A New Home for Abington High School Drama

Preview of the musical production of Oliver


Photo used with permission from Steve Shannon

The cast of the new musical production “Oliver” includes a variety of ages. The musical opens on November 30, 2017 in the new co-located middle-high school auditorium in Abington.

Abby Joyce, Staff Writer

Abington High School’s new musical production “Oliver”, which opens on November 30, features students from both the middle school as well as the high school. The production is a spin off on the classic tale “Oliver Twist”, which focuses on a boy living in an orphanage in 1837.

The drama club hopes to broaden the attraction of these productions for those who are interested in watching students from the middle school, as well as the high school, perform live. This production of “Oliver” gives students of varied ages the opportunity to improve their acting, staging, and relationships with other students, while working towards a common goal: an amazing production. With the new integration of the middle school and high school drama clubs comes more opportunities.

Not only will the middle school students benefit from having the advantage to work the high school students, but the high school students will also benefit from working with younger students. The middle school students can see what the production of a play is like on and off the stage at the high school level. And, it will also be an advantage for high school students to work with the middle school students because they will get the chance to broaden their knowledge of theater productions by allowing themselves to increase their skill versatility while working with people from different age groups.

When discussing the positive effect of having the collaboration between the middle school  and high school’s drama clubs, chorus teacher and drama director Mr. Shannon said, “The  mixing of the middle and high school students has been a lot of fun. I think it gives the middle school students a glimpse of what lies ahead when they get to high school, and for the high school students, a reminder of where they were not too long ago.” Mr. Shannon not only believes that the combination of the two drama clubs will allow for opportunities for an amazing production, but he also believes that the students will thoroughly enjoy the camaraderie of working with one another.

We have an awesome show that I know the audience will love.

— Mr. Shannon

In addition to the musical itself, the new auditorium allows for more elaborate set pieces, a larger cast, and more seating for a larger audience. Stage director and four-year participant in Abington High School’s drama club Ally Snow, class of 2018, said, “The new stage is huge and the fact that we can see more people helps.” Snow, along with the rest of the talented members of the drama club, not only believe that the play has the potential to exceed all expectations of a spectacular performance, but will also allow an increased audience and a larger attraction for the show.

“We have a lot more stage to fill and could incorporate a larger cast”, said Mr Shannon.  “It has been a great advantage to be able to rehearse in the space and to have our set available earlier than in past years at the Frolio where we could only access the stage one week beforehand. We have an awesome show that I know the audience will love.”

The patrons of this production should expect of a performance that is nothing shy of spectacular. Costume manager and producer for the show, Ms. Farias, who is also a science teacher at the high school, said “I believe that the patrons for this show should expect at least the same level of–if not more–enthusiasm from the cast and crew as they have into past shows.”

When asked what will be different, Ms. Farias said that “relative to the productions held at the Frolio, the stage is bigger, the set is bigger, the light effects and sound quality will be much improved, and the seating for patrons will be much more comfortable.” This production should not only be amazing to watch, but also to attend, due to the wonderful facilities that the new school has and the cast and crew have had the privilege to work in.

Ms. Farias also shared with us some areas of the production for which she is particularly enthusiastic to present to the audience. “Since there has been so much work put into this production, I am really looking forward to sitting in the back of the auditorium and just watching the show finally come together.”

Ms. Farias also added that “If someone is debating coming to a live musical production for the first time, this would be a show to come to and enjoy.  As deep as some of the parts of the plot goes, there are a number of light jokes that make it quite entertaining.”

The upcoming production of “Oliver” will be astonishing, due to the positive collaboration of the middle school’s and high school’s drama clubs, the new and beautifully designed auditorium, and of course, the hard work that each actor and crew member has put forth to allow for a performance that is sure to surpass any expectation.

The show opens on Thursday, November 30 at 7:30 P.M. It also plays on Friday, December 1, at 7:30 P.M., and Saturday, December 2, at 2:00 P.M. and 7:00 P.M.

Tickets will be sold at the door prior to the shows or online at www.showtix4u.com. Check out AHS Drama’s website www.steveshannon0.wixsite.com/ahsdrama where you can find updated drama information and news.