Saugus Middle School Drama Club prepares for the first live show in the new school

The students can’t wait to take the stage for the Saugus Middle School Drama Club’s first live performance at the new school.

Since November, the Drama Club has been rehearsing the musical “Sally Sells Seashells (And You Can, Too!”). The group will perform the production on January 27, 28 and 29 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Saugus Middle-High School.

Ali Mahon – the producer, director and choreographer of ‘Sally Sells Seashells’ – said the students were thrilled to perform the musical after the COVID-19 pandemic limited last year’s Drama Club production to one. video composed of recorded scenes.

The new stage offers a much better sound system than the students worked with before, Mahon said, as well as greater functionality with the lighting.

“We can do anything from sunrise to sunset with the lighting, that’s huge for us,” Mahon said.

Larissa DeSouza stars as Slater during a rehearsal for the Saugus Middle School Drama Club production "Sally sells seashells" Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

When the announcer attended a recent rehearsal, Yaneliz Marrero said she loved acting and was looking forward to playing the role of Emerson in “Sally Sells Seashells.”

A few students admitted to feeling a little nervous about performing the musical live. The auditorium has a capacity of 750 people, but only 300 seats will be sold out for performances to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Director Ali Mahon talks to his students during a rehearsal for the production of Saugus Middle School Drama Club "Sally sells seashells" Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

Adriana Pefine, who plays Zoey, said the cast and crew had to face the reality that some of them might test positive and miss the show.

Stage manager Angela Della Croce learned the lines of many cast members in case a replacement was needed when the curtain fell.

Students rehearse for Saugus Middle School Drama Club production "Sally sells seashells" Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

Farah Belayachi, who plays Bella in the musical, said it was difficult for members of the Drama Club not to be able to hug each other as they are concerned about limiting the risk of transmitting the virus to someone else. other.

Mahon enlisted a few students from Saugus High School to help organize the show.

Camryn Berridge, who plays Regina, told the announcer that it’s fun to play alongside high school students who quickly share their knowledge.

Saugus Middle School students rehearse for the Saugus Middle School Drama Club production "Sally sells seashells" Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

“It’s really cool that they’re helping us out,” Berridge said. “They give us good vibes.”

Junior Mira Mauras is one of the students at Saugus High School who lends a hand.

Mauras said she was very impressed with the talent she saw from the Middle School Drama Club, especially considering that they haven’t had a chance to perform live most of the past two years at cause of the pandemic.

Another high school assistant, Aiden Muise, said he was “shocked” by the great voices and energy the Drama Club members displayed.

Farah Belayachi acts as the head cheerleader during a rehearsal for the Saugus Middle School Drama Club production "Sally sells seashells" Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

“It’s a bit of a relief to know that when we graduate [High School] Drama Club will have so much talent,” Muise said.

Also in the cast are faculty members Jeff Engler (a surfer), Patricia Prizio (beach kid), and Barbara Guarente (cheerleader).

Prizio said she asks Mahon and artistic director Erika DeFeo every year if she can participate in the production of the Drama Club.

“I love doing this with kids and interacting with them in a different environment,” Prizio said.

Zahra Ghaouta stars as Sally during a rehearsal for the Saugus Middle School Drama Club production "Sally sells seashells" Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

DeFeo credited the 33 students on the technical team for the work done to prepare the sets for opening night. Each student will be assigned work for at least one of the performances.

Kateri Byrd, left, plays Tam and Larissa DeSouza, right, plays Slater during a rehearsal for the Saugus Middle School Drama Club production "Sally sells seashells" Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

Students Mia Crombie and Sophia Desmond also play crucial roles behind the scenes as costume assistants.

Cast and crew

The full student cast for “Sally Sells Seashells (And You Can, Too!”) is as follows:

Together Sally and Surfer Kid (Zahra Ghaouta); Tam (Kateri Byrd); Slater (Larissa DeSouza); Ash (Mia Bond); Poppy (Reem Tuffaha); Mabel and Jemma (Madelyn Sachs); Zoey (Adrianna Pefine); Hudson and Devon (Madelynne Leonard); Alex (Pedro Spalenza); Leela (Sarah Nannini); August (Skyler O’Brien); Kara (Aiyana Cruz); Beach Kids Ensemble (Aiden Muise); Bella (Farah Belayachi); Regina (Camryn Berridge); Emerson (Yaneliz Marrero); Forrest (Jordyn Ripley-Deminski); Quinn (Mira Mauras).

Madelynne Leonard performs onstage during a rehearsal for the Saugus Middle School Drama Club production "Sally sells seashells" Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

The student technical team includes Mya Arwine, Aleah Bardos, Isabella Desmond, Alyssa Mikalixen, Joshua Pepper, Alexandra Brackett, Rayan Brija, Aiyana Cruz, Adriana Dedo, Alexandra Dembro, Lynn Ferreira, Raymond Jovel, Yaneliz Marrero, Eliana Miranda, Meridith Mogauro , Shaelyn Murphy, Alex Pappagallo, Josephine Pepper, Logan Sacco, My Vo, Kylie Arwine, Camryn Berridge, Caylee Cassarino, Mia Crombie, Angela Della Croce, Sophia Desmond, Makeisha Jean, Kayla Manfredi, Hannah McGonigle, Adriana Santos Demelo, Sandeepan Shrestha and Jennifer Tran.

Additional roles include stage managers Angela Della Croce and Madelynne Leonard; costume assistants Mia Crombie and Sofia Desmond; set/props assistant Rayan Brija; lighting assistants Maxwell Crombie, Isabella Deluca, Rayssa DeSouza and Yasmin Nunes; high school assistants Nathaniel Chadwick, Isabella Deluca, Kathryn De Souza, Rayssa DeSouza, Sarah Dorielan, Maxwell Crombie, Mia Mauras, Aiden Muise and Yasmin Nunes; scenic painters Daniella Braga, Nicholas Claffey, Layla Deming Estrada, Leyla Hamidovic, Eric Jiang, Christian Kennedy, Braeden Lee, Dominic Manuppelli, Kalvin Pereira, Jayden Seaburg and Natalie LeFleur; box office/program assistants Laith Haddad, Armin Hujic, Jacob Hunt, Dani Kaplan, Lindsay Mishol and Jordani Nieves; musical director Evan Smith; Barbara Tenaglia for costume design and construction; Nick Raponi for lighting design and operation; James Wlodyka as sound mixer; Andrew Barnett for lead builder of set construction; Kathleen Webster for Friday’s additional help and set builders David Arwine, Ken Beebe, Stephanie DeCristoforo, Vincent Dembro, Roy Medeiros, Mike Paige, Tommy Prizio and Trish Prizio.

Kateri Byrd, left, performs as Tam during a rehearsal for the Saugus Middle School Drama Club production "Sally sells seashells" Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

Tickets for “Sally Sells Shells” are $10 for students and $12 for adults. Masks must be worn by all audience members for the duration of the performance.