The Student News Site of Central Islip High School

The Rapier

The Student News Site of Central Islip High School

The Rapier

The Student News Site of Central Islip High School

The Rapier

Our Town


I think that everyone at this point can tell that I love it when different groups of talented people in this community work together to make these massive scale projects. I will always think of it as magical, there is just no other word to describe it – the joy that is produced when you see these productions is always going to be unmatched. A lot of this can be testified by the cast members like Jordan Glandel who said, “My experience was amazing! Being in a play is so much fun. I even encourage people to try out for the next play so they can experience what I did” and Zarla Alston who remarked “This was a very unique experience for me, as I’ve never done anything drama related before this. The cast was absolutely amazing and we made a lot of great memories.” I said it a few times now but this district of Central Islip is genuinely a place full of gifted people, and we got another chance to see how gifted this community is with this year’s Senior Class performance of Our Town. This play was performed Friday, November 17th and Saturday, November 18th at the Central Islip High School Auditorium. People of this community were able to experience what happens when the Cast Members and Stage Crew unite to mold these masterpieces. 


So what is Our Town about? It’s simple, really… life. Alright, let me explain a little more in depth. The play was written in 1938 by Thornton Wilder. Since its release, it  has won the Pulitzer Prize and has been performed countless times, making it one of the most popular plays in American history.  The play takes place in the 1900s in the fictional small town, Grover’s Corner, New Hampshire. We follow the omniscient Stage Manager as he tells us the story of the residents of Grover’s Corner, with him zero-in on the lives of the Webbs and Gibbs. The play is broken up into three acts, Act I being “Daily Life,” showing audiences the dullness of everyday life while also getting introduced to George and Emily. Act II, called “Love and Marriage,” shows George and Emily’s growing romance for one another, and eventually getting married. However, tragedy strikes the couple in Act III, “Death and Eternity,” where George is grieving the death of Emily and the spirit of Emily reflecting on what it means to be human. What makes this play so special is how it makes you think. The Stage Manager and the residents of the town throughout the play are presenting audiences with a lot of philosophical ideas and universal truths about humanity, oftentimes causing us to reflect and learn new things about ourselves. Many people had fun expressing the themes of these scenes such as Lea Jean Baptiste who said, “My experience in playing Lois/Louise in Acts I and II was so fun, especially since I was with my friend and we did so well together, I’ll tell you that. And when I played Joe Stoddard in Act III, the last scene, I was so nervous to go up there, but then I felt so natural and I felt so comfortable on stage since I was with my other friends in my scene. I couldn’t be any more glad for the great support system I have and can’t wait to do another play in the future.” Nadiah Louis-Charles recalled, “I played the Lady on the Balcony in the play. It was really fun because I got to sit with the audience. It was really cool when we got our makeup done because I rarely do makeup. I also liked hanging out in the dressing room with my friends. Finally, being in the makeup room after the show was the best time because we were yelling, celebrating, and congratulating everyone. Everyone was on an emotional high. The nights of the play will be nights that I’ll never forget.”


This play was presented by Network Outsource, a company that, if you read our “Play that Goes Wrong” article, you may be familiar with. It’s important to recognize this organization because they helped us to move away from doing free domain content and instead allow us to perform more unique projects like “Our Town.” So thank you to Network Outsource for sponsoring this project as well as everyone else who helped sponsor this. We also like to thank the members of the Board of Education, Central Administration, and the High School Administration for their support and care on these big projects. The money we made from the play goes to the Senior Class to help them with funds for events like the Class of 2024 prom, class trip, Senior Walkthrough, and more. 


There is no way we can talk about this play without acknowledging the talented and hardworking students involved in the making of this project, that being those of the Cast and Stage Crew. “I really enjoyed working in Stage Crew. It was fun to move things on and off the stage and help paint them. I loved meeting all the people and Ehrhardt is a great adviser who is fun to talk to,” said an anonymous stage crew member. Chelsea Alvarenga shared, “I loved being behind the scenes of Our Town. It was refreshing to have a fun dynamic with both cast and crew. (I’m stage lead).” Another anonymous stage Crew Member said, “I had an excellent time there, I can admit, I was a bit nervous, but all was worth it. We had some laughs and giggles, I made new friends that I never would’ve before, this was my first show and I’m looking forward to doing the musical next.” Marissa Ganga added, “My part in the play was a part of the stage crew. This was my first time participating in the senior play (and last senior play). One word to describe this was diverting. Learning the cues of when to change the set mixed in with the amazing people who were also a part of it, made the time taken to prepare thrilling. We all shared many laughs with jokes that will stick with me throughout the rest of the school year. Many memories were made including friendships and our advisor, Mr. Ehrhardt also made the time spent enjoyable and fun.” 


