Up the Down Staircase Excites the Cast and Crew this Fall

Kayla Alkalay, Reporter

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  With school in session, the annual winter play Up The Down Staircase will be here the weekend of Dec. 8, 9 and10. Amongst the cast and crew members, students are excited to perform this coming-of-age drama.

  Junior Tahj Linton says he is excited to perform “because of how different it is this year with the story relating to our high school experiences.” His character Jose Rodriguez is a shy, introverted person, completely different from the person playing his role. Throughout the play the audience will see how Jose breaks out of his shell and goes through his high school experiences, just like every high school student.

  Although this is a different role for him this year, it challenges Linton.

  “I’m excited to take on a new type of character that is different from myself and any other role I have ever played,” Linton said.

   While this story shows a joyful cast and plot, the play also covers serious issues like homelessness and troubled kids. With a caring and compassionate teacher, Ms. Barett, there to guide her students out from their dark paths and into a bright future, audience members will be in awe when this play hits the stage this upcoming winter.

  Senior Jess Ketterer, playing the main lead as Ms. Barett, sets the stage at Calvin Coolidge High with her colleague J.J. McHabe, played by junior Bryan Emery and student Joe Ferone played by junior, Irwin Lopez.

    Linton believes that life at Coolidge High isn’t so different from everyday life here at Hightstown.

   “There are so many relatable things that we always see in an everyday classroom no matter what generation you’re in that makes it very comedic. I think there is at least one character every audience member can find themselves in,” said Linton.

  Emery plays a complex character as J.J. McHabe.

   “My role in the play is J.J.McHabe, the administrative assistant at Calvin Coolidge High School. He can be described as strong, sometimes an angry dictator however his complex personality also portrays him as a determined man who values a strong successful education,” Emery said.

  There is an overall message throughout the performance that the audience may pick up on.  

  “Bel Kaufman, the author, makes you realize that life happens here,” Emery said.

   “There are serious events that make one realize that high school isn’t just about learning events in history, it’s about preparing yourself for the future” Emery said.

   What makes this play so special is the similar challenges and events that are portrayed in the play, that like many, actual high schoolers go through.

  “We want the audience to connect to the play and understand that, once again, ‘life happens here.’ High school may seem like a waste of time to some, but everyone should know that your life begins here,” Emery said.

   Up the Down Staircase is a fun-filled comedy for every type of audience member to connect with past and present high school experiences. The play will debut in December.

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