WOHS Scene Night

Joseph Nalieth, Student Journalist

WEST ORANGE, Nj — On Feb. 8, 2018, a surprisingly large group of about 25 students, parents, and faculty members convened in the crammed room, 1163, affectionately known as the ‘Little Theater’. The group squeezed into the small chair/desk combos on the sloped floor to spectate the first annual WOHS Scene Night!

As the acting competition season drew to a close, beloved drama teacher, who doubles as the musical director, Ms. Wendy Mapes, decided to give her students a final chance to showcase their prepared scenes, monologues, and showtunes. This time, however, their competition pieces were presented to an audience consisting of friends, parents and classmates rather than judges.

Initially, many of the performers worried that the show would have a small attendance, due to its 7pm, weeknight start time, but the numbers were strongly propped up by cast members of the spring musical, “In the Heights,” who simply stayed at school after rehearsal to support their fellow thespians performing at Scene Night.

One of those cast members was senior, Madeline Machado, who said, “Scene Night was incredible! These kids are ridiculously talented.” Machado plans on returning for next year’s show.

The show had free admission. Ms. Mapes told The Pioneer she doesn’t think money should stop anyone from experiencing quality theater. Instead of charging an entrance fee, she opted to sell snacks in the lobby to raise funds for a potential bid for the national competition in Nebraska, which some of the performers qualified for at the recent NJ Thespian Festival.