Williston Winter Theatre: What ISN’T Happening in the Building?

Winter is one of my favorite times of the year. When most of us are hunkering down, sipping cider, and lamenting the lack of sunlight the actors, designers, and technicians at Williston are revving their engines for a marathon of theatre-making. The list of things going on is even too long for a blog post so here are a few highlights:


Former Pixar animator and Hampshire College professor Chris Perry will be on campus this Monday to discuss how to make an animated T.V. series. He will be talking about his latest project which features voice work by Williston seniors Calvin Ticknor-Swanson and Leeanna Albanese. Those two will be on-hand with Mr. Perry who may give us a sneak peak into what’s next for the project. Williston Theatre students will be attending the event but it is open to all Williston students, families, and faculty. Join us at 6:30 in the Williston Theatre on Monday December 14th.


We have spent the last two night auditioning for our spring musical, In the Heights. We had forty-four students show up to auditions– about ten percent of the student body! That nearly beats our record of 54 for Pippin auditions in 2009. On Tuesday students learned about the show and read scenes for the production team. Debra Vega’s choreography, which students learned and presented last night,  was meant to give our dancers a run for their money. The piece required students to demonstrate skills in hip-hop, salsa, and traditional Broadway moves. It kept everyone on their toes (literally and figuratively).  Ms. Vega and I were both impressed by the energy and zest the crowd brought to their dance auditions! Tonight they will learn music from the show and present sixteen bars to Joshua Harper (our wonderful Director of Choirs and Music Director of In the Heights). While there certainly will be some disappointed students when the cast list goes up Monday (there are only 21 or so roles in the play) it’s good to know our campus is overflowing with talent.


Williston’s Theatre Lab program, where students are at the helm of a one-act festival that performs at the end of February, launched in November. A strong cohort of middle and upper school students have officially taken over the Williston Theatre (under the watchful eye of Technical Director Charles Raffetto). Described by Mr. Raffetto as energetic, collaborative, inspiring, and supportive, working with the theme Fish Out Of Water, this year’s Theatre Lab is certain to be both entertaining and thought-provoking.


These are just a few of the amazing things going on at Williston as we launch the second trimester.  Check back soon to hear about the “tinydance project” visiting the Williston Scholars performing arts class and our trip to A.R.T in Boston to see  Obie-Award-winning Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, an immersive theatre experience.




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