Drama Club Newsletter

Spring 2018

Stay Connected


Please check out all of our spring news and stay tuned for fall play audition info on the school website!

You can always find us Facebook, Twitter, and the Newark School website. Prefer up to the minute updates? Stay connected to us through the Drama Club via REMIND: https://www.remind.com/join/nhsdram
Big picture

Nice Work If You Can Get It

44 students participated in the 2018 spring musical as cast, crew, and orchestra. A snowstorm postponed our Opening Night on March 2. However, we were given the "okay" to reschedule to a Saturday matinee! We performed at 2:00pm and 7:30pm on March 3 and 2:00pm on March 4.

Audiences loved the fast paced comedy, recognizable Gershwin tunes, and applauded with zeal for our Act I finale featuring the entire cast tap dancing!

Friday night is typically a largest turnout so we were disappointed to cancel. Despite the rescheduled performance, we had an audience of 160 on Saturday afternoon. 300 people were in the audience for our Saturday night and Sunday afternoon performances. Closer to our typical numbers! We need your help next year getting the word out about our show and encouraging our community to attend!

Check out more info about our production!

Articles from the school website:





Info on the Drama Club website:


Newark Participates in RBTL Stars of Tomorrow for 20th Year!

On May 10, the majority of the cast and crew of Nice Work If You Can Get It traveled to the Auditorium Theatre in Rochester for the annual Rochester Broadway Theatre League's Stars of Tomorrow Gala Celebration.

Six NHS students (Isabella Bailey, Ben Cepulo, Madison Chandler, Carson Jordan, Deborah Szark and Medina VanDuyne) participated as singers and dancers in the Opening Number featuring students from over 30 schools around the Rochester area.

The cast of Nice Work performed a 2 1/2 minute selection from the show.

Individuals were recognized in the following categories:

  • Amanda Williams and Kayla Williams as Stage Management (Director's Recognition and Adjudicator's Tip of the Hat)
  • The entire cast (Dance Ensemble)
  • Jaston Brooks as Cookie McGee (Supporting Actor)
  • Natalie Acquista as Jeannie Muldoon (Supporting Actress)
  • Lindsay Whiting as Eileen Evergreen (Supporting Actress)

Newark was one of five school recognized for participating in all 20 years of Stars of Tomorrow. RBTL gifted a $1000 check to Newark's program!

Article from the school website:


Big picture

The 22nd Annual Elenbe Awards

Tuesday May 29, all eleven of the school districts in Wayne County participated in the 22nd Annual Elenbe Awards sponsored by the Lyons National Bank and Wayne Arts. The Elenbes recognizes achievements in both plays and musicals in the Wayne County high schools.

The cast of Nice Work If You Can Get It represented Newark during the performance portion. Newark Drama Club members also ran tech (sound and lights) during the event.

Newark was honored to receive the following recognition:

  • Kelsie Bushart as Templeton (Runner-Up Supporting Actress in a Drama)
  • Ryan Hermenet as Avery (Runner-Up Supporting Actor in a Drama), and Playbill for a Drama
  • Ashton Keene as Gander (Winner Supporting Actor in a Drama)
  • Jaston Brooks as Cookie McGee (Winner Supporting Actor in a Musical)
  • Ben Cepulo as Wilbur (Runner-Up Lead Actor in a Drama)
  • Anisha Stallworth as Charlotte (Winner Lead Actress in a Drama)
  • Megan Cauwels as Edith Zuckerman (Winner Supporting Actress in a Drama) and as Duchess Estonia Dullworth (Winner Supporting Actress in a Musical)
  • Olivia Bailey Best Poster Design for Drama and Musical
  • Overall Best Drama - cast and crew of Charlotte's Web

Article on the school website:


Big picture

The 9 Worst Breakups of All Time

Our Second Annual Student Directed/Produced One Act was held Saturday May 19 at 7:30PM in the NHS auditorium. Seventeen NHS Drama Club members participated as cast and crew. New this year was a One Act Committee that met in April and throughout May to organize all aspects of the production. Over 100 audience members enjoyed a great night of comedy!

