Nanuet Drama Club to Stream Spring Musical Review ‘You’ve Got a Friend’ This Weekend

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Nanuet’s Drama Club puts on amazing performances twice a year, a Fall play and Spring musical. Even through unprecedented times and virtual meetings, they’ve worked incredibly hard to put together a production for this Spring. 

The new music teacher, Mr. Sauer, had some great things to say about Nanuet and its Drama Club.

“This experience has been very rewarding,” he said. “It has been especially nice meeting with smaller groups of the cast on Zoom. I feel as though we have really gotten to know each other and connect through this experience.”

Mr. Sauer was a part of his high school’s theater club, and was president of the organization during his senior year. The Ithaca alum focused more on “the music side of the process” during his college years, he explained. He also directs music over the summers but hopes to be back on stage in the future.

Our traditional Spring Musical will be replaced with a virtual musical revue titled You’ve Got A Friend,” he said. “It premiers April 9th and 10th on Zoom. This musical revue was created by our director, Ms. Cokeley and myself. Each song and monologue was selected with our cast’s strengths in mind!

To be COVID-19 safe, all of the recordings you will see have been recorded from each cast member’s homes. A few dance numbers, though, were filmed safely on stage with social distance measures in place. 

Mr. Sauer admits the hardest part of putting together this production has been the recordings.

Our students miss the energy that a traditional audience exudes,” he said. “Recording harmonies in isolation is not an easy task. However, our cast really impressed me and Ms. Cokeley with their dedication and musical ability.”

The show has taken lots of hard work and dedication, and he is proud of everyone involved.

“This show is about togetherness, community, and friendship,” he said. “The final product will be something really special and we cannot wait to share it with our Nanuet community! Look out for sneak peeks, and the official premier information including the instructions to view.”

Drama Club’s own Maggie Young (Senior), discussed this hard-working group of people, and their upcoming production.

The theatre program is a whole lot of things, but it’s primarily a place of growth,” she said. “Regardless of your role in creating the shows, you make many wonderful friends and grow so much as a person. I became a better leader and speaker, and I don’t even perform. The theatre program is a very important aspect of my life and holds a lot of meaning for many people.”

Young is the club’s stage manager and she does all the hard behind-the-scenes work you don’t necessarily get to see during the performances.  

“In freshman year, I attended building crew every day & really enjoyed it,” she said. “The previous stage manager was looking for someone to succeed him, and he chose me.”

A stage manager does a lot of organizational and management tasks, according to Young. 

“It looks slightly different in a professional capacity, but there are still many similarities,” she said. “I take choreography & staging notes, send out reminders to the cast, and send out daily rehearsal reports (with videos & notes for the cast to use). I also run the @nanuettheatre Instagram, and when in person, I would attend the various crew meetings as well. The most important aspect of stage management is the bringing together of all the aspects of the show. The different pieces need to be combined, which is a large part of what I do.”

Like everyone, COVID-19 has impacted Young’s roles as stage manager. But through all of this, she said, her dedication has not changed. 

“Previously, my job involved a lot of attending rehearsals and crew meetings,” she said. “I still attend rehearsals via zoom, but it’s a much smaller part of my job now. I do a lot of odds & ends, continue to send out reminders & reports, and I do a lot of bookkeeping work.”

This year’s production is a compilation of songs from other shows and the cast has worked extremely hard to put this together, she said. 

Nanuet Alum Samantha Frieri, who graduated in 2019, now attends Ithaca College. She minors in Theater and was a committed member of Nanuet’s drama club. From performing at Nanuet, Samantha has carried on her love for the stage and is involved in an Ithaca a cappella group. Still, she says that The Drama Club here at Nanuet was a central part of her high school experience.  

“I did the plays all throughout middle school,” she said. “My first show with the high school was actually in eighth grade. They pulled up the middle schoolers to play Whos in Seussical. But my first official show in the high school drama club as a high schooler was spring 2016 with Pirates of Penzance.”

She was a part of many shows, but to name a few: Guys and Dolls, Pippin, and The Miracle Worker

“It was a community where I made so many friends or continued to strengthen those relationships,” she said. “I came out of that experience with so many great mentors (both teachers and students) that shaped myself as a performer and my confidence in my abilities. It gave me a chance to go beyond my comfort zone in some roles or to discover specific things I love about performing. Being a member of the drama club was a pivotal experience that makes me who I am today, and it’s the reason I still love performing now.”

Frieri shared a message for the drama club students now, who are faced with performing their art during the challenges presented by COVID. 

“It’s important to remember that high school doesn’t have to be the end of these experiences. If you choose to go to college, there are tons of schools with so many theatre clubs, improv clubs, a cappella groups, and more that you can engage in to continue performing and find another community like this one.”

There are also plenty of options in our own community or communities surrounding ours, like acting camps and community theatre where you can gain experience, she added. 

“Art and performance is probably going to look really different for a while,” she said. “I know my own performance experiences are looking really weird right now.”

While she admits that some of the Nanuet actors might feel like they are missing out on a lot, she mentioned that it also makes what they are doing even more special.  

“Art has always been used to make sense of the world, to bring comfort or depict our current experiences, and we can keep doing the same now. These are extraordinary times, so we are going to make extraordinary art.”

She believes that if any Drama Club alumni have the opportunity to watch this year’s production, they should, adding that it’s important to support one another, especially during these times. 

“I know I’ve missed live theatre this past year, so getting to see everyone perform again would definitely brighten things up for me, and I think it would for other alumni, as well,” she said. 

Nanuet Drama Club has worked extremely hard to put on this production for the Nanuet School Community to enjoy this weekend, so be sure to check out You’ve Got a Friend. 

You’ve Got a Friend is available to stream from the district website on April 9 and 10, at 8 p.m. Visit nanuetsd.org for the link and more information about the production.