M-A drama

Post image for M-A Drama presents Tony Award-winning musical “Hairspray” the next two weekends

The Tony Award-winning musical, Hairspray, will be performed on November 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, and 18 — 7:30 pm Fridays and Saturdays and 2:00 pm on Sundays — at the Menlo Atherton Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available in advance online and at the door.

Originally written by John Waters and made into a film, the show is an energetic homage to the musical style of the late fifties and early sixties. It follows teenager Tracy Turnblad whose dream it is to appear on a local Baltimore TV show. When she wins a role on the show, she becomes a celebrity overnight and uses her fame to fight to racially integrate the show.

M-A senior Sean Fabrega, who has been acting since her middle school days at Hillview, (pictured in rehearsal, top) plays Tracy. “Along with playing Little Red Riding Hood my freshman year in Into the Woods, this is my favorite role,” she said.

It’s also Sean’s first leading role at M-A. “I remember how intimidated I was when I was a freshman, so I’m enjoying the chance to talk with some of the younger cast members and hopefully make them feel more at ease,” she said.

Drama teacher Danette Barthauer selected Hairspray as a deliberate way to attract more students of color into the drama program. “M-A is very diverse, but my (very sad) observation was that my program did not reflect our overall student population, and I was not ok with that…This has been a huge learning experience for me, and hopefully for our students.”

Senior Maya Jones, who plays Motormouth Mabel (pictured in rehearsal, above) is taking part in her first M-A production. “I’m very introverted and [Motormouth] is the opposite of that,” she said. “She’s like me on a very good day! She’s big and proud, and it’s fun to teach myself how to be more like her!”

Filled with laughs, romance, dancing, and songs, Hairspray won eight Tony Awards in 2003 out of 13 nominations, including Best Musical. It ran for 2,642 performances on Broadway, and there have been numerous national tours.

Photos by Lena Kalotihos (c) 2018

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The lead role in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Coat” is just one of Wesley Barker-Mouton’s many accomplishments

Thumbnail image for The lead role in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Coat” is just one of Wesley Barker-Mouton’s many accomplishments

Wesley Barker-Mouton burst onto the scene at Menlo-Atherton in a big way this year, playing football, being involved with the Environmental Club, and now starring in the spring musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Coat, opening on Friday, March 16, with performances this weekend and next. It’s not surprising, given his leadership genes. The senior, […]

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M-A Drama presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream set in modern times

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For its Fall production, M-A Drama is presenting a modern take on Shakespeare’s classic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, first performed in 1601. Taking place in mythical Athens and in an enchanted forest, the story includes a handsome fairy king, wood sprites and elves, a misguided parent, star-crossed lovers, and a weaver who’s transformed into a […]

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Interview with a vampire: Dracula comes to Menlo-Atherton High School for six performances

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Since first surfacing in Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel, Count Dracula has endured as one of the most iconic figures of Gothic horror. Now his sinister countenance has landed in Atherton. M-A sophomore Teddy Pagee, who has been interested in acting since he was a third grader at Encinal School, stars as the Count in the Menlo-Atherton High School production of […]

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M-A’s rising star Hanna Berggren appears in PBS show Broadway or Bust

Thumbnail image for M-A’s rising star Hanna Berggren appears in PBS show Broadway or Bust

M-A senior Hanna Berggren has been one of the featured performers on the PBS show, Broadway or Bust. Last summer, Hanna participated in a one-week musical theater intensive in New York City after winning the local Stage Top Honors competition in June for her role as Princess Winnifred in M-A’s Once Upon a Mattress. This was […]

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Spotted: 25th Annual Putman County Spelling Bee actors at Cafe Borrone

Thumbnail image for Spotted: 25th Annual Putman County Spelling Bee actors at Cafe Borrone

We felt like a real paparazzi earlier this morning at Cafe Borrone when we spotted, seated in a discrete corner, the four M-A freshman (l. to r. Will Hanley, Maddie Rostami, Rachel Fosnaugh, Josh Weiner) who are starring in the school’s production of The 25th Annual Putman County Spelling Bee (along with two sophomores). They […]

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M-A presents 25th Annual Putman County Spelling Bee

Thumbnail image for M-A presents 25th Annual Putman County Spelling Bee

A whole crew of “freshman” — and a couple of sophomores – are in the spotlight in Menlo-Atherton High School’s production of The 25th Annual Putman County Spelling Bee. Four of the six actors playing the roles of spelling bee contestants are freshman, and new drama teacher, Debra-Jean Zwicker-Sobrepena, and new music teacher Kent Kurrus, […]

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