Congratulations to the participants: Isabella Bailey, Abigail Belliveau, Anna Bouwens, Jaston Brooks, Sadie Burm, Megan Cauwels, Ben Cepulo, Madison Chandler, Jack Comella, Ryan Hermenet, Carson Jordan, Ashton Keene, Grace Kreuser, Joseph Malach, Lance Mays, Jadan Smith, Anisha Stallworth, Medina VanDuyne

Article from the school website:


Big picture

2018-2019 Season Announcement

Directly following the performance of The 9 Worst Breakups of All Time, the audience was treated to a video announcement of our fall 2018 and spring 2019 shows! We are very excited to present Ken Ludwig's Midsummer/Jersey October 2018 and The Music Man March 2019! Details about auditions will be sent out via the Drama Club REMIND as well as posted in all of our social media accounts. Check out the video below!

Auditions for Midsummer/Jersey will be the first week of school - Wednesday September 5, 2018 6:00PM in the HS auditorium. Crew sign up and audition forms will be available online soon and in the music hallway. Cast and crew open to all NHS students! Bring new friends to Drama Club!

We will have our first Drama Club meeting Wednesday September 5 at 2:30-3:00PM in the auditorium.

Musical (for the high school production of The Music Man) auditions are typically held sometime in the first two weeks of December. Stay tuned for more details soon!


End of the Year Celebration

On Friday June 8, 35 of our Drama Club members met for what will surely become an annual tradition...an Olympic style team competition in the auditorium followed by a pizza and dance party in the LGI!

Teams competed in several events including a Tony Award themed crossword puzzle, a photo scavenger hunt to various places around our theatre space, a timed "label the parts of the stage" worksheet, a team set change challenge, and our tie breaking "quiz bowl" for theatre vocab. The winners of the team event are featured (with a hand-made trophy thanks to our party committee) below!

The Dance Party Committee (Natalie, Isabella, Jaston, Megan, Madison, Ryan, Carson, Jadan, Anisha, and Medina) decorated the LGI with lights, props (of course), served as DJ, and brought in treats and drinks for the event. A great time was had by all.

Activities Round-Up

Click on any of the blue hyperlinks to take you to stories featured on the school website!

About a dozen NHS Drama Club members assisted with the NMS production of Once On This Island, Jr throughout April. Drama Club members served as rehearsal assistants (being an example to younger actors), set/costume/prop build, and also helped run technical elements during the production. It is great to see our high school students helping the next generation of Drama Club members!

Several Drama Club members were honored to participate in All-County Band this March, NYSSMA Solofest as ensembles and individuals throughout the spring, District Band Concert, District Choir Concert and as musicians at our Music Department's Annual Cabaret Night! Congrats to all of our musician members! AND our Award Winning Music Teachers!

Looking for scholarships? Check out the National Young Arts Foundation

Summer 2018 check out our page on Summer and Off Season Opportunities.

Mark your calendar to see current members and alumni in action this summer!

July 19 and 20 at Lyons High School - Curtain Call Summer Theatre Camp Performance

(Campers in the 9-12 grade group from NHS: Jaston Brooks, Ben Cepulo, Isabelle Figueroa, J.J. Fontanez-Orwen, Cherylanne Garrett, Ryan Hermenet, Deborah Szarek, Jackson Vermeulen, Kylar Vermeulen)

(alum on staff: Sami Cepulo, Emily Howard, Olivia Howard, Jacob Lindberg)

July 26 at the Auditorium Theatre - RBTL Summer Stars Theatre Camp Performance

(incoming freshman Cody Acquista and Gabriella Taylor)

July 20-22 at Gates Hall in Pultneyville - Princess Ida

(alum in cast: Jacob Lindberg, Sam Wersinger)

Spotlight on our Alum!

The benefits of participation in theatre during your school years include - ability to think on your feet, strong communication skills, learning empathy, developing interpersonal relationship skills, etc. etc. We know that an education in the arts is more than just performing on stage. However, we are proud to have many alum working in the arts industries!

