Sunday in the (Rialto) with George: WHS theater department celebrates musical


Photo courtesy of Margaret Smith

The Center for Creativity at the Rialto featuring props from the musical, Sunday in the Park with George

Cast, crew and theater staff took their final bows of the school year at the March 18 showing of WHS’s Sunday in the Park with George. Despite the show ending, many of the cast and crew members’ stagecraft lived on, as Westfield’s Center for Creativity at the Rialto Theater displayed props and costumes from the show in their gallery.

Following the well-received show, the center’s decision to exhibit the musical’s artistic props and set designs allowed more people to appreciate the efforts of those involved in the production. Members of the theater department were appreciative that their set pieces were being displayed to the public. Senior cast member Joey Gamba said, “It was gratifying to see the hard work that all of us put in get showcased. It’s always great to know that your work is being recognized. For such a prominent location in our community to join in with us and support us, it means the world to everyone in the department.”

The crew of Sunday in the Park with George produced intricate props for the musical. Specifically, crew members were tasked with painting over 177,395 dots on the physical stage to replicate George Seurat’s artistic style.

Sophomore Izzy Shreyhane said, “We painted a lot of the [sets] that came onto the stage, like the cardboard cutouts and other props. The dots were a lot to take care of as we had to make them look [realistic].” The showcasing of props capped off an excellent experience, and Shreyhane added that “sometimes [our work] goes unheard. I loved that we got [recognition].”

On April 11, the last day of the showcase at the Rialto, the musical’s cast, crew and staff were invited to a private showing of the show’s set pieces and to listen to a panel discussion by individuals who have succeeded in the theater industries.

Panelist and retired WHS Art Teacher Roy Chambers reflected on the purpose of the event. He said, “Opportunities like these for theater students give them a more realistic view of what it is truly like in the theater world. They also give students a sense of what other pathways are available to break into the industry and other parallel careers that can be equally rewarding.”

During the panel discussion, students asked questions about higher education opportunities, the panelists’ backgrounds and influences, words of advice and different career paths. Gamba found the panel useful, as he hopes to pursue a career in the theater industry. He said, “The panel was very rewarding. It’s nice to see people that are succeeding in the field to know that it is possible if you work hard enough.”

Other students also appreciated the information on a career they may be interested in. Senior cast member Evan Leone said, “I enjoyed that the [panel discussion] was an opportunity for students and parents to know a little more about the industry that some of us are going into. It was important for us to get that information.”

For more events aimed at exhibiting local art, visit the Center for Creativity at the Rialto in Westfield, located at 250 East Broad Street.