An Ode to Pentucket Theatre 2021


(Photo Source: Bella Brancato) Back line (from left to right): Nathan Oliphant, Chase Mulcahy, Emily Dube, Paige DeBoyes, Alyssa McClung, Bella Brancato, Emma Neumann, Ryan Kennedy, Harleigh Walsh Front line (from left to right): Isaiah Cannon, Colby Jaslowich

Bella Brancato, Copy Editor

As the school year comes to a close, many goodbyes are taking place around the school. On May 7, the Pentucket Theatre Department put on their Senior Showcase. It was a trip down memory lane and a glimpse into the future that gave students in the department the opportunity to bring back some of their favorite performances from the past and also put on the numbers of their dreams. 

The seniors that took the stage include Bella Brancato, Paige DeBoyes, Emily Dube, Ryan Kennedy, Alyssa McClung, Chase Mulcahy, Emma Neumann, Nathan Oliphant, and Harleigh Walsh. These nine seniors have been involved in the theatre department since middle school, and it was a bittersweet moment for them to take the stage together one last time. 

I asked these seniors the following questions to share some of their fondest memories from the past six years, and this article is dedicated to them to remember and congratulate them on all of their accomplishments.


What is your favorite rehearsal memory?


Emma: “My favorite rehearsal memories are from ‘Sister Act.’ The nuns would stay after on Fridays and put our costumes together. It was so fun to not only help create our costumes but to see them come together. It was such a great, fun bonding time we had as a cast.”


Ryan: “My favorite rehearsal memory has to be from ‘Back to the 80s’ when we were planning to do our curtain calls, and Mrs. McGowan played ‘Don’t Stop Believin’: that was revealed to be the song that we were gonna play during curtain calls. Everyone was super excited about it and up and dancing.”


Nathan: “I really like the longer rehearsals on Saturdays and over vacations because the vibe is just so much different. That’s the first thing everyone does in their day instead of having school and then going to rehearsal, so everyone is in a better mood, everyone has more energy. We have more time together, and it’s just so much better and more fun.”


Paige: “My favorite rehearsal memory would have to be the nine-to-five dress rehearsal for ‘The Wiz.’ The dancers were actually the only group of people who had all their costumes figured out, and while Mrs. McGowan was stressing over all the Munchkin costumes, we went up to her and asked if we could run to the food mart to get coffee and snacks, and, surprisingly, she said yes. So, all the dancers got in our cars and we went to go get coffee. Then, we sat on the picnic table for the first scene, drinking our coffee in our ‘Tornado’ costumes.”


Alyssa: “My favorite rehearsal memory is definitely all the Friday’s the dancers would stay after school. It’s just a fun environment to be in, and I love every one of them. We work hard and have fun at the same time, and I just really love Fridays.”

(Photo Source: Alan McRae)
Pentucket Theatre Department’s “Back to the 80s” 2018

Bella: “My favorite rehearsal was in ‘Back to the 80s’ when we were all eating lunch outside during one of those long rehearsal days, and Emily Dube gets up, walks into the middle of the road, and being the lovely singer she is, starts singing ‘Dancing in the Street’.”


Emily: “I have a couple of favorite rehearsal memories. One of them was when Nathan and I had to go print out and make copies of something and we messed it up and needed help… and running around the halls with Isaiah and Ryan and hiding Munchkins from everyone on the long Saturday rehearsals we had before the show.”


What is your favorite Saturday night memory?


Bella: “My favorite Saturday night memory was the last show of ‘The Wiz’ when I finally got to join in and do one of my favorite dances of all time with my favorite people in ‘Funky Monkeys’.”


Nathan: “My favorite Saturday night show memory would definitely have to be when the dancers had a contest in ‘The Wiz’ to see who could go the hardest in ‘Y’all Got It’. It was so much fun. The energy levels and the performance levels were just through the roof, and we literally just had so much fun on stage during that number.”


Ryan: “‘Back to the 80s,’ it’s got to be the Saturday night show we performed on the first weekend because most of the show got canceled because of the snowstorm, so we did one show on the original weekend, which was Saturday, and it was an absolute disaster. It was a dress rehearsal from set changes, to costuming, to mess-ups. It was pretty bad, but we got to do it, so it was fun.”  


Emma: “My favorite Saturday show memory is from ‘Damn Yankees’ when Kevin Inger went on shirtless during ‘Whatever Lola Wants’. It was hysterical.”


Paige: “My favorite Saturday night show memory would have to be the one that started it all, which was the exsqueeze me’s in ‘Pom Pom Zombies’. I thought it would be funny in the last night of the show to say ‘exsqueeze me,’ so I did, and by intermission, half of the cast or more had said ‘exsqueeze me’ at some point during the show.” 