These kids have been working for weeks to prepare this show and if any of you have ever seen the behind the scenes of these performances, you will know it takes a lot of effort to get the finished masterpiece. Even then, there may have been a few mistakes made. However, in the end, this play was enjoyed by everyone, including those on stage as well as those off stage.


Did you know that this isn’t the first time CI has performed Our Town? It was performed for the Class of 1992 and guess who happened to be playing Stage Manager for that performance? Our very own Dr. Anthony Griffin. And speaking of Doctors, Dr. Gibbs, a.k.a. Jorge Rubio, said, “I think Our Town shows the most fun you could possibly have while living and existing in your own life. It’s also able to show the complexity of everyday life in a simple and digestible format. So what do I think of the play? I’ll answer that inquiry with a quote that a wise man once said: “It is the most fun you could possibly have.’


So what are you supposed to get from this play? I think the director’s message makes it clear. You are supposed to feel a connection with the characters. We are oftentime so caught up in our own world and the distractions of society that we don’t make an effort to acknowledge one another and reflect on what just happened. This play, however, is able to grab your attention and make it focus on two ordinary families. And in doing so, we can learn a lot about ourselves and who we are. When talking about the Webbs and the Gibbs, Dr. Griffin tells audiences that they should “Find similarities. Share their joys. Empathize with their loss. Grow from their lesson.” That’s the true message of “Our Town,” to slow down and appreciate what’s happening around us. 


So to everyone involved in this play, incredible job. Keep doing what you are doing and maybe one day we will look at each other the same way we look at the Webbs and the Gibbs. Speaking of Webbs, the actor who played them was Chukwukumnaka Amene, who remarked, “When I first saw that he was the character I’d be playing, I was confused as to who he was because his name hadn’t been brought up at all during auditions. Nonetheless, I was excited to get back to having rehearsals. When the script was presented to me, I failed to feel a connection to the character at all whatsoever.  Our differences were too vast and I was having a difficult time placing myself in the shoes of Mr. Webb. As time went on though, I felt myself relating more and more to him. He soon became a character I looked forward to playing. His incredibly awkward and dorky demeanor was something I really grew to appreciate. Being a part of this was so so so much fun. I’d like to thank Dr. Griffin for giving me the opportunity to play such a fun and lovable character. I’d also like to thank Mr. Ehrhardt, Mr. Romano, and Stage Crew for their work. They truly are the best!”


Some other quotes from people you may know:

“This was my first year in play and my experience was awesome. You get to bond together like a family and make new friends and you can rely on the family because they all work so hard. Even though I kind of  had stage fright, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Behind the scenes is amazing. You get to talk to other people and help them if they need it.”

-Katerine Laos, Cast Member


“I loved my experience working the projector this time as much as I joked around. I genuinely really loved this show, the vision and story were a nice change from what I’ve seen so far in my time on Stage Crew! Shout out to Crew people. I love you guys!! Can’t wait for the musical!!”

-Lisseth Hernandez, Stage Crew


“I loved it so much, I played Mrs Soames and I’m very glad I got the opportunity to be in the show and I’m grateful for the friends I made there. I don’t think I would’ve spoken to any of those people if I was not in the show.”

-Robyn Hornedo, Cast Member


“I played Mrs. Webb in the play, and although it was a lot of work, it gave everybody a chance to make new friends, and even family.”

-Iyanna Mukoro, Cast Member


“Crew people never disappoint. I’m so proud of them for being on top of everything. I can’t wait to see what the musical has for us!! 🤗🤗”

-Tatiana Avelar, Stage Crew


“It was nerve wracking being on stage in front of the audience, but after saying my lines, I felt at ease and glad I made it through as rehearsed. When it ended, I was all energetic and felt proud about the performance, along with the others too, but what really got me going was seeing my sister in the crowd with her boyfriend. It felt nice having family there to support me and I’m glad they could see the play! Before the play, everyone was having the time of their life pretty much, jamming out and so, the hype was real!!! As a shy person, I loved being able to participate in such an experience, collaborating with others and bonding all together throughout the time within rehearsals and the play is worth it. I’m thankful for everyone there and the people who came to witness the show, thank you!”

-Kailee Miron, Cast Member


I think it’s only appropriate to end this article with the words of the director himself: 

“This year’s cast and crew very quickly became a family. I could not be more proud of their dedication to the rehearsal process. Now… it’s time for ‘Beauty and the Beast.’”


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About the Contributor
Hi I’m Chris Smith.  I’m a senior here in CI and I’m a polymath. I like art, writing, practicing music, and learning random stuff.

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