1999-06-11 / Columnists

The Week at The Rock

by Stuart L. Astor

West Side Show a "smash hit!’

June 3 and 4 marked the two performances of "Scenes from the West Side," Far Rockaway High School's first musical production in 14 years, based on Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's 1950's musical version of "Romeo and Juliet," "West Side Story." The first night was so successful that attendance tripled on night two, so that, in all, more than 400 students, faculty and staff saw the show. In addition, more than 75 people were involved in the production, including 32 actors and dancers, a stage and lighting crew of 10 people and 24 set designers and builders. The production was directed by Ms. Amy Dattner and choreographed by Ms. Karen Hughes with Music Direction by Mr. Robert Carpentier, assisted by Mr. John Gentile. Ms. Virginia McCauley was art director and set designer, Mr. William Neylon supervised set construction, and Ms. Lorraine Ashepa controlled sound and lighting design as well as publicity and ticket sales. Candice Figueroa played Maria; John Santiago, Tony; John Carlos Berrios, Riff; Myisha McDonald, Anita; Timothy Edwards, Bernardo; Jason Ortiz, Action; Teena Barnett, Anybody's and Mr. Stuart Astor, Doc. "Scenes from the West Side" was produced by Mr. Thomas Cunningham, Ms. Dolores White and Ronna Sloan, Ph.D. Principal Thomas Cunningham looks forward to a continuing series of productions in coming years now that a new, high standard has been set. In a spontaneous and unsolicited review of the musical's first night Mr. Ray Taruskin, UFT Chapter Leader, called it "a smash hit."


On Friday, May 28, students from Project Climb took part in a Human Rights Day celebration at the United Nations. The event was hosted by the UN Office of Communications and Information and organized by "International Bridges," a project administered by New York City's Board of Education. Our singers, Janelle Hayes, Chemise Applewhite, Krystal Payne, Odalis Valerio, Melissa Gonzalez Jason Ortiz, Josh Montalban, John Santiago and Tyrone Simmons, performed with students from Two Bridges High chool, Hunter College High School, and the City as School, as well as members of the Sarajevo Philharmonic Ochestra before Muhamed Sacirbey, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN from Bosnia-Herzogovina.


The FRHS Parents' Association sponsored an essay contest in which students throughout the school submitted essays about a person in their family or community who influenced them the most. First prizes of $50, second prizes of $30 and 3rd prizes of $20 were awarded in each grade. The prizes (in order, by grade) were awarded to freshmen Jennifer Jean, DeLisa Persaud, and Maria Torres; sophomores Kevin Herrera, Audrey Castillo, and Artie Bryant; juniors Hugo Martinez, Diana Bain and Rosalyn Lawrence and eniors, Simone Campbell, Christina Johnson and Taneisha Townsend.

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