Students Deliver Compelling Performance of In The Heights
Millbrook students took to the stage for an exciting and compelling performance of In The Heights over the weekend.
Almost 50 students put in over 180 hours in preparation for the musical, which was thoughtfully selected by Director of Theater Elaine Lifter because the storyline supports Millbrook’s community spotlight for the 2015-2016 academic year: service for justice.
In The Heights centers on a variety of characters living in the neighborhood of Washington Heights in Manhattan. At the center of the show is Usnavi, a bodega owner who dreams of winning the lottery and escaping to the shores of his native Dominican Republic.
Student actors collaborated with the World Language Department and campus community members who are familiar with and from Washington Heights in order to develop an understanding of the character and production and to hone their performance abilities. They also worked tirelessly with Millbrook's Vocal Director Vince Vincent on their singing parts. Vince had convinced a few of the cast members to audition when they might not have been thinking of doing so. Each singer says that their confidence level soared, and their performances demonstrated a commitment to singing both as part of a larger group and as the character they played.
Stephanie Klemons, Broadway choreographer and former co-dance captain for the original Broadway production of In The Heights, also visited Millbrook to facilitate a workshop for our students. She brought years of professional experience to the Chelsea Morrison Theater, where she watched students perform, provided feedback, and answered questions.
“The actors were invested in bringing as much authenticity to the world of the play as they could,” says Director of Theater Elaine Lifter.
Our students’ hard work was certainly visible on stage, as they brought spirit and thoughtfulness to this high-energy show with a complex storyline that touched on socio-economic diversity in the United States and what it means to be home.