Wayne Hills Theater Welcomes a Disaster


By Kendra Levendusky, Staff Writer

It is less than a month away from the spring musical and the WHHS Theater Department is preparing for quite a disaster. The musical Disaster! is a 70s jukebox musical with cheesy humor that pokes fun at all of the disaster films that took place during the 70s.

The cast and the directors are looking forward to this production because of the odd plot and ridiculous jokes throughout the entirety of the musical.

English teacher and music director Joseph Fleissner touches on his thoughts for the show and the talent he was provided with during auditions.

“I think we [the directors] decided on this musical because we had a lot of talented students that we really wanted to showcase and feature as many as possible, one of our skills this time around is comedic timing. Everyone feels comfortable with being ridiculous on stage and putting themselves out there.”

Fleissner emphasized his excitement on doing an ensemble based show where many talented students could be featured as much as possible to utilize the broad talents of the cast.

Senior Dylan Catania is playing the role of Tony DelVecchio, a sleazy, perverted casino owner that causes turmoil for the rest of the cast. Catania describes his experience in trying to embody Mr. DelVecchio.

“This role is a lot like Gomez [his role from last year], except he’s horrible and gross and represents everything bad in the world. It fits my usual type of role- incredibly overacted and melodramatic.” says Catania “My biggest challenge of portraying Tony DelVecchio has been being abusive and especially creepy. I feel genuinely bad for all of the females I interact with during the show. I hope the audience doesn’t judge me too much after playing this guy!”

Leighann Albanese is also a senior at Wayne Hills and plays the leading lady, Marianne Wilson, an independent career woman covering and reporting the suspicious occurrences at Mr. DelVecchio’s casino.

“As far as challenges go in my role, I know this show is supposed to be cheesy and almost satirical so I’ve had to find the line between acting like a leading lady in a soap opera and looking like I can’t act. Aside from that, though, this has been the easiest role to put myself into that I’ve ever played.”

Albanese expresses her genuine love for this show and how it has come together. “From the bottom of my heart, this has been my favorite musical that I have ever been a part of. From start to finish, it is nothing but pure fun for both the cast and the audience.”

She has also had impressive theater experience outside of Wayne Hills and plans to make Musical Theater her career. Albanese encourages underclassman to try out for a school drama or musical due to the fact that it changed her life.

“Any underclassmen that are debating on trying a WHHS Theatre production, I undoubtedly recommend it. Wayne Hills Theatre is what introduced me to theatre and performing in the first place, and now I’m going to college for it. In a way, it changed my life for the better.”  

Freshman Dylan Misquita auditioned for Disaster! and gives his genuine input on what it is like being not only a freshman in theater but a freshman with no previous theater experience.

“I wouldn’t want my first musical to be anywhere else. I look around at everyone and I can see that each person involved in the show is so dedicated, and it really inspires me. As someone with no experience, I’m happy that I got my start in a great and encouraging environment like the one here at Hills…I was nervous being the odd one out, but the whole cast has been really welcoming and I’m grateful for that.”

Despite being a first-time theater kid, Misquita impresses the upperclassmen and directors with his abilities and comfort level to give it his all during his very comedic performances.

As the show rapidly approaches the cast is coming together in finalizing costumes, set building, and characterization for the actors and actresses to hit the stage.

Wayne Hills Theater invites everyone to join the quirky cast on March 14 and 15 at seven and March 16 at two and seven for a show filled with talent and lots of laughter.