The Gunnery Drama Society is proud to present “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” a musical by James Lapine and Peter Parnell, on Thursday, February 27, Friday, February 28 and Saturday, February 29, in the Tisch Family Auditorium of the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center. All performances begin at 7 p.m. The community is welcome to attend and admission is free. Registration is required. Please call (860) 350-0177.
This will be the first theatrical production presented in the new Arts and Community Center, which was opened to students and faculty on January 6.
“We are excited to kick off our beginning in the new theater with such a poignant piece,” said faculty member and producer Sarah Albright. “The students have already been planning to present the social controversies of the play to the student body later this term. We are thrilled that they understand and are eager to take on a play that speaks to so many social concerns that are as relevant today as they were when Victor Hugo first wrote the novel on which this play is based – poverty, immigration, ostracism, disabilities, and the wealth gap, are just a few of the important themes with which the characters grapple.”
“This show highlights so many of our actors, and they are stepping into their characters readily,” Albright added. “While a lot of work remains to be done now that we are in our new space, I cannot wait to show the Gunnery community what our wonderful students are capable of.”
According to Music Theater International (MTI), “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” features songs from the 1996 Disney animated feature film, as well as new songs by the Academy Award-winning team of Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz.
“The musical begins as the bells of Notre Dame sound through the famed cathedral in fifteenth-century Paris. Quasimodo, the deformed bell-ringer who longs to be ‘Out There,’ observes all of Paris reveling in the Feast of Fools. Held captive by his devious caretaker, the archdeacon Dom Claude Frollo, he escapes for the day and joins the boisterous crowd, only to be treated cruelly by all but the beautiful gypsy, Esmeralda. Quasimodo isn’t the only one captivated by her free spirit, though – the handsome Captain Phoebus and Frollo are equally enthralled. As the three vie for her attention, Frollo embarks on a mission to destroy the gypsies – and it’s up to Quasimodo to save them all,” MTI said, noting, “A sweeping score and powerful story make ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ an instant classic. Audiences will be swept away by the magic of this truly unforgettable musical.”
In The Gunnery production, Maximus Farrar ’21 will portray Quasimodo, Andrew Sutherland ’21 will portray Dom Claude Frollo, and Erin-Elizabeth Ryan ’21 will portray Esmerelda. The cast will feature Jonathan Dyer-Gray ’20 as Captain Phoebus de Martin, Travis Powell ’20 as Clopin Trouillefou, Isabel DiGiacomo ’20 as Florika, Charles DeVos ’20 as Father Dupin, Daniel Wang ’20 as Lieutenant Frederic Charlus, Sheridan Curry ’20 as Tribunal, Alex Zhang ’20 as Madam, and Hunter Kolpak ’20 and Nick O’Brien ’20 as soldiers.
The ensemble cast of gargoyles, gypsies and townspeople includes: Aurora Aviles ’20, Emily Bello ’21, Leah Coley ’22, Julia Cortese ’23, Olivia Grieder ’21, Ashleen Hay ’23, Jolie Kaplan ’20, Rose Liu ’22, Isabel Martin ’20, Joyce McFarland ’20, Grace Noh ’22, Alice Pan ’21, Audrey Richards ’23, Emma Smith ’22, Lauren Stark ’21, Aris Wang ’20, Yolanda Wang ’21, Maggie Xiang ’21, and Charlotte Xu ’20.
The musical is directed by Elizabeth Dayton ’08, Director of Dramatic Arts, with producer Sarah Albright, music director Sarah Fay, set design by Al Chiappetta of Sherman Playhouse, and costumes by Terry Hawley P’08. Lucy Sanchez ’23 is leading the stage crew in costume design and together they are sewing more than 40 robes for the cast. The stage crew includes Kaylee Alexson ’21, Acadia Johnson ’21, Kate O’Farrell ’22, Lucy Sanchez ’23, Allison Bruck ’22, Hailey Lovallo ’21 and Natalie Perkins ’22. Live musical accompaniment will be provided by Noah Ram ’23 along with a band of local professionals.