This past summer, Passaic Valley Summer Theater, produced by Ms. Jennifer Shue, put on two fantastic plays: Zombie Prom and Shrek Jr. Maggie and Rob Lavagno directed the production of Zombie Prom with Ms. Pia Vanderstreet as Musical Director. Mr. Michael DeLuccia and directed Shrek Jr.
Zombie Prom was performed by rising freshman to senior performers on July 25, 26, and 27. The play tells the tale of Jonny, a student at Enrico Fermi High School, who commits suicide at a nuclear power plant after being dumped by his ex-girlfriend, Toffee. However, he comes back as a zombie and changes up the regulations of the high school, after confronting the evil principal Ms. Strict. Eddie Flagrant, a reporter from the high school, aids Jonny in his mission to reclaim Toffee’s heart.
Jeremy Irizarry ‘21 amused the audience as Jonny, while Clifton High School sophomore Jessica Bracken entertained as Toffee. “Zombie Prom was a colorful and fun production full of life and entertainment,” Vanderstreet explained. “Audiences were captivated each night by how every cast member stepped up to put on a stellar performance. I couldn’t be more proud of our PV Summer Theater students!”
Irizarry described his time as an ”amazing experience to go through,” crediting the cast and crew with the show’s success. “The directors and managers are incredibly understanding and caring,” he said. “Adding to that, the cast makes it one-hundred times better because they’re so loving and caring.”
Shue is incredibly proud of the production and was especially fond of the cast. “We had a very enthusiastic cast, many of them new to the stage,” she stated. “I think that added to how proud we were. These students from all over the area worked so hard and had so much fun.”
On August 2nd and 3rd, fifth through eighth graders performed Shrek the Musical Jr. The play portrays the story of Shrek, an ogre whose duty is to bring Princess Fiona to Lord Farquaad to marry. However, Shrek falls in love with Fiona along the way. The story portrays a general theme of staying true to oneself.
DeLuccia emphasized his joy at the kids’ work. “One of the things I enjoyed most about Shrek Jr. was how well the students took to their characters and how much fun I could see they were having on stage,” he remarked. “I can always tell when they are enjoying what they are doing and that makes me excited for what I do.”
Overall, both shows pleased all audiences and proved to be a great time for those participating.