It was a whole new world for students in the St. Ephrem School Drama Club as they presented their first musical production, ‘Disney’s Aladdin, Jr.”
The show was presented on three days, January 13, 14, and 15 at the school’s auditorium, at 74th Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway.
The mastermind behind the production was Susan Huizinga, of Theater On the Go!, who has directed over 30 shows at various schools. Her specialty includes going into schools which have never before done a production and helping to put one together from scratch.
“We’re always on a shoe-string budget and we always cover all expenses and have always generated income for the school,” Huizinga noted.
In the case of St. Ephrem, the choice of play was left up to the school, whose one concern was that there would be enough parts for everyone. According to Huizinga, the school chose the play because, “The songs are upbeat and fun, and it has a good story.”
“This was the first time they did a musical,” she added. “And judging by the success, it will not be the last.”
Altogether, the play had 31 cast members. In addition, five other students provided tech support. There was no faculty involved. According to Huizinga, “It was set up for parental participation. Which they did with flying colors! Wonderful parents/guardians/friends and family.”
There were auditions held early September. Rehearsals started right after auditions and were held twice weekly with a music director and a choreographer, “so they get the experience of working with an accompanist and learn to pick up dances,” Huizinga said.
The play featured all of the well-known characters from the movie including Aladdin, Jasmine, Jafar, the Genie and more, as well as the film’s Academy Award-winning score, with songs by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice.
“As I expected, the children, parents and Principal Mercado were blown away,” Huizinga concluded. “They were all sorry when the show was over and kept asking what we were doing next year.”
Congratulations to the participants of the fifth annual St. Ephrem’s Spelling Bee. Eighteen students in Grades five through eight took part in the contest that was held on December 5 in the school gym.
After 18 rounds, Molly DeSena (sixth grade) emerged as the champion. Tess Walsh (eighth grade) won second place and Daniel Salib (sixth grade) won third place. The runners-up were Alexa Nanfro (sixth grade) and Allie Giordano (fifth grade). These students will represent St. Ephrem School in the Daily News Spelling Bee.
The students in the eighth grade at St. Ephrem School have started their journey toward graduation. On November 6, they received the Sacrament of Confirmation with Bishop Chappetto. On November 19, they received their school rings. To celebrate Ring Night, the students gathered with their families and the faculty in St. Ephrem Church for a prayer service held by Monsignor Peter Kain.
Monsignor Kain blessed the rings. As Sr. Francis Regis announced the name of each student, Principal Annamarie Bartone and eighth grade teacher Michelle Emeh handed the ring to Monsignor Kain, who placed it on the student’s finger. Mrs. Bartone addressed the group, reflecting on the significance of Ring Night and the symbolism of the school ring.
On November 15, St. Ephrem School held its annual Father-Daughter Dance. This year, the event was named the Sweet Tart Dance. The Home School Association and volunteer moms transformed the school gym into a candy shop filled with lollipops, candy designs and colorful balloons. The girls had a great night with the special men in their lives and created memories that they will always treasure.
At Thanksgiving, the students at the Lutheran Elementary School celebrated their blessings and remembered the importance of giving to others. They collected food to donate to the Bay Ridge Center Food Pantry, sponsored by Bethlehem Lutheran Church.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams recently spoke at Bishop Kearney High School during an assembly honoring veterans and current members of the armed forces.