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'In the Heights' takes FHS Stage for five performances in March

Published: February 19, 2017 12:00 AM

The Akron School for the Arts presents the Firestone Theatre production of "In the Heights" at 7 p.m. March 15, 7:30 p.m. March 16 and 17, and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. March 18.

The Tony Award-winning show will appear on the Firestone Community Learning Center stage for five performances.

General admission tickets for In the Heights are $10 in advance and $13 at the door. Reserved, VIP tickets are $17. Advanced and VIP tickets are available for purchase online at BrownPaperTickets.com. A mail-in ticket order form can be downloaded at FirestoneTheatre.com. Advanced tickets for "In the Heights" will be available in the school commons from 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. school days starting March 8.

"In the Heights" features a hip and modern score as well as nimble and quick-wtted lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda who recently encountered even more success with the staggeringly popular musical, "Hamilton." The book is provided by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Quiara Allegria Hudes. The show was conceived by Miranda. The original Broadway production opened in 2008 and was nominated for 13 Tony Awards, winning four: Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations. It was nominated for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

"In the Heights" tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York's Washington Heights neighborhood -- a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It's a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams, and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you and which you leave behind.

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"In the Heights" is under the direction of theatre director Mark A. Zimmerman. Guest artist Tara Tober serves as the show's choreographer. Chad Pittman serves as the vocal music director. Assistant band director Bernie Williams serves as instrumental music director and conductor. Guest Artist Elynmarie Kazle serves as production manager and stage management mentor. Guest artist Richard Morris serves as the scenic designer. Junior Olivia Kirschbaum serves as the costume designer under the guidance of guest artist Randie Ostroff Sass. Hair and make-up are designed by senior Daisy Nespo and junior Julia Siegferth. Lights are designed by Mark A. Zimmerman with the assistance of juniors Caroline Pali and Dalila Bogdan. Freshman Ethan Korvne serves as the production's sound designer. Mr. James Welch serves as the shop foreman and technical director. Junior Caroline Pali serves as the production's stage manager. She assisted by freshmen Brooklyn Aldrick and Parker Thompson.

The cast of "In the Heights" is led by seniors Joseph Antal (Kevin Rosario), Theresa Stafford (Camila Rosario), juniors Kardierre Allen (Benny), Memo Diaz Capt (Usnavi), Charlie Gruhler (Sonny), Kate Klika (Nina), Reyna Moran (Vanessa), and Gracie Thanasiu (Abuela Claudia). Additional actors in featured roles include seniors Josh Luster (Piraguero), Destinee Thompson (Carla), junior Alana Murray (Daniella), and sophomore John Kraus (Graffiti Pete).

Other seniors in the ensemble include Charles Allgood, Garrick Bostwick, Patrick Fields, Olivia Nosel, Angelina Stallings, and Stephanie White.

Juniors appearing in the ensemble include Kayleigh Anthony, Brandon Bell, Grant Carr, Armon Cook, Silas Hackett, and Larry Sims. Sophomores appearing in the ensemble include Elise Clawson, Sarah Craven, Elek Kitchen, Presley Linn, and Mary Rohrer. Freshmen appearing in the ensemble include Morgan Bedilion, Christian Douglas, Aliyah Evans, Jonathan Green, Jill Klika, Jeanne Luster, Abigail Lyman, and Olivia Roberts.

Each performance will be accompanied by a full orchestra conducted by Bernie Williams and comprised of students from the Akron School for the Arts instrumental music program. The orchestra includes seniors Ruben Durkee (reeds), Nick Maxim (trumpet), and Jack Rohrer (guitar). Juniors Kenya Harris (reeds), Keith Henderson (trombone), Sierra Hirschman (trumpet), Makayla McGrady (reeds), and Owen Schauer (percussion).

Sophomores include Allison Darrah (bass), Joe Durkee (trombone), Peter Knops (bass), and Maddie Morrow (percussion). Freshmen include Cole Johnson (reeds), Brian Randell (drums), and Isaac Smith (percussion). The orchestra is joined by music director Chad Pittman (keyboard) and guest artist Julie Lehman (keyboard).

Firestone Theatre is the award-winning play-production component of the Akron School for the Arts housed at Firestone High School. Firestone Theatre was named an "Outstanding School" by the Educational Theatre Association in 2013. The curricular track of Firestone Theatre is accessible to all rising ninth-grade students via open enrollment and a formal audition.


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