UHS students stage ambitious production of 'Sweeney Todd'
● By J. Chambless
For the 10th year,
Unionville High School students -- mostly seniors -- are taking over
the stage to produce, direct and perform in an ambitious production
of the dark musical “Sweeney Todd” on June 2 and 3 at 7 p.m. The
musical, in the UHS Auditorium, is open to all and admission is free.
The tradition of a student-run production, referred to as the “May Play,” began in 2007 with Unionville student Domingo Mancuello, the son of UHS Spanish teacher Julia Hawkes. Domingo was seeking a way to give students a hands-on creative experience in every aspect of theater.
In Domingo’s senior year, he worked with his fellow students to stage a production of “Sweeney Todd.” To fill out the cast, he found fifth-grader David DeMarco, the younger brother of one of the cast members, to play the role of a child. It was an experience David never forgot, and he vowed to put on “Sweeney Todd” himself in his senior year.
“'Sweeney Todd' is one of the most complex and comprehensive musicals out there, enlisting an array of themes and a subject matter that is truly challenging for our student population,” David said. “The seniors see this show as our final mark on Unionville High School, and we intend to go out with a bang. Pulling off a show of this caliber, with limited time and resources, is a great way to leave high school, especially when it’s a show you’re passionate about.”
David serves as director of the show, and he is joined by stage manager Megan Belgam, lighting director Chris Gehrke, sound director Ben Basilio, and costume designer Mary Boeni. Juniors Max Baines (assistant sound director) and Cameron Cofrancesco (choreographer) round out the production team.
Unionville High School is at 750 Unionville Rd., Kennett Square.