Thespian Night: Honoring Seniors, Welcoming New Leaders


Will Sutton

Future drama club presidents Andersson Perry (left) and Casey Hussey (right) pose in front of the stage after being passed the “torch”.

Will Sutton, Photography Editor

At Hingham High, the end of each sports season is marked by a festive, gluttonous, often plodding celebration of the team’s achievements. It is the esteemed sports banquet, a hallowed tradition honored by every sports team with steady devotion.

But the Drama Club takes a slightly different approach to the end of their season. After staging all three mainstage shows, the club hosts Thespian Night: a celebration that falls halfway between a traditional banquet and a rousing cabaret.

Junior Casey Hussey also sees the night as a goodbye. “Thespian Night is just a great way to say goodbye to the Seniors who have helped us grow into the best actors, actresses and crew members that we can be.” She explained.

The night began with a slideshow, packed with photos from the year: the Freshman Picnic in late August, club fundraising in autumn, the club’s productions of Chicago, Dark Road, and I Remember Mama, and their trip to New York City in April. After the slideshow, Drama Club juniors presented a video of senior impressions, poking fun at the graduating class through a series of quick skits and interviews.

After the video, Director Anita Levy-Sisk gave brief introductions before welcoming seven new inductees to the Thespian Club. The club is a statewide collection of high schoolers who participate in drama; schools set their own requirements for entry.

At Hingham, thespians must participate in four mainstage productions in two subsequent years. Further, their participation cannot be limited to acting: in at least one production, they must participate in tech- backstage crew, set construction, lights, sound, makeup, props, or costumes. This year, sophomores Shanah Goddard, Olivia Monarch, and Riley Potter all received Thespian Awards. Juniors Andersson Perry and Vivian McIsaac, and seniors Nick Schofield and Adrian Walker, also joined the club.

After recognizing new members, Ms. Levy-Sisk presented awards to outstanding members of each class. Some notable recipients included Shea Kushnir, who won Performer of the Year for her starring roles in Chicago (as Velma) and Dark Road (as Greta). Drama Club co-presidents Jeremy Canney and Greta Eustace each received a Best Thespian Award.

With awards completed, co-presidents Jeremy Canney and Greta Eustace took to the podium to announce the club’s 2018-2019 season. As anxious spectators slapped their knees in a makeshift drumroll, the co-presidents read of the productions: Urinetown (the fall musical), Life Off Book (for the winter one-act), and Midsummer’s Jersey (the spring play).

As drama club members buzzed about the new roster of shows, this year’s leadership gathered to announce their successors. Current juniors Vivian McIsaac and Eli Fano will lead backstage crew, with McIsaac also managing set construction. Juniors Curran Dillis, Nick Thompson, and Ben Sisk will continue as heads of props, sound, and lights, respectively. Evelyn Steiner, Nathan Lavoie, and Rachel Warhaftig will become Sophomore Representatives next year; Devan Kushnir and Morgan Willison will serve as Junior Representatives, and Curran Dillis will be a Senior Representative.

Perhaps the most anticipated announcement was that of the executive board for the 2018-2019 season. Junior Ben Sisk won the treasurer position in an uncontested election, with Junior Molly Schwall earning the role of secretary. Juniors Andersson Perry and Casey Hussey will be co-presidents next year.

Speaking after his election, Perry declared, “I am honored to lead such an inclusive club.” When asked about his goals as co-president, he and expressed desire to recruit new members and  claimed he wanted to keep the club “as unified as possible.” Co-president-elect Casey Hussey echoed this sentiment, saying she will strive for “…an even more inclusive environment for actors and crew people to get along.”

After a round of applause for next year’s leaders, attendees enjoyed light refreshments in the lobby before returning for a brief cabaret, undoubtedly a highlight of the night. Junior Andersson Perry serenaded the club with a haunting rendition of “Mad World” by Tears for Fears; Senior Andre Lavoie performed a mashup of short dances to varying genres of music, ranging from stellar moonwalking to a healthy dose of twerking; and Senior Connor McGeoghegan continued his tradition of performing stand up comedy, this year channeling comic John Mulaney as he ranted about the chaos of a professional audition.

The last act of the night was a spirited, if haphazard, singalong to “Wherever I Go” from Hannah Montana. The seniors took to the stage in tee-shirts emblazoned with the colleges they plan to attend, and sang, laughed, and cried their way through their final performance on the Hingham High stage.

It may be the end of the mainstage drama season, but many club members will perform in the upcoming senior-directed one-act plays, and the new leadership is already setting the tone of next year: as Andersson Perry explained, “Crew, cast, tech- everyone is part of one team, one family.”