Orange Public Schools
Gerald Fitzhugh, II, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools
- Orange Public Schools
Orange High School Presents: “Strange Happenings at the School Library” (Now Playing)
December 2, 2020 (Orange, NJ) -- Orange High School and Orange Preparatory Academy present Strange Happenings at the School Library, written by Jenny Lyn Bader and Martine Sainvil. The play follows several storylines centering around one school librarian’s attempts to make sense out of a strange phenomenon: the characters in the books are all feeling the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic! This feel good trip with some of literature’s favorite characters puts a light hearted spin on today’s trying times. Designed as a what-if version of the land of make believe crashing into 2020 (or vice versa), Strange Happenings jumps from a school library to Wonderland with stops at Mount Olympus and the Magic Kingdom along the way. And who better than a school librarian to help find order in a mixed up, socially distanced, chronologically disordered world?
The idea behind Strange Happenings at the School Library began as the Orange Public School’s Visual and Performing Arts own drama production team wanted to find a play that could speak to the people of Orange. Luna Stage, the regional professional theater in nearby West Orange which partners with the Orange Public Schools for summer camps and field trips, was tasked with finding professional playwrights willing to put an ‘Orange spin’ on the devastating and poignant pandemic realities we have all been living under since March 2020. The Orange Visual and Performing Arts department is excited to debut this locally generated piece of art. “We can’t thank them enough for crafting this lighthearted and insightful story which not only teaches us how to cope with quarantine, but how to learn and grow from it,” says Director Michael Seidel. “We knew that producing a play was going to be a challenge this year, but this cast and production staff met that challenge head on, and the results are “virtually” outstanding!“ The logistical and technical challenges abounded for each production team to navigate. Did that make this experience any less valuable or educational for the students of Orange? Assistant Director Dana Levin thinks so. “2020 has been a very difficult year for theatre, but our students have risen to the challenge. Technology issues, unstable internet connections, and family and pet interference are just some of the hurdles we've encountered. Still, this talented cast has come together to put on a great show and had a lot of fun along the way. Their hard work and dedication have certainly paid off, and I'm sure this will be a very memorable theatrical experience for all involved.”
The extremely talented cast of actors that bring this production to life are all students from Orange Preparatory School, STEM Academy of the Oranges and Orange High School: Led by Orange Drama veterans Mackela Carasco (Senior), Elliott Holmes (Junior), Michelle Carrera (Junior) and Guadalupe Aguilar (Junior) this playful and timely comedy about finding comfort in an uncomfortable time is sure to hit the sweet spot of a strong community like Orange’s.
The link for the full streamed show will be released on the District Website at 7:00 p.m. December 18th and will close on Sunday, December 20th at 6:00 p.m. The production will be pre-recorded and edited. The streaming production is free to the public between the designated dates and times. Contact Marc Levenson for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (908) 477-0777 for more details.