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Whitman Drama banquet sets scene for next year’s season

Whitman+Drama+seniors+show+off+their+awards+at+the+annual+drama+banquet+May+20.+Photo+courtesy+Delaney+Corcoran.+
Whitman Drama seniors show off their awards at the annual drama banquet May 20. Photo courtesy Delaney Corcoran.

Whitman Drama seniors show off their awards at the annual drama banquet May 20. Photo courtesy Delaney Corcoran.

Whitman Drama seniors show off their awards at the annual drama banquet May 20. Photo courtesy Delaney Corcoran.

By Jeremy Wenick

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Whitman Drama participants gathered to celebrate the department’s accomplishments over the past year and announce plans for the upcoming year May 20 at the Jane. E. Lawton Community Recreation Center.

The banquet, organized by Whitman Drama Boosters, jointly recognized participants in the fall musical, winter play, talent show and one-act play festival. At the banquet, Whitman Drama director Christopher Gerken distributed individual awards to performers, tech staff and leadership, and revealed the musical for the 2017-2018 season: On The Town. Gerken also plans to choose The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time as next year’s play if he secures the rights to the show. The banquet also included performance for the students by area professionals Andrea Gerald, Amanda Dees and Brittany Caldwellthe cast of Gerken’s current musical, A Chorus Line. The performances received standing ovations from students.

Gerken chose On the Towna classic, light-hearted comedy which follows three sailors as they explore 1940s New York Cityto shift away from the more somber tone of recent Whitman Drama musicals like Sweeney Todd and Jesus Christ Superstar.

“It’s going to be spectacular,” Gerken said. “I haven’t directed a show like this since my first musical at Whitman.”

The event highlighted the achievements of Whitman Drama members that don’t always get the credit they deserve, junior Taryn Carone said.

“Whitman Drama is very demanding, and [the banquet] is the place where Whitman Drama participants get recognized for their efforts,” Carone said.

The banquet was also important because the entire Whitman Drama community met together in one room and connected with one another, senior Delaney Corcoran said.

“We create such a strong bond,” Corcoran said. “It represents the family that the Whitman Drama community is and also reinforces the importance of what the program does.”

Though the banquet was a celebration, it was also bittersweet because drama students bid the graduating seniors goodbye, sophomore Lily James said.

Aside from honoring the seniors and revealing plans for the play and musical, Gerken also announced the new leadership positions, meaning promotions for many rising juniors and seniors.

“I’m ready and excited to take on new responsibilities,” said junior Reed Leventis, who was promoted to Technical Director. “I have no doubt the shows for next year are going to be amazing.”

Through the banquet, Whitman Drama members were able to celebrate each other and get a sneak peek into next year’s shows, Carone said.

“It’s a hell of a ride, but it’s an amazing experience,” Carone said. “I look forward to every season.”

3 Comments

3 Responses to “Whitman Drama banquet sets scene for next year’s season”

  1. Jerry on May 31st, 2017 5:49 pm

    Drama should not only accept their people, but also accept the people that comefrom out side the club.

    [Reply]

  2. Christopher Gerken on May 31st, 2017 9:17 pm

    The evening also included performances from the cast of Gerken’s current production of A Chorus Line. Area professionals: Andrea Gerald, Amanda Dees and Brittany Caldwell received standing ovations from the Whitman Drama students who appreciated their time and talents.

    [Reply]

    Lily Friedman Reply:

    Thank you for letting us know, and we’ve altered the story accordingly.

    [Reply]

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Whitman Drama banquet sets scene for next year’s season