the High School auditorium.

HARD WORK

Beyond having fun and making friends, putting a musical together is a full-time job for all.

Steve Perry, director of Brushton-Moira Central School’s musical, “Oz,” said they’ve been rehearsing since the beginning of February for their performances at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, and Thursday, March 28.

“These last couple of weeks, we’ve been (rehearsing) four to five nights a week,” Perry said.

There are about 50 cast members, as well as about 10 costumers and stage and light crew.

“We have from 9- and 10-year-olds to 17- and 18-year-olds. With everything they’re involved in these days, it’s hard to get them together,” Perry said of the challenges in directing “Oz.” 

Sickness and weather have also impacted a number of their rehearsals. 

“There have been so many cases of flu and colds this winter,” Perry said. “That’s probably been one of the toughest things, is getting everyone to rehearsals healthy.”

SHOWING SUPPORT

Like all directors, Perry hopes to have a full house for each performance. 

“People like to go to school musicals; they do the circuit and hit all the different schools,” he said. “I hope they make Brushton a part of that circuit.” 

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SHOWTIMES

Here's a list of upcoming performances at area schools:

AUSABLE

AuSable Valley Players presents "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" for a final performance at 2 p.m. today in the AuSable Valley Middle-High School auditorium. Tickets are $10. For questions, call 834-2800, Ext. 7500.

BRUSHTON-MOIRA

Brushton-Moira Central School presents "Oz" at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, and Thursday, March 28, in the Brushton-Moira High School auditorium. Tickets are on sale at the gatekeeper's office. The cost is $7 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. For questions, call 529-7342.

CHATEAUGAY

Chateaugay Central School presents "All Shook Up" at 7 p.m. Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23; and at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 24, in the High School auditorium. Tickets, available at the door, are $8 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. For questions, call 497-6611.

CROWN POINT

Crown Point Central School presents "Arsenic and Old Lace" at 7 p.m. Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23; and at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 24, in the High School auditorium. Tickets, available at the door, cost $8 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, and $10 maximum for a family. For questions, call 597-3285.

KEENE

Keene Central School presents "Guys and Dolls" at 7 p.m. Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23, in the school's auditorium. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling the Keene Central School office at 576-4555 or purchasing them at McDonough's Valley Hardware in Keene Valley.

MORIAH

Moriah Central School presents "The Princess Who Had No Name" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 17, and Saturday, May 18; and at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 19, in the High School auditorium. Ticket information is forthcoming. For questions, call 546-3301.

NEWCOMB

Newcomb Central School presents "Radio Daze" at 7 p.m. Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23, in the school's auditorium. Admission is free. For questions, call 582-3341.

PLATTSBURGH

The Plattsburgh City School District presents "Thoroughly Modern Millie" for a final performance at 2 p.m. today in the Plattsburgh High School auditorium. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors. For questions, call 561-7500.

ST. REGIS FALLS

St. Regis Falls Central School presents "Pirates, the Musical" at 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 22, in the school's auditorium. All elementary students will be in costume, and the stage is transformed into a pirate ship. Admission is free. The show is followed by the Senior Carnival. For questions, call 856-9421.

SARANAC

Saranac Central School presents a final performance of "Singin' in the Rain" at 2:30 p.m. today in the High School auditorium. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $8 or by calling 565-5800.

SCHROON LAKE

The Schroon Lake Central School District presents "Oklahoma!" at 7 p.m. Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23, in the High School auditorium. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Children under 5 are free. For questions, call 532-7164.

TUPPER LAKE

Tupper Lake Central School presents "Back to the '80s: The Totally Awesome Musical!" at 7 p.m. Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23; and at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 24, in the High School auditorium. The family-friendly show features many popular '80s tunes. Tickets cost $8 for adults and $5 for students and seniors, and are available at the door. For questions, call 359-3322, Ext. 2013.

-- Information compiled by Features Editor Rachael Osborne and Contributing Writer Amy Heggen.