WVHS design students set the stage for spring musical


WVHS design students set the stage for spring musical

March 23, 2022

If you were in the audience last week for the Warwick Valley High School Drama Club’s production of Little Shop of Horrors, then you know just how exceptional the performances were by our District’s talented stage actors and singers. You undoubtedly also noticed the incredible sets before which their story unfolded – from city streets to the interior of Mushnik’s.

Getting the stage ready for the drama and comedy to unfold was the work of the WVHS set designers and builders, under the guidance of teacher Mr. Rocco Manno.

“It was a monumental task to complete this enormous set in three months,” said Mr. Manno. “It measures 73 feet long and 14 feet high. It consists of four life-size buildings, moving parts, and incredible detail.”

Mr. Manno added that the team – a hard working group of students from all grade levels – succeeded in creating what he and Drama Club advisor and director, Mr. Nick DiLeo, consider to be the greatest set ever made for a WVHS production.

“Anyone who has been to other productions by the Drama Club knows how great all of the sets by previous groups have been,” said Mr. Manno. “So, that’s really saying something about what these young people accomplished this year.”

Sophomore Tyler Purta jumped at the chance to take part when he found out about the elective class.

“I saw that Mr. Manno was doing a design class for sets, and I thought it would be perfect,” said Tyler, who added that he does construction projects with his father. “It was everything I could have hoped it would be, a lot of hands-on carpentry work. I enjoyed it a lot.”

Chase Porter and Michael Bunyea, two more sophomores, were also part of the class.

“I like hands-on stuff, so I figured this would be right up my alley,” said Porter. “My favorite part was being able to do something I enjoy in school, and being able to be with my friends while doing that.

Michael shared that having worked with tools all his life, he also thought the class was a perfect fit for him.

“I’ve been doing plumbing, heating, and air conditioning since I was nine years old,” he said. “I saw that there was a set design and production class — pretty much a woodworking class — so I thought I would take advantage of it and do something I like, building stuff, working with tools, working with my hands.”

Senior Riley Cupo has been involved with theater both in school and outside of school and plans on continuing in college.

“It’s always been a passion of mine, and I’ve been trying to fit Mr. Manno’s class in since my freshman year. I am so happy I finally did,” said Riley. “I have so many actor friends in the Drama Club, and seeing them get to perform with our sets was just breathtaking.”

Bravo to everyone involved with this spring’s musical production! 



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