(Photo Source: Bella Brancato)
Pentucket Theatre Department’s “Sister Act” 2019

Alyssa: “My favorite Saturday night memory is definitely the one for ‘Sister Act’ where we had carrots everywhere. It was just really fun, but a mess to clean up afterward.”






What will you miss most?


Emily: “Some top things I’ll miss are rehearsals. I love those, they were so fun, especially Fridays with the dancers. I will miss going to Friendly’s after the Friday night show, I’ll miss bringing Munchkins and running around the school, and I’ll miss my friends next year and the memories, just looking back, and all the traditions that we have.”


Harleigh: “I think I’m going to miss being around everybody all the time because we’re always together. Whether it’s rehearsing or planning things for the show, I’m just really going to miss that sense of togetherness.”


Alyssa: “What I’ll miss the most is the dancers starting the show. I remember all the anxious nerves everybody gets but the excitement that everyone has. We all hype each other up and say how this is going to be amazing, and then the curtain opens up and the show starts. I just love that feeling, and I’ll never get used to it.”


Bella: “What I’ll miss the most is the dancer family we’ve made here in the Pentucket Theatre Department. Over the past six years, dancing with this group of people has meant more to me than I could ever put into words. They made me a better dancer, and I am so lucky to call each and every single one of them my friends.”


Nathan: “What I am going to miss the most is being a part of an amazing group of dancers. The dancers have been doing shows together for years, and we’ve created and been in a variety of different numbers together. Over the years, we’ve become more than just a dance ensemble, and I think we’ve really become more of a team. We’re all really close and we all get along really well, and I’m so grateful to have been able to take the stage with them countless amounts of times and become their close friends.”

(Photo Source: Bella Brancato)
(From left to right) Bella Brancato, Emily Brankman, Paige DeBoyes, Nathan Oliphant, Alyssa McClung, Emily Dube

Emma: “I’ll just miss being there. With no certainty of actually having a show this year, let alone two, I had kind of given up on any idea that we were going to have anything. I was so beyond happy that not only did we get to put on ‘Almost, Maine,’ but we also got to do the showcase and all our seniors got to have our last one big moment before we graduate. Just whenever I’m there and we end, I never want to leave.”


Ryan: “I will miss the rehearsals more than anything. For the past four years, coming to a rehearsal every day, whether it be dancing, singing, acting, whatever it would be, it was always the highlight of my day. It’s going to be the thing I miss the most.”


Paige: “What I’m going to miss the most is probably when the curtains close after bows, especially after the Saturday night show, because we all scream and we all realize that we did it. We just put on a show from scratch, and it’s a pretty good piece of art. And then the seniors start to cry, and we realize that it’s over. We’re never going to have a group like this ever again. It’s a very happy moment at every show, and the Saturday one is the hardest, but it’s something you’ll never forget.”


What has been your biggest takeaway from theatre?


Emily: “My biggest takeaway from theatre is learning how to be myself and not care what everybody else thinks. In theatre, you just have to knock down those walls and just be yourself on stage and not worry about the world. I just loved learning that and growing as a person throughout all these years.”


Paige: “My biggest takeaway from theatre is probably just that I can. If I put my mind to something and believe in myself, I should be able to try and that I actually can do stuff that I never thought that I could do. You will probably never find such a supportive group like this in school ever again. A group that lets you just be yourself and to try new things at your own pace.”


Bella: “My biggest takeaway from theatre is how it has taught me to be a leader and has boosted my confidence. In seventh grade, I was absolutely terrified to get up on stage in front of 30 people and start teaching them choreography, and six years later, I’m getting off a plane and teaching ‘Thriller’ an hour later without a problem. I now feel so much more confident putting myself in a leadership position, and I have theatre to thank for that.”


Nathan: “Personally, I’ve had a lot of takeaways from theatre, but the biggest one is learning how to step out of my comfort zone. When it comes to trying new things or trying things that are unusual and different for me, I have a pretty difficult time. But, from all the experiences of being in different shows, doing different parts in shows, performing different pieces, it’s really, really, helped me expand my comfort zone.”

(Photo Source: Bella Brancato)
Pentucket Theatre Department’s “The Wiz” 2020

Alyssa: “My biggest takeaway from theatre is you can make the most unlikely friends in it and we’re all a family. We have each others’ backs no matter what, and it’s just really cool to see so many different people come together to form a community to do something that we love.”


Emma: “My biggest takeaway from theatre is all the friends I’ve made. Some of my best friends are from theatre, and if I never joined theatre, I would never have made these friends.” 


Ryan: “My biggest takeaway from theatre definitely has to be surrounding yourself with people that love the same thing that you do. Whether it be theatre or whether you continue with theatre or not, it’s something that is really empowering to be able to surround yourself with people every day that love doing the same thing that you do and having fun with everybody.”