Lights, Camera, and Call a Repairman

Lights%2C+Camera%2C+and+Call+a+Repairman

The diverse community of CI has always been a place full of talented and artistic people, with their genius often leading to incredible performances and creations. One of these performances could have been found last week, on November 18 and 19th, in the High School Auditorium. On these days, the Senior Class of 2023 was able to present to the community its version of “The Play That Goes Wrong,” written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields. People that attended this show claim it to be the funniest show ever performed here in Central Islip, giving huge praise to the students and staff involved in the event.

I played Rachel Grove, aka Ms. Mary Colleymore, in this year’s play and jeez… it was such a fulfilling experience. It definitely brought me out of my shell and created some memories I will forever cherish. I thank everyone I worked with and everyone who came to see the show. 10/10 experience, would most definitely do it all over again if I could.”

— Julissa Gómez Mondragón, cast member

With this show, we had people like Megan Scheuerman and Network Outsource help sponsor it, which as the genius Dr. Griffin says, it allows us to be able to “move away from public domain (free) shows like Shakespearean dramas, to one of Broadway’s funniest shows ever– while still raising funds for this year’s senior class.” The arts community within Central Islip High School appreciates the opportunity to perform shows like this one thanks to the support from its benefactors.

Cast member, Sindey Sanchez, speaks about what the opportunity to be a part of a a stage production brings to the students of our school.  “I had a great time watching the cast putting all their effort into their characters, the stage crew building up the set, and for all of it to pay off beautifully was the cherry on top. I am immensely proud of everyone who was a part of the show.” Fellow cast member, Denis Jean Baptiste, shares a similar sentiment. “My experience playing as Cecil Haversham as well as Arthur the Gardener was simply surreal. Having the opportunity to work alongside some of my closest friends, and building bonds with people I never thought I would was something truly special. I want to thank everyone who has supported me and helped me unlock the potential in which I possess today.” Jamaya Marrow echoes this sentiment by sharing, “I had a blast playing Denise Tyde/Perkins. She was such a fun character to play. Denise cared deeply for the play and she wanted it to go right, it’s just that she’s not the brightest of the group… Stage Crew did an absolutely amazing job on the set and the sound effects. Dr. Griffin is the best director anyone could ever ask for as well. Mr. Ehrhardt is wonderful as well and he is amazingly talented. Lastly, I would like to compliment my fellow cast mates. Everyone did a fantastic job with the acting and staying in character and I couldn’t be more proud.”

The deeply meaningful experience is not exclusively for the students who found themselves in the spotlight, but also for those who worked behind the scenes. Emely Rivas explains, “The role I took is sound engineering. Overall, it’s very rewarding seeing how many people walk in to see the show and hear their feedback on how it went. It’s very rewarding when everyone enjoys all our hard work.” Stage crew member Yoni Benegas learned that more than physical strength is needed to manage the set of the play. He said, “During the intermission we had to rush to get everything ready for the second act which included fixing anything that broke, sweeping the stage and putting the painting back up to drop it once more. This was a completely different experience to anything else l’ve ever done and I’m glad I stuck through with it.”

So you want to know what the play was about? Well, as the synopsis says, it’s “ a play within a play.” Basically, it’s a play about a group of people giving an adaptation of a murder mystery, and as the title suggests, things went wrong. Set pieces were falling off, actors forgot their lines, fights occurred on stage, and so much more, leading to the audience constantly bursting out in laughter at its theatrical chaos. 

You may not have realized that there were some things that went wrong with this play. After all, it’s hard to tell when the cast members are literally breaking each other’s legs. If you attended Friday’s event, you may have not realized that one of the walls wasn’t supposed to fall down. If you attended Saturday’s event, maybe you didn’t realize that the magnet holding a painting fell off, leading to Stage Crew needing to quickly pick up and fix it. Samarra Acheampong, who played an audience member, notes that the lead roles were able to capture their characters “extremely well” and demonstrated “quick thinking when things didn’t go exactly as planned.” Although these errors did occur, the cast handled it so well, it was as if everything was scripted, even when it wasn’t. It is possible that no one noticed these things until now, which shows the greatness of talent that CI possesses. 

It was very fun yet stressful. Crew had to work on the sets and make sure everything was perfect. Even if the play that goes wrong is supposed to go wrong, everything was supposed to go perfectly to “go wrong.”

This play was definitely a challenge to every person involved in its production. However, in the end, this event led to new experiences for all involved. Participants were able to work in new environments, meet new people, and try many new things. Students also had so much fun helping out.

As the extremely talented polymath Mr. Ehrhardt says: 

“After weeks of working separately for many works, cast busy on learning lines and cues, and crew working to build a set that would have to be able to be destroyed every rehearsal and show just to be put back together, it was amazing to see them work together to get the timing and lines together to create what may be the funniest and best Senior Play on the Central Islip stage. I helped the crew to design and build sets and work on technical aspects of the show. To me it is an ode to crew kids, who work behind the scenes and are only seen if something goes wrong. This play shows how a bad crew would destroy a show. But this crew actually had to be perfect to successfully pull off all the wrong things that go on.”

I’d like to end this article by saying thank you to everyone who partook in the creation of this masterpiece and giving credit where it is due:

Special Thank you to

Director and Producer: Dr. Anthony Griffin

Set Designer and Technical Director: Mr. Darren Ehrhardt

Senior Class Advisors: Mr. Darren Ehrhardt and Ms. Claris Villatoro

Auditorium and Lighting Manager: Mr. Michael Romano

Costume Consultant: Ms. Liz Paul

Make-up: Ms. Jessica Suarez 

Business/Publicity Manager: Ms. Theresa O’ Connor

Stage Manager: Ms. Aundria Carter

Sound engineering: Ms. Emily Pascal  and Ms. Emely Rivas

Lighting Booth: Mr. Nicholas Laibhen and Mr. Giancarlos Benitez

Lead Builders:  Mr. Anthony Benitex and  Mr. Daniel Ehrhardt

Annie Twilloil played by Ms. Sarah Sosa

Trevor Watson played by Ms. Sukhman Ghumar

Chris Bean played by Ms. Kelly Gaussaint

Jonathan Harris played by Mr. Chrysnell Destina

Rachel Grove played by Ms. Julissa Gomez-Mondragon

Denise Tyde played by Ms. Jamaya Marrow

Max Bennett played by Mr. Denis Jean Baptiste

Sandra Wilkinson played by Ms. Rayann Rivera

And the rest of the Drama and Stage Crew for this outstanding performance.