Alum working in and around the arts...let me know. I would love to feature you! emilyRhoward@gmail.com)

Alumni Profile: Sara Skinner-Probst

NHS Class of 1999

What did you do after graduation? What is your current career?

Sara Skinner-Probst is a graduate of Newark High School class of 1999. She holds an MFA in Youth Theatre with a focus in Education and Puppetry from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and a Bachelors of Arts in theatre with a concentration in acting from Buffalo State College. Sara is a teaching artist, actress, puppeteer, director and designer. She has taught all ages from 3 years old to undergraduate students, in a variety of schools. Sara has been a teaching artist for Honolulu Theatre for Youth, Ohia productions, Orlando Repertory Theatre and the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre teaching creative drama, creative movement, puppetry and professional development. She has traveled to American Samoa to teach Educational Puppetry for the University of Hawaii at Manoa Samoa project.

Sara has been published in the Puppetry Journal, been featured in The Malamalama, and just recently presented a workshop at the National Puppetry conference and the Florida Theatre Conference.

Sara is currently a Theatre and Technical Teacher at Freedom High School in Orlando FL. She directs two shows a year and is the technical director for four full productions a year. Sara directed and technical directed the award winning “Wiley and the Hairy Man” and “Still Life with Iris” which was awarded Best in show One Act at the District V Thespian Festival and performed at the State Thespian Festival. In 2016 she directed and technical directed the Orlando Premier of “Peter and the Starcatcher” the show was chosen to as one of 4 main stage productions at the Florida State Thespian Festivals. Sara’s students performed at the Straz center in Morsani Hall for 2,500 high school students and teachers.

How did participation in Drama Club affect your career path?

Newark Theatre department, Mrs. Bendix and Steve Duprey fostered my passion for theatre and the arts. I am so grateful for the wonderful shows and friendships I made in High School. Now as a full time theatre teacher I feel honored to be the teacher creating lifetime memories for my students.

When I was in high school I could never have dreamed that my job existed. I tell my students all the time how lucky they are to have these opportunities.

During the day I teach:

Two Theatre 1 class

Two Theatre 2 classes

One Technical Theatre 1 class

One Technical Theatre 2-4 class

After School I direct two shows a year and am the technical director for four shows a year.

Links to shows I have directed and Technical Directed and designed.


I was the technical director and designer for the show. I designed and build the set with three of my seniors


I directed, technical directed and designed the show


I directed, technical directed and designed the show


I directed, technical directed and designed the show

What is some advice for NHS students wanting to pursue a career or life in the arts?

I believe that every student has a voice and a message to share, theatre is the perfect outlet to let their voice be heard.

No dream is too big or to small. You may not even know your dream exists yet. I love my job and didn't even know if was a job until 12 years ago. Life takes you in many directions, some you expect and some you could never see coming. Don't be afraid to take the risk. I always tell my students that I never pick a show to direct unless it scares me a little. It is what pushed me to continue to grow in my craft.

Pictured below...Sara with her students on the stage where they performed "Peter and the Starcatcher" for the Florida State Thespian Festival!

Thank you, Sara! NHS is proud to have alum working in the theatre arts!

Big picture

Congratulations to our Class of 2018!

We wish you success in the next "act" of your journey!

You will always have a home in the Newark Drama Club.

Stay connected and come back to visit us.

Big picture


Drama Club will always accept donations! Items we generally use for most shows:

  • Painting Supplies: black paint, white paint, paint brushes, rollers, tarp/paint drops, tape - duct, gaff, spike
  • Costume Building Supplies: bolts of fabric or large pieces of scrap fabric, elastic, Velcro, other sewing items
  • Costume Pieces: wigs, hats, men's black dress shoes, women's black or tan character shoes

Have something else you think we could use? Let us know! Thank you!


If you have something to share in a future newsletter (current students or alum) please contact me! emilyRhoward@gmail.com

If you do not want to receive this newsletter please let me know and I will remove you from the distribution list. You can also click the UNSUBSCRIBE button at the end of this email.