In its ninth year, the after school Theatre Arts class has brought a new performance opportunity to County Prep students, who are learning both performance and rehearsal practices, and are encountering first hand all of the aspects of professional theater. Once again, the show had complete accompaniment, by renowned pianist Craig Ketter, and award winning saxophonist Isaac Ketter, under the direction of our multi talented Musical Director, Valerie Gonzalez. The show was directed by Ms. Raluca Shields, and rehearsed and recorded virtually, and streamed through Broadway Media, in accordance with the MTI requirements.
This year, the students focused on rehearsing and performing virtually Little Women, The Broadway Show, despite the current pandemic restrictions. While the acting rehearsals and recording were done mostly via Zoom, the music recordings were done through the Acapella app, which allowed the layering of instruments and voices, and the use of personal phones for recording.
Little Women centers on Jo March’s character. Jo is a talented and ambitious young woman who refuses to conform herself to the rules of society. She wants to become a renowned writer, doesn’t care much about marriage, nor does she want to compromise her value for any worldly advantages. Despite the struggles she confronts in life, among them poverty and the loss of her sister Beth, at the end, Jo finds a way to succeed, proving the importance of female strength, identity, and worth.
This year’s piece was chosen to showcase our performers, who wowed the audience. Senior Kayla Velazquez shone as Jo March; Seniors Ariel Rivera, Ivellisses Segovia and Arbaz Khan starred as Marmee, Amy and Professor Bhaer respectively; Juniors Tatyana Serrato, and Matthew Segovia, starred as Beth, and Laurie respectively, while Freshmen Brianna Lutin, and Kayla Brown-Robinson starred in the roles of Aunt March and Meg. The cast also included Juniors Fred Veloz, Reanna Cruz and Michelle Oshiro who starred in the roles of Mr. Brooke, Mrs. Kirk and Mrs. Lawrence respectively.
The show was streamed online 1/28 and 1/29, and was viewed by theatre professionals as well as the parents, teachers and friends of the cast. As a result, Ariel Rivera and Kayla Velazquez received each $10,000 towards tuition to the New York Conservatory of the Dramatic Arts, while Tatyana Serrato, Ivellisses Segovia, Arbaz Khan and Mathew Segovia received each $1,000 scholarship to the program’s Summer program. Also the New York Film Academy offered scholarships to Arbaz Khan and Ariel Rivera.
Ms. Shields and Ms. Gonzalez are very proud of the cast and crew whose work has developed through our premiere virtual rendition of this musical. A special congratulations goes to the award recipients.
Little Women, The Broadway Show was presented through arrangement with Samuel French.