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The Magic of James and The Giant Peach

Something Magical on the Brewster Stage

Brewster High School Performing Arts Presents….James and the Giant Peach! 

 It’s a story of friendship, overcoming challenges, and mistreatment–James is a lonely boy who lives with his wicked aunts until something magical happens and sets him free.

The cast, crew, and orchestra gave a sneak preview to JFK Elementary School students in preparation for the big performance this weekend. The acting, singing, dancing, music and sets were top notch–and the costumes! 

 The auditorium was filled to capacity with Brewster’s youngest students. They sat on the edges of their seats as the lights dimmed and the music started. The giant peach was lowered and the stage filled with actors dressed like insects: a centipede in a fitted swallow tail coat;  an earthworm in a pink jumpsuit wearing sunglasses; a spider in black tulle and lace over a blue iridescent bodice–and James in shorts and a vest. 

The reviews from the students were raves: “I loved the show,” “It was so good!” “You guys were great!” “I loved the costumes,” “the spider costume was my favorite!”

The magic that happens on stage is the work of 27 student actors, 20 musicians that make up the pit orchestra, and 22 crew members who are responsible for the sound, lighting and the design and construction of the set including a giant peach which is hoisted up and down during the show. In addition to the students and teachers involved, there are many former students that have come back to work on the show to help carry the tradition to the next generation and that makes Brewster productions special. 

Costumes: Rose Bisogno (2010), the costume designer, attended NYU for vocal performance and theater, recently worked on Broadway as part of the wardrobe team for Beetlejuice. 

Lighting and Sound: Joe Beahm (2009), Mike Campbell (2015), and Adam Romano (2013),  the lighting and sound designers, work for several entertainment companies and design tours for Blake Shelton, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Alessia Cara, Weird Al Yankovic, Metallica, Tom Petty, Chris Brown as well as the iHeart Radio Music Festival, the Global Citizen Festival, the Tokyo, Beijing and Rio Olympics. Austin Simmons (2018), sound designer, works in the tech department at the high school. 

Set Design: Abigail Bueti (2016), the set designer, attended WCSU for set design and has worked for several regional theaters including the ACT (A Contemporary Theater) in Ridgefield, CT and the Charles Ives Center. 

Music: Brian Sanyshyn (2010), the pit conductor, attended Ithaca College as a music education major and currently works as a music teacher at the high school. Renee Brown (2001), the piano accompanist, went to NYU for theater and music education. Julie Tramontana (2018), musician, attended SUNY Fredonia with a music education degree and plays french horn in the pit orchestra.

The play runs this weekend, March 24 & 25 at 7:00 and March 25 & 26 at 2:00. Watch the magic of James with the inspiration–past and present– of the Brewster Performing Arts Department.

BHS Alum