Hartland High Drama Club presents ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’

Photo by Melissa Digue of MAD Creations Studio
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Photo by Melissa Digue of MAD Creations Studio

The Hartland High School Drama Club is presenting the musical “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” the classic and powerful Victor Hugo story with Disney’s songs. This is one of the first times the play will be performed on a Michigan high school stage.

For months, Hartland High School students have come together to rehearse and prepare for this musical phenomenon. Led by Scott Usher, director, and Mary Jo Del Vero, sponsor, the students have rehearsed day in and day out.

When asked about the upcoming musical, actress Abby Smith commented: “After the recent success with Oklahoma!, (Usher) decided it only made sense to go bigger,” said actress Abby Smith.

And Usher has kept his promise of making everything bigger and ultimately better than ever before. Each costume is woven with intensive care by Costume Crew Head Alec Ruby, and the rest of his crew, including mentor Kristine Stuenkel. The set is the largest and most extensive to ever appear on the Hartland High School stage. It was built, detailed, and painted by Holly Leja and Hannah Kenrick, with help from a small army of dedicated students and parent volunteers on the set crew, led by adult mentor Chris Piper.

Each dance, choreographed professionally by Karen Whittaker, fits precisely into the scene and keeps the audience engaged. The dances would be virtually impossible without the amount of featured dancers (a slew of gypsies) in the show. The lifts, flips, turns, and splits would not be achievable without the level of talent in the organization.

Although the dances are fast-paced and difficult, the entirety of the cast delivers with vocals while dancing. The musical not only has excellent vocals, but a choir of students and an orchestra pit led by the talented choir teacher Kathi Letovsky.

Each scene, song, dance, costume, and set piece is selected with careful precision to put the show at its peak; yet, with the budding stress of producing a Broadway-caliber show, the group remains connected and inspired by one another, which is evident in the performance.

Come see this awe-inspiring production at Hartland High School.  Audience members will leave enlightened and truly believe change will come.

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Shows are April 20-22 and April 27-29 at Hartland High School, 10635 Dunham Road, Hartland. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday shows are at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $13 for students/seniors, and can be purchased at http://hartlanddramaclub.weebly.com/ or at the door.

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The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.

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