“It was ‘Dance or die,’” said a member of the cast as Emily Ditkovski, the musical’s director, introduced the cast to the political and social turmoil of turn of the century Tsarist Russia.
Certainly true in the realm of musicals, this phrase became the mantra for the cast and crew of this year’s musical, “Fiddler on the Roof.” Whenever someone is having trouble they say, “dance or die” to each other and the situation, whatever it may be, is ameliorated.
“Every cast is special, every cast is unique, but this one has so much energy,” says Ditkovski of the 39 students involved in the play this spring.“There are so many beginners this year, but they’re all able to channel the characters perfectly.”
Masks may be the symbolic representation of the dramatic arts, but sometimes they are also the tools of the trade.
Teacher Emily Ditkovski’s Intermediate Acting class recently finished a unit on the Italian Comedy (commedia dell’arte). This traditional theater form uses music and dance, and productions are well-known for their comedy, witty remarks, and physicality.
Thanks to more than $500 in donations, students at The Williston Northampton School were able to buy Christmas presents for three families in western Massachusetts. The funds were raised during a week of fundraising efforts on campus including bake sales and the sale of bracelets for “Dress-down Day.” Students in three advisor groups worked together in the effort, baking, organizing the events, shopping, and gathering with friends for a wrapping party.