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Hard Work and Rehearsals Pay Off in School Play

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. – After two months of hard work and rehearsal after rehearsal, Westlake High School theatre students will be able to showcase their performance in the annual fall play of “A Christmas Carol” this weekend.

For director and Columbus Elementary School teacher Phil Cutrone, the ending is bitter sweet.

“It’s taken up so much of our lives over the past couple months so at this point you look forward to concluding it with a great performance this weekend,” Cutrone said.  “But at the same time we’ve become so close knit from working together that it’s sad to see it end,”

Casting for the play began in early October and the group has met every night during the week to rehearse.  Thursday, the students held one last dress rehearsal before their weekend performances.  The play was shown three times between Friday and Saturday.  Friday night, the play premiered at 8 p.m.  On Saturday, the group put on a matinee performance at 1 p.m. before concluding the show with an 8 p.m. performance that night.

In year’s past, Westlake has put on fall plays such as “Of Mice and Men”, “The Odd Couple”, and many others.  With the holiday season right around the corner, Cutrone said it is always special to be able to perform the Christmas classic.

“There’s a lot of mature depth that goes into this story,” Cutrone said.  “It’s such a wonderful story, I’ve seen it a million times and every time I still tear up at the end,”

Cutrone, who is a Westlake High School graduate and works with the theatre program every year said he is very familiar with the play as he himself played the lead role of Scrooge during his high school years.

Many students participated in the play not only as actors and actresses, but also in production roles.  The following students played major roles in the performance: Sam Stein as Ebenezer Scrooge, Patrick McCabe as Bob Cratchit, Kevin Mesquita as Scrooge's nephew, Jordan Decker as the Ghost of Christmas Past, Liz Gottleib as the Ghost of Christmas Present, Dennis Cullen as the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, Jake Frisbie as Jacob Marley's Ghost, Andrew Mesquita as young Scrooge, Bailey Fillmore as Scrooge's tragic sister Fan, Nina Veljovic as young Scrooge's lost love Belle and Larry Gardner as Tiny Tim, with many other students turning in very moving performances.

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