Powerful ‘Pippin’ Stuns Audiences


The high school’s theater students pulled out all the stops in three bravura performances of this year’s school musical, “Pippin,” delighting audiences who attended on March 31, April 1 and April 2.

A Tony Award winner that debuted on Broadway in 1972, “Pippin” was written by Stephen Schwartz from a book by Roger O. Hirson, with additional contributions from original director Bob Fosse. The musical’s performance troupe, led by a Leading Player, tell the story of the young prince Pippin and his search for the meaning of life.

East Islip’s production starred Jon Sawyer Coffin as Leading Player, Michael Robert Krebs as Pippin, Jack Burke-McGoldrick as Charles, Noelia Vazquez as Fastrada, Caleb Shulman as Lewis, Meg Tohill as Berthe, Danielle Pafundi as Catherine and Roy Anderson as Theo.

The cast also included Kendra Canavan, Sabrina Firneno, James Kelly and Alexander O’Neill as Featured Players; Vincenzo Mediate as Player with Torch; Amanda Baranek, Karina Gallagher, Kate Maretsky, Christina Perretta, Sarah Powell and Shannon Ransom as Featured Dancers; Jenna Anderson, Brittney Berke, Karli Pipitone and Sara Rapuzzi as Featured Singers; and Jake Acocella, Alex Agati, Kristina Ali, Shequira Ashley, Claudia Banville, Connor Barnes, Alex Bertolini, Sarah Bloom, Hannah Christy, Gabby Commisso, Emily DaSilva, Dominique Degener, Beth Hillman, Emma Hillman, Sarah Hillman, Kyle Ostrowski, Sebastian Ovalle, Angelina Parisi, Brandon Potter, Bianca Schettini, Michael Silva, Katie Spina, Tori Tiernan, Isaac Trigoso, Crystal Vessalico, Matt Waldron and Kyle Westgate-Addessi as The Players.

“We are extremely proud of all of the music students who participated in this year’s production,” said choral and theater director Bethany Affelt. “The cast, crew and pit orchestra all worked together to put on a truly stellar performance that was enjoyed thoroughly by the audiences at each show. The students had ‘magic to do,’ and they sure did!”

Behind the scenes of the spring musical, the talent of many of East Islip High School’s artists was put to use. Beginning in February, Erin Jacob’s electronic illustration classes learned about marketing and promotion, and used those skills to create original artwork to promote the musical. The electronic illustration students used Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create original imagery, and then examined how to use hierarchy to organize the required information about the play. Each student created his or her own poster, with one design chosen to represent the musical. The highly detailed winning design, created by junior Rebecca Schreiner, successfully integrated all of the elements of a successful promotional poster, and the “Pippin” cast and crew wore T-shirts bearing the design to promote the play.

“It was great having my work used as publicity for such an amazing show,” said Schreiner, whose artwork was also displayed in the music wing alongside 40 years of past posters.

Vessalico, a senior, acted as the lead photographer for the play, spending hours organizing, photographing and editing headshots and group photos of the cast, as well as action shots during rehearsals. Her three years of photography experience in Heather Toomey’s photography classes gave her the confidence and expertise to capture the energy, personality and details of the production. Junior Sarah Hillman, another photography student who will be lead photographer for next year’s play, created and arranged the display for the headshots.

“I am really looking forward to next year,” said Hillman. “Being lead photographer is a tremendous amount of work, but the end result is rewarding, as the final result is the first thing people see when they walk in the show.”