Holiday Play to Feature Original Script by Mia Preziosi and Mark Huggins
17 November 2019
Passaic Valley's Theater Department announced the annual winter holiday production, Charlie Brown's Christmas Spectacular. The musical marks the first time an original script, written by Mia Preziosi '20 and Mark Huggins '20, is being produced for the stage.
Huggins and Preziosi wrote the script inspired by several classic holiday shows. Fans of holiday classics will recognize some of the content, but much of it is completely original, highlighting the students' creativity and ambition. Preziosi and Huggins have been a part of theater their entire high school careers.
This student-run production gives students, used to being on stage, an opportunity to learn leadership skills and to understand the dynamics of how a production works. Selected students are chosen to be directors depending on their past experience in theater and grade level. Mia Preziosi will also serve as student director of this show and focuses on creating a professional and determined environment. The Music Director is Mark Huggins '20, Alexandra Paese '19 is Assistant Director, Brooke Berrigan is Choreographer, Fabian Gallege will manage Costumes, and Camryn Frey will be Hair and Makeup Artist. Aidan Timms and Evan Sanchez will be the Set Designers. All students are putting in a great deal of effort to complete their jobs, lead the younger actors/actresses, and learn from their mentors.
Student directors are mentored by adult counterparts who teach them the responsibilities of the job. Ms. Jennifer Shue is Director, Mr. Michael Deluccia is Music Director, Maggie Letche Lavagno is Costume Designer, Rob Lavagno is Set Designer, Alexa Arrabito is the Hair and Makeup Artist, Nik Marmo is the Lighting Technician, and Rob Whetham is the Sound and Video Technician.
In a show of over thirty cast members, Ms. Shue observes and manages all student cast, crew, and directors. "[I'm] very impressed with all of the student directors. They are mature, hard working, creative and are excellent leaders!" she said.
Cast and crew rehearse after school everyday, preparing for the debut, when the elementary students from Little Falls, Woodland Park, and Totowa come to view the production.
The cast has been working hard to put this show together. The students participating range in grade levels from ninth to twelfth. The diverse cast has grown together and formed strong bonds since their roles were announced.
"What I enjoyed most about the play is how they combined so many great Christmas shows and made them into one for my first holiday show," said Aaliyah Watkins '23. "I know this is going to be a blast."
Passaic Valley Theater Department encourages the community to support Charlie Brown's Christmas Spectacular and the Theater Department by coming out to the premier on Monday, December 9th at 7pm. A five dollar donation is suggested or an unwrapped toy for New Jersey Community Development Corporation.