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The High School Play-Goer: Huntingtown High School’s Hunchback

Teens did Broadway-quality show

photo by Huntingtown High sophomore Sophie Kowaluk/ The teens of Huntingtown High School’s Eye of the Storm Productions have combined Victor Hugo and Disney into a larger-than-life Hunchback of Notre Dame.

 

         Victor Hugo penned Notre-Dame de Paris in 1831 and created some of literature’s most enduring characters: the courageous Gypsy girl Esmerelda, the dashing Captain Pheobus, the dour Archdeacon Frollo and the partially deaf, physically deformed bell-ringer Quasimodo. Hugo’s captivating story continues to thrill audiences in film and stage productions, most notably for moderns the 1996 Disney animated film with its award-winning soundtrack and happy ending.

         The teens of Huntingtown High School’s Eye of the Storm Productions have combined Hugo and Disney, paired the latter’s lyrical music with the Gothic novel’s darker themes jealousy and lust. The result was a larger-than-life The Hunchback of Notre Dame that made a school auditorium feel like a Broadway theater.

         Set, the costumes and the choreography had the sophistication of a professional production. The large ensemble cast under the direction of Derek Anderson produced many standout performances. High school senior and veteran actor and soloist Vincent Schiavone shined in the physically demanding role of Quasimodo. Sophomore Anna Kliest played Esmerelda with grace and strength, and seniors Jack Dickson-Burke (Frollo) and Jimmy Bartlebaugh (Pheobus) gave the production gravity and light. The orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Don Naumann, Sara Moran and James Huchla, delivered a first-rate show.

         Students and teachers, performers and crew have polished Huntingtown High School’s reputation for commitment to the preforming arts.