OSWEGO, NY – Summer campers, ghosts, confused identities, bullies, and “brainiacs” brought laughter and delight to theatre goers as the annual Fitzhugh Park Captain’s Choir musical was conducted.
“Admiral Ironsides and the Haunting of Haverford Hall” took to the Faust Theatre for the Performing Arts stage for two nights and the young cast drew a standing ovation at the conclusion of each performance.
For the fifth consecutive year music teacher Garrett Heater has provided his students with a unique “world premier” opportunity.
He said, “I can tell you that as an educator the feelings of nervousness, excitement and sheer exhilaration do not dissipate over the years. It is my goal that each student takes away from these musical productions having done something so momentous that they will carry the achievement with them for the rest of their lives.”
The audience attended to witness summer campers as they tried and succeeded in unlocking the mystery of the “woman in White”, Admiral Ironsides and the ghosts of Haverford Hall
From the opening haunting number of the “Woman in White Skylar Trapasso singing “Once Long Ago” to the company singing the “Camp Haverford” finale the nearly two hour production provides a variety of music.
The students learned their lines and presented them in effective ways bringing right on cue laughs from the audience.
The lead players Randy Bills (Samuel) and Olivia (Hannah Rowley) were joined by “bullies” Victoria (Leah Taylor) and Cody (Hermes Jimenez Jr.) in finding the solution to the haunting problems and a way to work together to gain common respect.
Camp Counselor Dan (Jack Lee) and Counselor Karen (Reese Davis) brought proved quite popular in their musical number “It’s You and I” while Jeeves the butler (Trent Wilkinson) was spot on with his “evilness.” His “The Butler’s Got a Butle” earned belly laughs from the audience.
Other features leads included the ever fun loving mascot Herbie Hamster (Nicklas Holland), Mr. Callback (Chris Colasurdo), and Ms. Kankel (Emily Alnutt).
Heater was able to include a huge cast with on stage opportunities.
Vampires, tap dancing bats, marching campers and ghosts filled the stage for huge ensemble numbers.
The bats and campers included Sam Broadwell, Jaime Thompson, Katheryne Hibbert Nelson, Rose Huang, Caitlyn Murphy, Paige Connolly, Jared LaSalle, Eric Young, Katie Smith, Derek Putman, Cash Kennedy and Courtney Dryden.
Zombies and other campers were Samantha Fetterly, Katterina Ruotolo, Madison Koch-Thompson, Jasmine Orlosky, Brianne Wells, Sheyenne Lacey, Chiane Mulcahey, Alison Hibbert, Samantha Falcetti, Alexandria Arens, Monique Jones, Alianna Mulvihill and Jessica Pullen.
Ghosts and even more campers included LeOscar Santana, Breann Smith, Tyler Davis, Emily Waterman, Barbie Babcock, Emily Lyboult, Joe Skillen, Rebekka Johnson, Marissa Forger, Matthew Gill, Evyn Haskin and Liberty McCracken.
Students performed 20 musical number with the assistance of the Haverford Symphony Orchestra that included high school students with Heather Carapetyan (flute), Lisette Dufore (Clarinet), Ryan Smith and Shannon McIntosh (violin), Victoria Frazier (viola), Geoff Taylor (cello), Brandon Walker (percussion), Mike Gill and Grant Richmond (trombone), Emilea Reiner (French horn), Nina Alcasid (oboe), Emily King and Tory Welsch (trumpet) and Heater on piano.
Behind the scenes students were also involved as the stage crew and included Scott Alton, Zach Azzarelli, Alexis Cornelius, Shelby Davis, Emilee Ekman, Kaitlyn Gunther, Ben Hepker, Mariah Hilborn, Tyrese Hillman, Joe Kelly, Cash Kennedy, Sene Pepe, Dionna Pepper, Nick Searor, and Emily Stone who were also assisted by Oswego High School crew members.
Principal Donna Simmons said, “Congratulations to everyone. This was yet another outstanding, wonderful world premiere performance. It was incredible with so many students involved and students who are so shy in school, but yet rose to the expectations of such a production. I am so very proud of each and everyone. This is what makes FPS so unique and why I am so humbled to be a part of all FPS represents.”
Teacher Sally Long was very enthusiastic and noted, “The comedic timing, dance steps, singing and set design were excellent. On top of that the play was cleverly written with nuance and wit and the kids rose up to the challenge of Garrett’s incredible writing and directing. I sat in the audience, every single kid a student of mine that I teach weekly, with such pride that these were our wonderful Fitzhugh kids performing and shining in every way possible.”
FPS teacher Chris Haessig said, “This production does so much for building character both in and out of the classroom. It was such an enjoyable performance to watch.”
There were so many people working behind the scenes to make this a success, but once again the Fitzhugh Park Elementary students received a wonderful opportunity and responded.
Heater noted, “This isn’t just a school musical; it’s the formation of a student’s adult identity.”