Comedy Is Central for Drama Club


For its annual fall show, the East Islip High School Drama Club put on a comedic tour-de-force with a production of “The Best of Neil Simon.” The show, performed on Nov. 6 and 7 to a jam-packed, standing-room-only audience in the school’s Forum, collected many of playwright Simon’s funniest scenes and one-act plays, from works such as “The Good Doctor,” “Plaza Suite,” “The Odd Couple” and “California Suite.”

This year’s production featured 17 student-actors. Featured in “The Sneeze” scene from “The Good Doctor” were juniors Sabrina Firneno and Sarah Powell, and sophomores Jake Acocella, Dominique Degener and Michael Silva. “ Plaza Suite” featured senior Meg Tohill and juniors Michael Krebs, Vincenzo Mediate and Betsy Ruhrold. Acting in a scene from “The Odd Couple” were seniors Jack Burke-McGoldrick and Noelia Vazquez, and juniors Amanda Baranek and Kurt Eide. “California Suite” showcased senior and Drama Club president Danielle Pafundi, sophomores Kyle Ostrowski and Sebastian Ovalle, and freshman Karina Gallagher. 

Several students participated in the running crew, working seamlessly backstage with the cast members, according to Drama Club Director Bethany Affelt, who was pleased with the turnout and proud of all of the students who participated. Junior Amber Carr ran the soundboard, freshman Emily DaSilva ran the lighting board, and senior Isaac Trigoso and sophomores Gabby Commisso and Angelina Parisi ran the set changes. 

“The students onstage were hilarious,” said Affelt. “They kept surprising me and impressing me with their sense of comedic timing and general instincts as comedic actors. From the beginning of the rehearsal process to the closing night, the experience was a joyful one.”