This December, the Ward Melville High School musical theater program will perform "Into the Woods." In a perfect world – or a fairy tale, perhaps – every piece would fall into place. But in reality, there's one chapter of the story that's far from certain: the funding needed to produce a quality production.
Budget cuts have reduced extracurricular budgets in Three Village, and although the musical is largely a self-sustaining program at , there's always a need for more funding. And program director Linda Contino thought up a solution that just might bring the happy ending the musical needs: the Alumni Summer Recall Show, which is now in its second year.
Producing school musicals can be an expensive affair – with rights alone sometimes costing as much as $5,000, Contino said.
"With economic difficulties, this show serves as a fundraiser to support the December show," she said. "The belts are tightened all over the district, and I am sure every program will feel the hit in some way."
Alumni will return to reprise roles they have played in past shows at Ward Melville: "Godspell," "Les Miserables," "Miss Saigon," and others.
One of those performers, Brandon Murtagh (Class of 2010), said he is happily giving his time to give back to the program that taught him so much – and is also excited to return to roles he played in the past. Murtagh, who played Jean Valjean in a production of "Les Miserables" and Archibald Craven in a production of "The Secret Garden," is now a music theater major at Elon University.
"I was just prepared. That’s what I think the Three Village program does," he said. "It does an amazing job of preparing you for advancing in your field of choice. ... You can study all you want, but the actual act of performing a role in front of an audience is an experience you can’t teach."
Showtime is Friday at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $10 at the door.