Mater Dei Prep Seraph Players Have Memorable Award Winning Week
On Sunday, April 15th the Mater Dei Prep Seraph Players completed their final production of Les Miserables in front of a packed house in Memorial Hall on the Mater Dei Prep campus. The final production ended an unforgettable run that included three sell out performances and had the largest number of tickets sold in Mater Dei Prep history.
The world's longest running musical, Les Miserables is a true modern classic based on Victor Hugo's novel and featuring one of the most memorable scores of all time. Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Miserables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption - a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. The magnificent score includes the classic songs I Dreamed a Dream, On My Own, Stars, Bring Him Home, Do You Hear the People Sing, One Day More, Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, and many more.
Les Miserables was the first production under the recently established Performing Arts Institute at Mater Dei Prep. Expanding on its rich 50-year history of outstanding performing arts, Mater Dei Prep recently announced the Performing Arts Institute beginning in the 2018-19 school year. Students will have the opportunity to progress in various courses to nurture their artistic talent and participate in performing arts through musical and dramatic theater, chorus, instrumental ensemble, piano, music theory and dance.
The Seraph Players performance of Les Miserables included over 60 wigs designed by Will Goodman and David Meenan and an orchestra with a mix of professionals and former Mater Dei Prep students. The entire cast of 33 Seraphs was applauded for their magnificent performances and their hard work and dedication. Graduating seniors in the Seraph Players included Olivia Barkey (Little Silver), Griffin Cole (Atlantic Highlands), Jocelyn Dacquel (Jackson), Katelyn Grano (Middletown), Dylan Higgins (Old Bridge), Molly Hurst (Tinton Falls), Joe Liskiewicz (Belford), Sean Tonne (Keansburg), Christina Wuenn (Manalapan), and Franchesca Zilinksi (Keyport).
Casting was also open to elementary students in the Monmouth County area. Mater Dei Prep held auditions for talented elementary school students to fill the roles of Little Cosette, Gavroche, and Little Eponine. Approximately 20 students auditioned from around Monmouth County with Jaiden Klein (Little Cosette) from Taylor Mills Elementary School in Manalapan, Kristian Thaxton (Gavroche) from Asher Holmes Elementary School in Morganville, and Mackenzie Hoadley (Little Eponine) from St. Mary Elementary School in Middletown landing the roles. All three students played a prominent role in making Les Miserables a great success!
“Les Miserables was a huge and successful undertaking. The cast worked extremely hard and really seemed to get caught up in the music and in telling the story. Our support team was phenomenal and we appreciated Sherrie and Jon Cole, Jim and Jean Vail, Tyler McClain, Gina Rispoli, Dianne Maxwell and others for putting in countless volunteer hours. We were very fortunate to have Mater Dei Prep alumnus David Meenan serve as vocal coach for the cast and to have Will Goodman work on hair and makeup.Our production team which included Peggy Baumgartner (Costumer), Gary Powell (Assistant Director), Samantha Amaral (Choreographer), Scott Goldstein (Lighting Designer), and Vincent Cupo (Sound Designer) really gave their all to this show. All of their hard work was clearly visible on stage. Finally, our administration and staff were incredibly supportive, especially Mr. Don Galante, Mr. Shannon Hoadley, Mrs. Margaret Boyle, Mrs. O'Connell, and Mr. Mike Eckert. It took many people many hours to bring this epic story to the stage, and it feels wonderful to see how much the audience appreciated our efforts,” said Mrs. Cindy Dwyer, head of the Performing Arts Institute.
Following their eventful weekend the Seraph Players were honored to perform a private school show on Monday, April 16th for students from St. Mary Elementary School in Middletown, The New School of Holmdel, and Monmouth County Homeschool students. After the show, cast members went to classrooms in St. Mary Elementary School to answer student questions and discuss their experiences in the Mater Dei Prep performing arts program.
To end the week, the Mater Dei Prep Seraph Players were fortunate to have another award winning trip to the Bucks County Playhouse Student Theater Festival on Wednesday, April 18th. The Seraph Players participated in theater workshops in the morning and performed for three adjudicators during two afternoon sessions. The Seraph Players performed scenes from their spring musical Les Miserables and was awarded “Best Ensemble.”
For more information about the Mater Dei Prep Performing Arts Institute, or about the other recently established Academic Institutes at Mater Dei Prep, please call 732.671.9100 or visit materdeiprep.org.